WTGF Sports

General Sport Description

Golf is a club-and-ball sport in which players use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course in as few strokes as possible.


Golf, unlike most ball games, cannot and does not utilise a standardised playing area, and coping with the varied terrains encountered on different courses is a key part of the game. The game at the usual level is played on a course with an arranged progression of 18 holes, though recreational courses can be smaller, often having nine holes. Each hole on the course must contain a teeing ground to start from, and a putting green containing the actual hole (or cup). There are other standard forms of terrain in between, such as the fairway, rough (long grass), bunkers (or “sand traps”), and various hazards (water, rocks) but each hole on a course is unique in its specific layout and arrangement.


In Golf – unlike most other sports and games – it’s the person with the lowest score who wins. The object on each hole of the golf course is to get your golf ball into that hole on the green with as few swings as possible. Golf is played for the lowest number of strokes by an individual, known as stroke play, or the lowest score on the most individual holes in a complete round by an individual or team, known as match play. Stroke play is the most commonly seen format at all levels, but most especially at the elite level.


The Golf ’handicap’ is an allowance of shots per round, based on a player’s ability. Handicaps start at 28 for men and 36 for women and the better the player, the lower their handicap. At the end of a round each player adds up their total number of shots and deducts their handicap to get their net score


The modern game of Golf originated in 15th century Scotland. The 18-hole round was created at the Old Course at St Andrews in 1764. Golf’s first major, and the world’s oldest tournament in existence, is The Open Championship, also known as the British Open, which was first played in 1860 at the Prestwick Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland. This is one of the four major championships in men’s professional golf, the other three being played in the United States: The Masters, the U.S. Open, and the PGA Championship.


Two Scotsmen from Dunfermline, John Reid and Robert Lockhart, first demonstrated golf in the U.S. by setting up a hole in an orchard in 1888, with Reid setting up America’s first golf club the same year, Saint Andrew’s Golf Club in Yonkers, New York.


Although the modern game of golf originated in 15th-century Scotland, the ancient origins are unclear.


Some historians trace the sport back to the Roman game of Paganica, in which participants used a bent stick to hit a stuffed leather ball. A theory is that Paganica spread throughout Europe as the Romans conquered most of the continent, during the first century BC, and eventually evolved into the modern game.


Also Chuiwan is cited as a possible origin game. Chuiwan was a Chinese game played between the eighth and fourteenth centuries. A Ming Dynasty scroll by the artist Youqiu dating back to 1368 entitled “The Autumn Banquet” shows a member of the Chinese Imperial court swinging what appears to be a golf club at a small ball with the aim of sinking it into a hole. The game is thought to have been introduced into Europe during the Middle Ages.


Another early game that resembled modern golf was known as Cambuca in England and Chambot in France. The Persian game Chowkan is another possible ancient origin. In addition, Kolven (a game involving a ball and curved bats) was played annually in Loenen, Netherlands, beginning in 1297.

History In World Transplant Games

Golf has been part of the World Transplant Games since 1978.  There have been many outstanding performers, with some having scratch (0) handicaps.  It is a good sport for recipients, thanks to its relatively mild pace, and so is one of the most popular sports in the World Games.  There have been medalists from countries all over the world.  In recent Games, the golfers from the United Kingdom, USA, Netherlands, and Sweden have often appeared on the medal stand.  The golf competition results show that it is a sport played enthusiastically all over the world.


Why participate in this sport

Playing golf is great fun, but also offers a wide range of mental and physical benefits. Golf is a “low-impact” sport and as a result joints are not subject to the stresses and strains of more energetic activities like tennis and running.


A full, 18-hole round of golf involves a walk of around 5-6 miles contributing to your physical fitness programme. Along with the amount of walking involved, the golf swing in itself is great for providing a full-body workout. Weighing up the risk and reward elements of a particular shot, totting up scores and the other various facets of the game all help to keep the mind sharp and agile.


In addition to being an engrossing and competitive sport, playing golf can be a great social activity.

Participating at a World Transplant Games


For a full overview of the Format and Sports Rules for competing at a World Transplant Games – click here

Getting Started

To start playing golf, try visiting your municipal or open golf course with a partner who is familiar with the game. Many golf clubs are open to non-members and will hire you a set of golf clubs and balls, whilst charging a green fee to play a round. Choose a quiet time for your first few rounds to try to avoid holding up other players on the course.


If you find that you enjoy the game, you could think of booking some lessons with a club professional to get you started on the right path.


A professional can also help you with choosing which golf clubs you might like to invest in and the most suitable comfortable clothing. Buying a set of Golf clubs can be expensive so it is important to get the right advice. There are men’s and women’s clubs and right or left-handed clubs as well as a choice between steel and graphite shaft clubs.

Training Concepts


WTG Malaga 2017

Images by Luuk Schudde and Peter Bowers

WTG Newcastle 2019

Images by Luuk Schudde and Peter Bowers

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