FAQ

All English expressions, which are "bold and with quotation marks", are included in our dictionary. Other expressions are included in book called "Ota's Didactic Dictionary" where you can find more, over 4,200 of them with more detailed explanation and which you can order from us in an electronic way.

Q: Where can I start with golf?

A: Anywhere - in an outdoor course or in a golf hall called "indoor". Nevertheless, it is good to find out which course is the nearest to your home. If you want to play, it is not necessary to spend much time when travelling to the course in future.

Q: What do I need as a beginner?

A: Nothing at all. You just need some golf clothes and sports shoes with not very rough sole. Jeans or track suits, e.g. with stripes, are not sportswear. Anyway, you should have a T-shirt with neckband, men must have T-shirts with sleeves, and women can have T-shirts without sleeves. Other equipment, i.e. training golf club and balls, can be borrowed in the reception in the course for a fee. You mainly need enthusiasm to try it.

Q: I can hear from many people that golf is expensive. Is it true?

A: No, it is not. And mainly your point of view and the fact what you include in the price are important. Complete beginners must only get to a course, have sportswear and borrow a club, usually for 50 CZK, and balls also for 50 CZK which you try to hit in a training meadow. These are the basic steps. It is also good to have a lesson with a trainer or an instructor, otherwise you would make many mistakes. And mainly somebody has to tell you what to do and how, so that balls fly in the air and not roll on the ground. The price of training is about 500 CZK per hour. If you like it you can arrange other training lessons and you can improve your hits and also acquire information on rules and playing. At this moment you will start to consider buying the equipment, i.e. clubs and "bag" at first. You can buy them in a bazaar or new ones in "pro shop". It is not important. Visit some sellers and compare their prices. As soon as you decide and buy your own ?toys?, they will be the best clubs you can have, so handle them carefully. And one advice by golf genius Thomas Mulligan: Never ask a professional when you need a new set of clubs.

Q: What is so special about golf that so many people play it?

A: It is an interesting question which made me think how to describe it as briefly as possible. It is a combination of many factors. When you watch golf you think it is easy. However, only until you try it. Another important moment is to see a ball flying thanks to your hit. Last but not least is the fact that nobody can learn golf perfectly (this applies to all people), you still have something to improve, every course is different, a course itself changes during the day, you can meet many similarly obsessed and enthusiastic people, you spend time in the open air, the courses ale almost everywhere even in the Czech Republic, both old and young people play it, etc. etc. etc. As you can see, it is a mixture of many reasons what brings people to golf.

Q: Why do some clubs have expensive fees and some are cheaper?

A: It is like cars or restaurants. Somebody needs a special limousine with wheels and food served on gold plates; somebody is satisfied with an unobtrusive car and a common plate. The difference is in their exclusiveness because they both are full-value cars which will serve you similarly and you will not eat more food served on gold plate either. And the same case is golf courses. If you want to play golf, you can play in a course in a burg as well as in a renowned course. It is about level, quality of provided services, prestige, etc. It is your choice.

Q: Is it better to play in tournaments or with friends?

A: Nowadays I do not like playing in tournaments myself. But I used to participate in them very often in the past. I prefer playing with friends. It is a question of time and your mentality. I can choose who I want to play with and it is more fun. You care about the result but relaxing atmosphere is also important. And thanks to the fact that you can register the results even in the Czech Republic as well as in advanced golf countries, it is more pleasant when "handicap" is important for you. You can book your "tee time" and then play when it suits you. And when you play for something I think this is the best school of golf rules.

Q: Is Mulligan a real person?

A: Thomas Mulligan was born as the fourth earl of Murphy, a middle class aristocrat, on 1st May 1793. This passionate golfer and, we can say Einstein, Newton and Michelangelo of golf, is the most famous golfer in the world. He invented, and therefore it is named after him, a hit which is used on first holes of all golf courses in the world. Although some envy golfers use different expressions for this hit, e.g. "breakfast ball" or "Sunday ball", the correct name is "mulligan". It is the second - non-punishable - hit from first tee after the first hit does not turn out well according to golfer's wish. Thomas Mulligan came up with a revolutionary idea that the first hit is not counted. Thomas Mulligan died on 1st April 1879. Speaking in golf terminology, he lived for amazing 86 years, i.e. 14 above par. American golfer, writer, journalist and great humorist Henry Beard wrote a thin book about this extraordinary man and his intuitive ideas and remarks who branded in the golf history as a lighthouse with its fadeless light on a sea cliff in storm named "Mulligan's Laws" (1993) which was published in the Czech Republic as "Mulliganovy zákony" in 2000.

Q: Is the word GOLF an abbreviation?

A: No, it is not, although its origin is still a matter of disputes. Nevertheless, some golf jokers have found two explanations for these four letters. One of them results from the fact that some golfers do not want to play with ladies. By different reasons, e.g. they are afraid that a lady could beat them in a direct duel. Therefore, it is said that "G.O.L.F." consists of four words - "Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden". In some countries the word "gentlemen" is replaced by the word "guys" which might have been true in England in the past, many and many centuries ago. Nevertheless, there is another four-word explanation - "Global Oscillation at Low Frequency". You can choose.

Q: Does every golfer have to have his own clubs?

A: Yes, although according to the Golf Rules there is an exception in some competitions when a golfer and his ?partner? are one part, or more precisely one team.

Q: Why do the balls have dimples?

A: The answer is aerodynamics. They are called "dimples" and they are there because they enhance circumfluence of air around the ball when it is flying. It was invented by chance when golfers played with feather balls called "featherie" which was a leather ball filled with feathers. When these balls were damaged on their surface due to hits they had better characteristics than the new smooth ones. And when "gutta percha" was invented, thanks to which balls were manufactured, golfers started experimenting with them.

Q: Which is the oldest course in the Czech Republic?

A: The oldest course in the Czech Republic is the one in Mariánské Lázně which has been situated in the same place since 1905. But the place where the first golf course was created in the Czech Republic is Karlovy Vary. A nine-hole course was opened in the local Gejzír Park already in 1904. The present Karlovy Vary course is situated in a different place - in Olšova Vrata near road from Prague.

Q: What is the golf history of the Czech Republic?

A: It is rich, believe me. It starts, according to available sources, in the late nineteenth century, but neither Czech Republic nor Czechoslovakia existed at that time, it was Austria-Hungary. Fortunately for us as well as for future generations there was a person who collected information on the whole period and wrote a book which was published. Mr. Prokop Sedlák wrote a book called "Golf History in the Czech Countries and Slovakia". We are very grateful to him because without knowledge of our own history we could not go on. The book is wonderful and worth buying.

Q: Are the golf rules same all over the world?

A: Yes. It is a book of the same thickness and looks same as the one which you know. It is just written in the local language. But the content is identical.

Q: What type of clubs should I buy?

A: The golf ones, just to make fun. There is no formula in the world which would include variables such as your age, height, weight, elasticity, mental endurance, emotions, amount of fat in your body, locomotive skills, IQ, EQ, girth of chest, size of feet or hands, joint functionality, elasticity of backbone, quality of sight, resistance of nerves, etc. etc. etc. As you can see, it is quite difficult to choose the right ones. But when you are lucky, it is possible. Nevertheless, you should remember that producers supply us with many new types of clubs. Of course, they cannot close factories and workshops. Moreover, there are new technological methods and materials. So, we can say that you will buy an out-of-date type, although it is a novelty at the moment. I have a simple advice. Your question reveals that you are not very experienced golfer and do not have much knowledge which you can get subsequently. I will advise you as follows ? go to a shop, tell them how long you have been playing golf and let them show you some sets of clubs. Then you should choose clubs which you like most. Nothing more, nothing less. Why? Because when you play badly and watch clubs which you do not like is a bit traumatising. You will buy new ones anyway in future but then you will have more information and you will decide according to it. Do you think this answer is unqualified? Why? How did you decide when you were buying your car, furniture, clothes or choosing your wife? Feelings are always in the first place.

Q: What does the word ?handicap? mean in golf?

A: It is a longer talk. But shortly and simply - we have mainly golfer's "handicap" expressing his golf skills - by how many hits above or under "par" he can play in a course. Also, the word "handicap", or more precisely its abbreviation "HCP", sometimes expresses difficultness of particular holes in a course.

Q: Why do golfers wear only one glove?

A: Not all golfers wear them; sometimes you can see a golfer who plays without glove. But it is more comfortable with it and easy on your skin, especially when it is hot. Still, during the round, i.e. eighteen holes, your palm, in which you hold a club, is more stressed and, therefore it sweats at the end of "grip". Then "grip" slides in your hand and suffer from blisters. But this is really individual, you should try what suits you best. Then there is "putting" or more precisely play on "green" when golfers usually put gloves off to reach better sensibility for hits. But it is individual again.

Q: My friend has a far better ?handicap? than me. How many hits should he give me?

A: It depends on an agreement, but if your friend is a good golfer, he should give you a full difference because it would be a challenge for him to play so-called "square" with you. Also, you would not be frustrated by loss on holes after two hits. Nevertheless, as all of us suffer from a certain level of vanity and fear of loss and ridicule, you can adjust the "handicap" difference to 3/8, 5/8 or 7/8 so that your better friend has a chance to win.

Q: What can we play for at a friendly play so as not to lose the statute of amateurs?

A: You can play for anything. Even for a half of the globe if you want. It is quite clever in golf. In tournaments you cannot win cash prizes, although they are announced and your results correspond with them. They are only for professionals. But you can agree with amateurs on anything and nobody cares. It is only up to you, capacity of your wallet and resistance of your nervous system. But think better of your chances before you start.

Q: What about English golf expressions and Czech?

A: I really appreciate this question, although I can express only my own opinion but I insist on it, in spite of the fact that I am not a language expert. It is bad. I always try to write a foreign word as it is written when writing a text with words that are not translated or Czechized so that it is original. When I see e.g. an English word inflected in Czech, I die away and become sick of this double violation. Examples from golf "na greenu, po drivu, puttoval, chipování, etc.", there are many examples due to the fact that golf came here from the British Isles and at the speed, how it is developing here, all expressions cannot be thought up and translated. Moreover, thanks to computers and Internet more and more people use the English language commonly. Another option is to re-write English expressions phonetically as south Slovenians or Russians do. But we must get used to them because it is terrible to see e.g. NJŮ JORK (New York). Personally I still prefer it to pertinacious insisting upon English spelling with Czech endings (see my books). But - there is an example from present. The Czech Republic is de facto a small country in one part of the globe and the Bohemians write "green" as GRÝN and, on the other hand the Moravians as GRÍN. So, that is it. And there is one more comment - you never manage to pronounce "I" in Czech, only after D, T and N only thanks to the fact that these consonants are softened by a wedge, i.e. Ď, Ť and Ň. But, to tell the truth, I have never heard anybody, who plays golf, saying what "HANDICAP" or "HENDIKEP" he has, but always announcing his "hendykep".

Q: Is golf a dangerous sport?

A: The answer is not easy because you can look at golf from many viewpoints. First, it is dangerous because it always engulfs you completely. In some individuals it comes to divorce from the loved one who did not start enjoying ball hitting. Second, it is dangerous because you will always have your car boot full of clubs. Therefore, there will be no space for your mother's-in-law baggage or other stuff necessary to be transported from place A to place B. Third, it is dangerous because a hit of the round thing weighing about 4.5 dkg and flying over 100 km/h cannot be survived without any effects. If necessary, when ball is flying towards other golfers, you have to shout "FORE!" loudly which is an international golf expression warning of ball hit danger.

Q: Where can be golf played in the Czech Republic?

A: Nowadays there are 70 golf courses in the Czech Republic. There are 23 courses with 18 or more holes, the others have nine holes. For more information you can visit our web site where all the necessary information is and the courses are divided according to particular regions.

Q: How can we book the ?starting time? in the Czech courses?

A: There are, besides much information about each course, telephone or fax numbers and e-mail addresses on our web site via which you can find out the "starting time", or more precisely the "tee time".

Q: What is the maximum "handicap" for playing in the Czech courses?

A: According to the Czech Golf Federation the amateurish "handicap" is between - 4 to 54 in the Czech Republic. You will not have a problem to play. This also applies for most courses because there are not many courses of the "public" type in the Czech Republic.

Q: How long is the golf season in the Czech Republic?

A: With respect to the position of the Czech Republic most courses are open from April to October but it depends on weather, of course. Some courses in the south part of the country are open all year. Nevertheless, the best conditions for playing are in July and August.

Q: What types of courses are there in the Czech Republic?

A: Most courses are of the "parkland" type, i.e. situated among full-grown green vegetation. There is no classical course of the "links" type in the Czech Republic with respect to the fact that there is no sea. But some of the new courses are similar to "links", they are flat without any high-grown trees.

Q: When was the first golf course opened?

A: It was in 1904 when a golf course in the Gejzír Park in Karlovy Vary was opened but it has not survived. Therefore, the oldest course is in Mariánské Lázně and was opened by English king Edward VII in 1905. At the centenary anniversary of the golf club in this course British queen Elisabeth II awarded the title "Royal" to this course, so it has been called the "Royal Golf Club of Marianske Lazne" since. Moreover, the Czech Republic is one of the founders of the "European Golf Association".

Q: Is it possible to borrow clubs in the Czech golf courses?

A: Yes, you can find information on golf equipment rentals among the information on particular courses on our web site.

Q: When are the Czech golf courses open?

A: Most courses are open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the season. Information for particular courses is available on our web site.

Q: Is there a golf museum in the Czech Republic?

A: No, not yet, unfortunately. But it will certainly be created in future because the golf history of the Czech Republic is long and interesting.

Q: How expensive are green fees in the Czech Republic?

A: Compared to Europe they are relatively cheep. You can play in a nine-hole course all day for 250 CZK and also you can play in a prestigious course for 3000 CZK.

Q: How are the Czech golf courses equipped?

A: Besides the course itself, no matter if it is an eighteen-hole or a nine-hole course, each course has its "driving range" and "putting green", there are also clubhouse and reception with small "pro shop". A necessity is also the "19th hole". You can also find "pro shop" in every bigger town. Besides these, there are also golf halls, or more precisely "indoors" popular in the Czech Republic with respect to the year-long weather.