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Front Page » June 29, 2004 » Sports » The beginning: Carbon Country Club golf course's first hole
Published 3,675 days ago

The beginning: Carbon Country Club golf course's first hole


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By MELANIE STEELE
Sun Advocate reporter

Golfers descend to the first hole of the Carbon golf course to begin their round. In the original layout, hole 10 was the first hole of the front nine.

The game of golf likely began between the 14th and 17th century with the Dutch game of 'kolf'. In 'kolf', which means club, players used a stick and ball on frozen canals in the winter time, according to the United States Golf Association (USGA).

The game was picked up by Dutch sailors and brought to the east coast of Scotland, where it was transferred to the public links and eventually became the game that millions enjoy today.

Golf came to Carbon County in 1954, when the first nine holes of the Carbon Country Club golf course were built.

It has since expanded to an 18 hole, par 70 public course.

Originally, golfers began their round where the 10th hole of the course is currently located.

However, with the addition of the back nine, the holes were reconfigured to make hole transition smooth.

The first hole of the golf course sets the tone for a golfer's round. Players descend from the golf shop to the tee box of the 393 par four, which is positioned under the shade of a broad tree.

Slightly doglegged, the fairway entices golfers to select long clubs and begin their day with a strong tee shot.

However, a water hazard runs along the right side of the hole, and the left side is fenced by a line of tall trees.

The left-to-right slope demands a good tee shot to hold the fairway as the right rough will begin before the fairway even starts to flattens out.

The optimal tee shot is a draw which will hit and roll into the left bank rather than running down the slope toward the right water, leaving players a 150 yard approach shot to the green.

On the approach shot, the ball will likely be below a player's feet. The two-tiered first green is guarded by a bunker on the right front.

A pin placement on the left tier of the green in lower than a pin on the higher, right tier.

Golfers are advised to hit one more club for the elevated, right pin placement. Going longer to avoid the front bunker is a preferable shot to coming up short.

Fun golf facts

The origin of the terms 'birdie' and 'eagle'

The term 'birdie' originated in the United States in 1899, according to the USGA. In H.B. Martin's "Fifty Years of American Golf", there is an account of a foursome's match at the Atlantic City Country Club in New Jersey.

One of the players, Ab Smith, commented, "my ball... came to rest within six inches of the cup. I said 'That was a bird of a shot... I suggest that when one of us plays a hole in one under par he receives double compensation.' The other two agreed and we began right away, just as soon as the next one came, to call it a 'birdie.'

To coincide with 'birdie', the term 'eagle' soon became common to refer to a score one better than a 'bird,' as well as the term 'albatross' for double eagle.

The origin of the term bogey

USGA asserts the term 'bogey' came from a song that was popular in the British Isles in the early 1890s, called "The Bogey Man" (later known as "The Colonel Bogey March"). The character of the song was an elusive figure who hid in the shadows, singing the words "I'm the Bogey Man, catch me if you can."

Dr. Rand Jerris, the USGA Museum curator, said golfers in Scotland and England equated the quest for the elusive Bogey Man with the quest for the elusive perfect score. By the mid to late 1890s, the term 'bogey score' referred to the ideal score a good player could be expected to make on a hole under perfect conditions.

It was only in the late 1900s or early 1910s that the idea of 'Par' was conceived. Par is the designated number of strokes a scratch player can be expected to take on a hole in ideal conditions. In this way par was distinguished from bogey. The term par itself is a standard term in sports handicapping, where it simply means level or even, Jerris stated.

Why golfers shout fore when they hit an errant shot

The word fore is a shortened Scottish version of the word before or afore. Jerris said it was a warning, essentially meaning "look out ahead," most probably originated in military circles, where it was used by artillery men as a warning to troops in foreword positions. Golfers as early as the 18th century adopted this military warning cry for the course.

The reason for 18 holes on a course

According to Dr. Jerris, the links at St. Andrews, the oldest course in the word, occupies a narrow strip of land along the sea. As early as the 15th century, golfers at St. Andrews established a customary route through the wavelike terrain, playing to holes which locations were dictated by topography.

The course that resulted featured eleven holes, laid out end to end from the clubhouse to the far end of the property, said Jerris. One played the holes out, turned around, and played the holes in, for a total of 22 holes.

In 1764, several of the holes were deemed too short, and were therefore combined. The number was reduced from 11 to nine, so that a complete round of the links comprised 18 holes, noted Jerris.

When golf clubs in the United Kingdom formally recognized the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews as the rule-making body for the sport in the late 1890s, it became necessary for many clubs to expand or reduce the length of their course to eighteen holes. Prior to this time, courses ranged in length from six holes to upward of 20 holes. However, if golfers were to play by the official rules, then their appointed round would consist of 18 holes.


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