1. The Elder One
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    The Elder One Member

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    Need the help of golf players/enthusiasts

    Discussion in 'Research' started by The Elder One, Sep 13, 2016.

    I am getting near a point in my novel where the MC will get crucial story information from another character as they play golf together. The scene takes place in the Lebanon Golf Club (Beirut, Lebanon) and it turns out I don't know enough about golf to be able to write it. I need your help or I will be forced to rewrite a fair bit in order to change this out completely.
     
  2. Earp
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    Earp Active Member

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    Golf is a pretty simple game (simple, not easy). What exactly do you need help with?
     
  3. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    Pretty simple, but incredibly annoying/frustrating/exhilarating... hole in one :cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader: triple bogie on a par 3 :supermad::supermad::supermad:

    Ask away.
     
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  4. The Elder One
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    The Elder One Member

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    To tell you the truth? Everything. I know how the game is played. 9 holes and so on. But when I try writing it nothing works.

    The scene itself consists of the main character and the secondary character playing a 9 hole game as they talk. I need golf vocabulary, jargons, all that stuff.
     
  5. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    Are we talking bunkers, tee-ing off, birdies type jargon, or are you wanting to know about hooking and slicing, out of bounds, free drops etc. Lots of jargon is available on the internet but if you want to send me some sample scenarios through I can maybe help pad them out for you.
     
  6. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, firstly a full course is 18 holes. You could have them play 9, if you want. You could have them play as many or as few as you please, but the standard, proper golf course is 18 holes.

    We're not going to write your scene for you, however, so until you start asking direct questions we can't help you.
     
  7. big soft moose
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    big soft moose Active Member

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    also if they are only playing 9 of 18 they'd probably refer to it as playing the front nine, or the back nine ... tbh though you don't need masses of golfing jargon, and if you don't play it will ring false anyway ... look at the first chapter of Tom Clancy's "debt of honour" where Robby Jackson and Jack Ryan are playing golf when jack is summoned to the white house ... the golf talk is relatively light, just a few comments about jacks swing

    likewise Quentin Jardine "Skinners round" the whole book is set on a golf course, but theres not that much golfing chat

    That aside , id also suggest that if you don't know anything about golf then you arent going to write them playing it convincingly - what sport do you play, or watch ? If its not plot critical that they play golf why not have them got to the footie, or watch a rugby match, or play pool , or darts, or go shooting , or whatever you actually know about and do yourself (hell they could just go for a meal or go out drinking or whatever)
     
  8. The Elder One
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    The Elder One Member

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    I do know some things, so it's not like i'll just write about not knowing anything at all, I plan to take some classes next year, maybe. What I need is exactly what some of you have been posting, explanations on the technical terms and jargons. Sorry it looked like I wanted someone to write it for me, as that wasn't the purpose of this topic at all.
     
  9. Brindy
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    Brindy Contributing Member Supporter

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    Are your characters all male or all female? If so they will play of the same tees, but if the aren't you need to be aware that men and women play of different tees, women's are normally some yards nearer the hole. I've been looking at the scorecard for the gold course in question and in general the ladies tees seem to be about 30-40 yards nearer than the mens. Also, there only looks to be one lake/pond on the course, so water hazards shouldn't be a big part of your scene. Finally, looking at the few photos it doesn't look to have hills, but does have plenty of undulations.
     
  10. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wasn't suggesting you were asking this, I just said this to illustrate the fact that until you gave us specifics we couldn't help you.
     
  11. The Elder One
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    The Elder One Member

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    Here we go then, specifics! The MC and his sidekick will be playing against a character(NOT a villain, but important) with his daughter with alternate shots (two balls).

    Any terms or jargons that might help make the scene believable?
     
  12. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    The version of golf you're describing is called "best ball." Two players per team and after each shot they get to choose which ball placement the team wants to continue with. The shot they don't use is picked up & dropped essentially in the same place as the ball they are going to use.
    As for terms:
    "Making par" is completing the hole (or the entire course) in the proper number of swings. On an eighteen hole course, the usual par is 72. It averages out to 12 holes that are par 4, three that are par 5 & three that are par 3. (Plenty of variances to this.)
    One shot over par is a bogie.
    Two shots over par is a double bogie.
    Three shots over par is a fuck this stupid game, I'm not playing again. Or a triple bogie.

    One shot under par is a birdie.
    Two shots under par is an eagle.

    If they're driving carts, many courses ask that you keep them only on the cart paths (especially in bad weather conditions.)
    Carts are never driven onto the tee box / close to a sand trap or the side of the green (Dear God never on the green.)

    The stick standing in the hole is called the flag or the stick. It must be removed once everyone has a ball on the green.
    The player furthest away from the hole at any time is the next to shoot.
    It makes a great dig to someone's ego when you drive up to the balls & get to tell someone casually -- You're away.

    I could probably go another few pages of details but I'll leave this for now.
     
  13. JLT
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    JLT Active Member

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    My suggestion would be to go to a golf course with a friend or two and just follow them around and listen to them as they play. They'll probably talk about "lies" (not dishonesty, but the position of a ball on the course). The beauty (and heartbreak) of golf is that there are so many variables ... in the "rough" (relatively unmown) or fairway, distance from the hole, wind, intervening obstacles such as trees or sand traps or water hazards. And all these factors make each round unique. The challenge is to match the club and the stroke to each of the particular lies that a golfer happens to face, and to figure out a strategy for making the fewest number of strokes that will do the job.

    If that can't happen for you, there are plenty of televised golf competitions where all of this is discussed in great detail by the announcers. You could model your plot along the lines of one of these competitions, bearing in mind that these are pros, and competent amateur swill probably take at least one or two more strokes per hole because they can't hit the ball as hard or aim it as accurately.

    The best introduction to golf that I've read is Tommy Armour's How To Play Your Best Golf All The Time, which discusses many of these things in a way that a non-golfer can understand. He has two rules for playing your best game:

    1. Play the shot that you have the best chance of making well
    2. Play the shot that makes the next shot easy.

    I'm no golfer (I tried it when I was younger, although it looked more like agriculture than golf), but I've found those two precepts to be as valuable in the game of life as in the game of golf. In your plot, you could create tension by having one of the players break these rules in hopes of making a better score, and reaping the consequences.
     
  14. The Elder One
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    The Elder One Member

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    The answers have been very helpful. I will start the scene and if I need more help I will ask here again.

    Thank you folks.
     

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