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About Golf in Philippines

Even in a country like the Philippines, where basketball is one of the top activities and people tend to look for budget-friendly options, golf managed to become a successful sport. As seen on the numerous golf courses in different locations in the country, this one of a kind sport is not only a popular choice for the elite but also an attraction in itself for tourists who want to enjoy clear skies while teeing off in wide and green grounds.

Golf is not what you think it is

Golf enthusiasts find it challenging to promote the sport these days, and they claim this is due to the misconceptions that simply just won’t go away. Firstly, it is still widely believed that golf is exclusive for the rich as you need a fortune before you can even step into a golf course. The truth is that while memberships in country clubs and the equipment are undoubtedly expensive, there are also public golf courses that offer more affordable rates to visitors. And don’t underestimate these establishments as some of the best players in the world are known to have gotten their feet wet in these public spaces. Even the country clubs themselves occasionally offer attractive packages for members and their companions to further promote the sport.

Secondly, golf is said to be a slow and boring sport. In the eyes of most spectators, especially the new ones, it certainly is not as fast-paced as the likes of basketball and boxing. But once you have tried swinging a golf club and understanding how every part of your body is essential to hitting the ball correctly, you will definitely get hooked. It may look simple, but hitting a ball into a hole is very challenging, and overcoming the obstacles is what entices golfers to come back for more.

Golf for beginners

Much has been said about the technicalities of playing golf, but ironically, its objective couldn’t get simpler: Hit the ball into the hole with a few strokes as possible. Completing this objective, however, is easier said than done, as golf courses come in various terrains and are peppered with obstacles like bushes, sandy bunkers, rough grounds, trees, and even water. Aside from focusing to hit the ball properly, golfers must also strategize on how to avoid these obstacles and figure a way out if their ball ends up in one.

In a standard game of golf, there are 18 holes to be played. Most golf courses have 18 holes that are scattered all over the area. There are also golf courses with only nine holes, with each played twice to meet the 18-hole requirement of a standard game. Depending on the length of the golf course, the pace, and skills of the players, a round can last around four to five hours.

The perfect swing

Being able to swing a golf club is everything in playing the sport. Learning how to do it properly results to more distance and better accuracy, which are exactly what you need to win. Believe it not, the world-class players themselves still continue to find ways to perfect their swing, even after winning titles left and right.

Here are some of the basic steps to get you started. First, you need to assume the correct stance. Set your feet apart and parallel to each other. Remember that your feet should be aligned with your shoulders. Next, keep your back straight and bend your upper body forward as well as your knees slightly to maintain balance.

When holding the golf club, grip firmly on the handle with your dominant hand lower than the other but keeping them close to each other. Extend your arms and keep them straight as you aim the club next to the ball.

Once you’ve assumed the correct position, you are ready to perform a backswing. As you move the club backwards, keep your left arm straight at all times (if you’re right-handed). Pivot your whole upper body to the right while keeping your spine in the same angle. Once you’ve reached the highest point of your backswing, you can perform the downswing. Pivot your body towards the ball while still keeping your left arm straight. Once the golf club hits the ball, continue pivoting to your body to the left for a follow through. Practice the proper movement first and once you’ve perfected it, you can gradually add some power to your swing.

Know the golf clubs

The challenges in golf are so complex that you need the different tools for different situations. There are four kinds of golf clubs: woods, irons, wedges, and putters. Woods are the biggest and are used for long distance shots. Irons are for medium distances, while wedges are for aiming for the green or getting your ball out of bunkers. Lastly, putters are used when your ball is in the green and you’re aiming to put it into the hole.

Golf trivia to share

Basketball may be the most popular sport in the Philippines but even before this sport was brought to the country by the Americans, Filipinos have already been playing golf. In 1886, golf was introduced by the British, who were working at the Manila Railway Company. They built simple golf courses on rice paddies, giving birth to the Manila Golf Club in 1901.

The first Filipino golf champion is Larry Montes, who worked as a caddie at the Manila Golf Club. Before, the club only allowed foreigners to join, but Montes was so talented that he got to enjoy a few of the privileges. Soon, an American named William “Bill” Shaw, formed his own club as he opposed the discrimination against Montes. Still strong today, his club is no other than Wack Wack Golf and Country Club.

A hole-in-one is a very rare occurrence in golf wherein the ball goes into the hole in just one swing. Professional players are said to have a 2,500 in 1 chance of hitting a hole-in-one. However, the North Korean government claimed that their late Supreme Leader, Kim Jong-il, scored 11 holes-in-one on his first time to play the sport. Of course, this was dismissed as a statement made by the said government to further glorify their leader.