Beginning Golf for Ladies
Shirley J. Miller
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What Makes Women's Golf Different than Men's?
Generally, women's golf is no different than the game men play. A regular golf course is comprised of 18 holes, broken into the front 9 and the back 9. You can elect to play 9 or 18 holes at most courses.
The object of the game is to get the golf ball into the hole on the green in as few strokes as possible. Score is tracked on scorecards. "Par" is achieved if you match the average number of strokes on the hole. A "birdie" is if you get the ball in the hole in one less stroke than par. A "bogie" is if it takes you an additional stroke to sink your putt.
For ladies, an advantage is offered by allowing them to tee off (begin their first stroke at the red tee box) closer to the pin (the flag marking the location of the hole). The difference in distance from the tee boxes varies from hole to hole. This may have some impact on calculating handicap.
Women also generally use different golf clubs than men, with shorter shafts, a lighter weight and more flex. Women's golf balls generally have a rubber core (men's have a hard core), which allows them to travel farther on a slower swing. They also have more backspin. Other than that, the equipment is the same: tees, a golf bag, golf shoes, and sportswear appropriate for the course.
Some people think that men and women play the game for different reasons. Men are said to enjoy the challenge and competitiveness (against others and their own personal score). On the other hand, women play golf in order to build and nurture relationships. For this reason, it has been said that women may have overall greater enjoyment of the sport!