Golf: The Objective of the Game

At its core, the goal of the game is completing a series of holes on a course using the fewest possible strokes. A golf course typically consists of 9 to 18 holes, each marked by a tee box, fairway, and a green with a flagstick. The objective is to hit the ball from the tee box into the fairway, then onto the green, and finally into the hole with as few shots as possible.  

hole 2 golfclub amsteldijk par 4

Hole 2 at Golf club Amsteldijk, the Netherlandssource

Professionals tend to hit about 70% of fairways or more when they are winning a tournament.
Game Forms

The two basics forms of playing golf are Match play and Stroke play. In Match play the golfer plays directly against another golfer. The player that wins the hole gets a point.

In Stroke play, the golfer plays against the golf course and a large field of other golfers, and the player with the lowest total score at the end of the round wins.

There are many other varieties golfers can play. Foursome, Stableford and Scramble are examples of mostly friendly competition forms. An example of the Foursome game;

How to Play the Foursome Golf format – Golf Distillery
Teeing Off

At the beginning of each hole, you tee off by placing your ball on a tee within the designated tee box. You are allowed to only take the shot from within the tee box. Teeing off outside the tee box results in a penalty or disqualification.

There are three different tee colors, Red, Yellow and White. The different tee colors indicate the distance from which the golfer will hit the ball. The Red tees are usually the shortest and are used by beginners. The Yellow tees are for mid-range hitter and the White tees are usually for long hitters with a low-handicap.

To give you an idea the difference in meters between the Red and Yellow tees is 100-150 meters and between the Yellow and White tees 150-200 meters. Look for the color marker to tee off at the correct tee box, you don’t want to leave yourself short.

Order of Play

At the start of each new round (9 or 18 holes) you decide with your co-players the order of the tee off. If your company is playing from different tees the player who is farthest from the hole (white for example) plays first on each shot. After teeing off, the player whose ball is farthest from the hole plays next (yellow for example) and after the player whose ball is closest to the hole (red).

If everyone is playing from the same tee box, the player with the fewest strokes of each hole tees off on the next hole.

Ready Play

Golf places a strong emphasis on etiquette and sportsmanship. Be respectful to other players, maintain a good pace of play, repair divots and ball marks, and avoid unnecessary noise or distractions. 

Especially to maintain a good pace of play is important to keep in mind. Whenever you feel that your group is holding up the group behind you ask if they want to play the hole first. A gesture much appreciated among golfers.


Each stroke is counted until the ball is in the hole. The objective is to complete the hole using as few strokes as possible. The standard scoring system is called stroke play, where the player with the lowest total score wins. 

The number of strokes allowed for each full round depends on the player’s handicap. A player’s handicap is a measure of their skill level and is calculated based on their previous scores. High handicappers get the most extra strokes per hole.

For example, if a player has a handicap of 54 and plays a par 4 hole, they would get four extra strokes, making the hole a par 8 for them. In contrast, a low handicapper would have a par of 4 and would need to complete the hole in four shots or less to achieve par.

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