The Sports Archives – Streaming Law: The Online Sports Business

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The almighty copyright symbol was already one of the most important tools in protecting creative ownership and usage rights. With a growing usage of the internet and digital media, its significance has increased tenfold!

The world is presently in an era of technological supremacy. Laptops, tablets, smartphones, wireless networks, streaming…the power of global connections now dominate everyday life. Consequently, sports, along with many other services, are now at the public’s fingertips via the internet. However, in being driven by a huge business industry, critical copyright properties and ownership laws apply to nearly all sports media that passes over the airwaves. In regards to what “is and isn’t allowed” in the realm of streaming sports and broadcasts, it may be surprising to some people just how many rules there are regarding public access to games on the internet. Here is a brief overview of the mechanisms at work in the online sports trade.

The Basics – Accessing a Game

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Online networks like Fox Sports and ESPN are responsible for much of the official sports coverage across the globe.

An analysis of the online sports service should begin with how a spectator watches a game. Via public airways, there are a couple of different options available to patrons, including live-streaming on the web, and watching the broadcast on a television channel. In the interest of encouraging the local community to watch the game in person, broadcast organizations often partake in geo-blocking access to locations for some games (i.e. broadcasters may restrict German spectators from watching a German home game online). Geo-blocking does have its workarounds, some of which are not even considered illegal (according to the terms of service and the exact “verbiage” of copyright laws) but it is instituted for the purpose of maintaining business.

So some games are meant to be restricted – what does this do to the future?

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Relatively new, streaming has only gained much of its popularity in recent years, but it is rapidly becoming one of the most-utilized tech resources on Earth.

Think about it; many sports channels are only available via cable and paid television services. Public television is available for general viewing, but part of the financial aspects of sports includes agreements between broadcast companies, media distributors, and so on. Unfortunately, due to the rise of the internet and “technological interconnectedness” over the past decade, businesses that work in the media are having a harder and harder time in keeping control of what is available for free, and what requires monetary investment. After all, “backdoor streaming” a football game that is not available via official access routes is technically internet piracy. Without question, the power of the internet has created instability between the public community and the streaming industry for sports. As the web becomes more popular, and integral to modern life, businesses will only have a harder time maintaining control of their resources, and the people will become ever-bolder in seizing what they can for themselves.

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The Sports Archives – Travelling To The Solheim Cup In Germany? Here’s Everything You Need To Know!

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Known across the globe as the female equivalent of the Ryder Cup, the Solheim Cup is a major event and one not to be missed by sports fans. If you are considering making the trip to watch this fascinating weekend of live golf there are a few things you need to know:

Where Is It?

As with the Ryder Cup, each year the two teams – Europe and USA – take turns to host the event. This year is Europe’s turn and the fabulous St Leon-Rot Golf Club in Germany has been chosen as the venue.

This is the first time that Germany has hosted the Solheim Cup and Europe are looking to retain the trophy and set a new record of three consecutive wins. If the golf is as beautiful as the scenery surrounding the course spectators are in for a real treat.

Format

The format adopted for the Solheim Cup varies a little from the regular stroke play that many spectators may be accustomed to. Each match is worth a single point and the players will battle it out for a share of a total of 28 points. In order to be crowned champions, one team must accumulate at least 14.5 points.

Friday and Saturday mornings see the selected players battle it out in foursome matches. Foursomes are made up of two players from each team and those two players must play the same ball alternately. The team that has the best score wins the hole.

Those chosen to represent their teams in the afternoon will play a four-ball format. This is slightly different to foursomes as each player plays their own ball and the player with the lowest score wins the hole for their team.

Sunday brings about the nail-biting climax where all twelve players compete against a member of the opposition in head-to-head singles matches.

Spectator Guidelines

To ensure the smooth running of the event the organisers have released the following guidelines:

  • Smart, casual wear is recommended but spectators are reminded that spiked footwear is not allowed on the course.
  • Cameras are allowed on practice days but in order to give the players a fair chance to concentrate they are not permitted during the event itself.
  • All public areas will have an array of food and drink establishments where a selection of beverages and hot and cold food will be available.
  • Mobile phones are allowed on the course but the organisers respectfully ask that these be kept on silent at all times.
  • Spectators are reminded that no bags greater than 30cm in any dimension will be allowed into the course on match days.
  • No animals are permitted on the course with the exception of guide dogs.

Tickets

A variety of ticket options are on offer to spectators from the official website of the Solheim Cup. Visitors to St Leon-Rot Golf Club can opt for individual day passes or purchase a full week pass that will allow them to witness every point blow-by-blow.

Travel

For those travelling from abroad it is strongly advised that they seek out travel insurance for Germany from Avanti. Getting to the venue is straightforward and the organisers have issued a route planner to help spectators find their way to the course.

Featured images:

Roxanne Seabourne is the Marketing Executive for Avanti Travelcare, who offer European travel insurance for those with pre-existing medical conditions, and are one of very few that have no upper age limit on their policies.

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The Sports Archives – Archery as a Sport

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The bow-and-arrow began in ancient times, but the competitive elements of wielding it came much later down the line.

Sports born out of weaponry are nothing new in the world. Combat sports go way back in human history; javelin-throwing, for example, can be dated as early in recorded history as 700 B.C., and was founded on the principles of throwing elegant spears with accuracy and power, and with an intention not to attack, but to measure technique. Another “old” combat sport example is ancient boxing, the first recorded game of which occurred around 688 B.C. But one particular sport that stands out to many in the history of mankind is archery. Why is this? Well, while most combat-oriented activities had been refined into a sport long before modern civilization, archery was widely regarded as a recreational activity, almost akin to a form of art, since the creation of the bow-and-arrow around 10,000-9,000 B.C. In fact, archery as a sport is extremely young compared to its counterparts, only seeing the first attempts at becoming a competitive, modern sport around the 1840s. The elements of archery that are practiced as a sport today are somewhat perplexing, but, like any sport, there is much more to archery than one can take from it at a mere glance.

  Did Archery begin as a recreational activity?

Technically, archery began as a combat occupation. Like other forms of modern combat sports, such as martial arts, the primary function of ‘good bowman-ship’ was the ability to fend off and incapacitate enemy aggressors. In a time before the development of gunpowder and firearms, the bow was an elegant, but devastating long-range weapon in the right hands, and saw considerable usage across human history in multiple locations around the world. Eventually, many of the facets of archery – discipline, patience, and so on – which were already present in fighting also became driving forces in the activity’s turn towards recreation. The bow and arrow could be learned by anyone, not just soldiers and militia men, and even if the user had no intention of waging war. Mastering the elements that comprise a skilled bowman was enough of a goal for archery to become a full-fledged ‘hobby,’ and the competitive elements that transformed this hobby into a modern sport would come later down the line. Although archery was practiced as a sport in Ancient Egypt, the rules and methods that went into it are nothing like the modern sport of archery today. One may deduce that any ‘status’ archery held as a sport in Egypt was lost in ancient times, forcing its potential to be rediscovered closer to the modern age.

What led to the transition of Archery into a full-on ‘sport’?

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Invigorating like hunting, methodical like golf…competitive archery is another precision-based sport that tests cunning, tact, and technique rather than brute strength or teamwork. Quite exquisite!

As mentioned before, the introduction of firearms heavily disrupted the bow’s previous popularity as a weapon – not only were guns and rifles easier to use without experience, they also fired faster and posed a deadlier threat in the heat of combat. The bow and arrow lost its reputation rather quickly in the realm of war, but it retained its grip on mankind through the hobby outlets which had already developed among enthusiasts. Archery made the leap from recreational activity to full-on, modern competitive sport in 1844; this momentous milestone occurred in York, when the first Grand National Archery Society gathering took place. From there, the sport slowly lost traction in England, and other sports, like tennis, accumulated popularity over a gradual period across the globe. As the number of practicing archery clubs declined, the sport faced extinction.

Facets of Modern Archery

Archery managed to survive, however, and today is popular all over the world. Modern, competitive archery involves competing bowmen firing an arrow over great distances with the greatest accuracy possible. The target at the end of the distance is usually round and ringed, awarding points based on how close to the center the arrow hits when it lands. Points are tallied after a set number of ‘turns’ and the player with the greatest number (i.e. ‘the best accuracy’) wins.

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Pop culture and digital media have played a part in promoting archery across multiple generations. Here are four examples, separated by a few years each, which all revitalize the public interest in an aged, yet classic weapon.

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The Sports Archives – History of Halftime (American Football & More)!

4 quarters, each slated for 15 minutes of gameplay, and the first and last 2 separated by a brief respite, known quite appropriately as “halftime”; this is the working formula for American football games, as well as rugby matches. The contesting teams play in two 15-minute intervals for each ‘half’ of the game, with a rest period (comparable to the 7th-inning stretch of baseball) offering players and fans alike the opportunity to take a break, stretch, and prepare for the concluding portion of the game. Yet, today, halftime seems to be something many fans take for granted. In fact (again, much like the 7th-inning stretch) most fans of football probably could not give any history on halftime – it has always been a part of major football and rugby sporting events, and to most participants, “it is just something that has always been.” Halftime came from somewhere, however, and many of the more obscure, curious ‘traditions’ of football actually originate from it. Here are 5 major points that overview the history and development of halftime as a fundamental component of sports…

  1. Halftime started in English “public schools” – In the early 1800s, the first codes, or ‘rules of engagement,’ of football were established in the English public schools; take note that the term “public school” in England is actually more equitable to the private schools of the U.S. and other countries. By extension, even though football (and rugby) is widely considered ‘the every-man’s sport’ today, it could be considered as having “noble origins,” as the schools of its upbringing catered largely to upper-class, wealthy students, who were mostly male. The environment of these English public schools served as a perfect proving ground for football’s early years.

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    Hard as it may be to believe, football was established in the likes of this; an English public (preparatory) school.

 

  1. Early halftimes highlighted a change of rules – Before the rules of football became universal in the mid-late 1800s, halftime instituted a swap of actual rules, based on the model of football/rugby at the particular school of one of the competing teams. Halftime also featured a swap of field positions for the competing teams if neither had scored by halfway through the game (although the teams would also, traditionally, swap each time one of them scored). After football acquired a more consistent ruleset, only the practice of changing up positions on the field remained. It is still prevalent in today’s football, coined with the same effort of “reducing or diminishing any advantages or disadvantages the respective teams may have been experiencing in the first half.”

 

  1. Halftime is featured differently across a wide variety of sports – Even though halftime may have originated in football or rugby, it is a highly-significant component of many other modern sports now, including handball, basketball, field hockey, bandy, and lacrosse. The duration of halftime has been known to vary based on the sport, as well, with American football’s and Lacrosse’s lasting 12 minutes in the NFL and NLL, respectively (although 20 minutes is standard for College-tier football), handball’s lasting 10 minutes, basketball’s lasting 15 minutes, and bandy’s lasting as long as (but not in excess of) 20 minutes.

 

  1. The first Super Bowl “halftime show” was in 1967 – This was also the first year in the NFL in which the “Super Bowl” was to be played. Super Bowl I took place at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in California, and featured the University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band, as well as the Grambling State University Marching Band as the musical performers. While halftime shows can and do happen at any tier of
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    The University of Arizona Symphonic Marching Band was among the few who kicked off the tradition of an organized, halftime ‘show.’

    American football, the Super Bowl halftime show is renowned for its sociocultural significance and sheer size (both monetary and spiritual!). The more recent Super Bowls featured performances from pop culture idols and renowned musicians, such as Katy Perry, Beyoncé, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Black Eyed Peas, and more.

 

  1. Halftime performers are generally not paid a commission – this one may be surprising! Famous celebrities and bigtime performers that appear to liven up halftime shows aren’t actually paid for their gig (at least not for the Super Bowl…). Instead, only the production expenses of the performances – payments that go towards equipment, setup, and props – are covered. Essentially, performers are given the opportunity to showcase at the NFL Super Bowl for no cost. They’re doing it all for you!

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    Today, the Super Bowl is one of the most popular, celebrated components of Professional American football. At the same time, the halftime show of this renowned pastime has served as a platform to elevate the performing and musical arts of today’s pop culture.

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The Sports Archives – The Oldest Standing Ballpark in the U.S.A.

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A ballpark can, in one way, be equated to a church; The people and players that fill the space are what make baseball what it is, and though the memorability of each ballpark may vary through class, popularity, historical significance, or sheer size, any and every field can be special!

Every sport begins somewhere, and the same holds true for baseball. Renowned as America’s pastime, this sport’s history centers largely within the U.S., and even over a century later, the heart of baseball continues to beat with uproarious fervor, now not just in its home nation, but across the globe. Today, America’s claim to the treasured sport is irrefutable, but even so, how does the history of baseball carry weight in the United States? The intimate relationship of the sport with the American people is strengthened firsthand by the community’s enjoyment and commitment to the special sport over the years; however, baseball’s history in the U.S. also lives through the sport’s material claim to the Earth! Perhaps the largest of such “relics” which stake and sustain the legacy of baseball are the parks in which the timeless sport is played.

What is the Oldest Baseball Stadium/Ballpark in the United States?

Much like the origin background   of baseball itself, it would be pretty difficult to fish out the true story regarding the first baseball field in the United States. Isolating the oldest ballpark in the U.S. is also complicated by where the ‘line of recognition’ is drawn; a small dirt field with barely any semblance to a baseball stadium could not possibly be considered the first real baseball park in America, could it? Where is the line that separates old, amateur ballfields and the big-league professionals?

The Oldest Surviving Professional Ballpark in the United States is…

The oldest Major-League Baseball field, which is still in use today, is certainly an excellent choice for recognition. This prestigious title is held by none other than Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox and based in the heart of Massachusetts. Constructed in 1912, Fenway Park is over 100 years old today, and has seen hundreds of Red Sox players guard its field with passion across the history of its existence. The seating capacity of this field was 35,000 when it first opened (as of 2015, this number has expanded to approximately 37,000) and it boasts several notable features, such as the towering, green left-field wall known as The Monster. In May of 1999, Red Sox CEO John Harrington proposed the construction of a brand-new baseball park nearby the original Fenway Park, which would assume the role and title of its predecessor, but more modernized and replicative. The idea fell through when it sparked conflict between multiple parties involved in the decision, including a hefty majority of the Red Sox community (among whom the proposal was decidedly not popular). In 2005, plans to rebuild Fenway as a new park were formally discarded and the existing field was updated. Fenway Park is presently intended to serve as a playing field in Major League Baseball for several more decades.

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Fenway across 2 different centuries in American history. Some of the seats may be newer, the scoreboards may be more hi-tech, and the players might lie generations apart, but the spirit is one thing (among even a few physical facets of the park itself) that remains unchanged.

Despite Fenway Park’s prestige as a 100+ year old MLB field, there is something inexplicable about it that makes it less-entrenched in the commercialism of sports – a turn the industry has taken over the past century – and more concentrated on the love, passion and enjoyment of sharing America’s pastime. Perhaps it is the generations born into this park and team, or maybe it is just age. Suffice it to say, however, that Fenway is a centerpiece in the legacy of its sport and will continue to play a role in American baseball throughout the 21st Century.

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The Sports Archives – Martial Arts: Competitive and Aesthetic

A sport mandates 2 main criteria – competitive spirit and a test of the participants’ physical or mental conditioning. In fact, there are even some athletics that are regarded as sports which only meet one of these criteria, but regardless, provided that these are present in some fashion, there really is no reason not to consider a social or cultural activity a “sport.” Sports come in a variety of styles and mechanics, but they each earn their recognition through the fact that they inspire competition, teamwork, and passion in participants. Yet, when it comes to examining the array of activities that could be classified as sports, drawing a line that separates the competitive from the purely-recreational is exceptionally difficult. This is because the potential for “becoming” a sport is present in nearly everything – the deciding factor is whether an activity can be portrayed in a sporting way. Consider, as an example, painting; it is presently unfavorable in society to recognize painting as a sport, because the competitive potential of it has not been manifested in a division, organization, or event of the activity. Instead, painting is widely acknowledged as a form of art – something that explores and deepens humanity (and its many qualities) without involving the aspects of human rivalry that classify a sport. But what if an activity can be both an art form and a sport, even if not necessarily at the same time? What if something can be considered artistic in some ways and competitive in another? One of the most profound (but discounted) examples of this unique ‘hybrid sport’ is found in the field of martial arts.

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Forms are a component of the more artistic side of martial arts. Imagine choreographing a dance routine or stage performance using only self-defense moves!

Not only are the martial arts diverse (there are a plethora of various fighting techniques and “root” styles, originating primarily from the countries of Japan, China, and Korea), but they can be practiced, instructed, and celebrated in multiple fashions. The artistic facets of martial arts manifest themselves in a variety of ways, including the elevation of a clean fighting technique and the vigorous refinement of forms – eloquent, methodical sequences of moves that can be considered the martial arts-equivalent of dance numbers. The sporting elements of martial arts, on the other hand, are most notable in the live sparring of two students or, more generally, in its physically-demanding, “martial” nature. One of the greatest elements of martial arts like Kung Fu, Karate, and Tae Kwon Do is the variety that can be pulled from the aspects that define them; participants and practitioners are able to capitalize on a selection of said aspects which best suits them, much like a baseball player may become a pitcher or batter for their career. Likewise, martial arts students may choose to focus solely on the development of forms, while others may favor the sparring. Martial artists who choose to specialize are not any less artistic, nor athletic, for their decisions.

 

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This image compiles the 2 fundamental components that go into martial arts as a sport. On the left, group forms are executed with focus, discipline, and teamwork. On the right, 1-on-1 sparring demonstrates the competitive nature of martial arts, and clearly displays just how physically taxing such activities can be.

What else about the science of martial arts makes it an activity worthy of recognition as a ‘sport’? Remember that no sport is capable of prevailing without support. A sport’s following – fans and people who have dedicated and committed themselves to the instruction, evolution, and endurance of a sport – is what completes it. The same holds true for martial arts. In the United States, approximately 18 million individuals were involved in martial arts over the past year. Additionally, martial arts schools across the U.S. number close to 30,000. Each year, in America alone, numerous Tae Kwon Do competitions are held at the regional, state, and national levels, and participants follow what they do as passionately as any sports player. The sporting nature of these arts is most relatable at said competitions, where students from various locations across the country congregate and compete with each other. Forms are compared, sparring matches take place, and, most importantly, comradery develops out of a shared passion for one’s pursuits; such traits are just as common in any major sport.

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The Amateur Athletic Union also supports martial arts in the United States, from a respectively less-competitive standpoint.

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The United States Martial Arts Association functions as a nonprofit “governing body” to unify and sponsor martial arts divisions and denominations in America.

In upholding the importance of both artistry and healthy competition in human life, and with a tremendous community of committed followers, the realm of martial arts has defined itself as well as any sport across the globe. Perhaps it may seem peculiar that a sport which promotes concepts like fighting and combat proficiency could achieve such popularity among a vast public body, but, truthfully, martial arts is so much more than a fancy method of hitting someone.

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The Sports Archives – Dangers and Hazards that can shut down Golf

Interested in getting involved in golf? Maybe you already play recreationally and want to take your skills to the next level. Golf can easily be described as one of the more laid-back, relaxing sports, but in actuality, it is rife with stress, tension, and also great reward. Like many other sporting activities, what you see is not necessarily what you get; a lot more goes into golf than just the sendoff swing – and the swing is a difficult technique to master by itself! Golf is a game of strategy, planning, and level-headedness, and even the greatest players may find themselves seriously afflicted by some of the dangers and hazards on the field of play. Here are a few things to watch out for if/when you find yourself in another game of golf…

 

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Sand is clumped, jagged, and unstable. It is very easy for a ball to become ensnared in a bunker, and equally difficult for it to be removed. It is probably best to just aim well and play it safe rather than take a risky shot!

Field Hazards: If the sport of golf could be boiled down to two components, it would be the player’s swing and the course the ball must traverse to reach the hole. No golf course is simple in construction, and much planning and analysis goes into creating the ideal field of play. Most field hazards distributed throughout a game of golf are implemented by choice – they are manmade, and added to keep play interesting and competitively restrictive. The two most common forms of field hazards are water traps and bunkers. Water traps, as the name implies, are manmade or natural bodies of water around which the golf course has been constructed. They pose an obvious threat to golf balls and practically guarantee (should the ball become ensnared) that players will suffer a penalty stroke in retrieving it. Bunkers, also known plainly as sand traps, are small, manmade valleys in a golf course filled with sand. While at face value, sand may not seem quite as halting as water, the player’s momentum should the golf ball land in a bunker is nonetheless disturbed. The player has an opportunity of hitting the ball out of a bunker without suffering the penalty stroke in moving it, but they may not practice their swing before hitting the golf ball out of a trap. If the player is not careful and concise, they may lose several swings over trying to remove the golf ball from a bunker.

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This course features 2 sand traps and a partitioning water hazard. Yikes!

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Forget about how different snow would make a game of golf; can you imagine trying to find a standard golf ball when all of the ground is white?!

 

Weather: Course traps are the most blatant threat to a golfer’s game, but many more dangers can potentially populate the field – dangers which are more sporadic and play-influencing than others. For sports like baseball and football, weather conditions like rain, strong winds, and even hail can complicate and shut down gameplay. Given that golf is much more intricate and delicate than other sports, the influence of the weather is compounded. The golf course might as well be an entirely different playing field in the rain; the wet ground completely changes traction and movement for the golf ball, and the dense, wet air can constrict even the most elegant swings. Golf is so delicate, even dry air temperature can have a major influence on playability and approaches players must take – colder air is slightly denser, and as such, the ball will have a tendency to lose a little bit of the flight it would gain from a similar swing on a warmer day. Despite how unfavorable (apart from a balmy, dry day with the sun shining) the weather can be, there are a few beneficial aspects to certain weather conditions; rain will indeed wet the ground, but this also leads to wet bunkers. Sand that is dampened by water will actually clump up and make it easier to hit the ball out of such traps. Additionally, while the coarser terrain on the field will become slick as the result of the rain, the “greens” that surround the hole at the other end of the golf course will not. Putting shots will need an extra bit of force behind them, and the ball will not curve nearly as much, which could make longer putts easier. Like with any outdoor sport, lightning storms are very dangerous, especially for lone players swinging with metallic golf clubs in the midst of an open field. Play it safe and don’t risk electrocution!

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It may not seem like such a big deal, but the temperature and climate in which a golfer plays can seriously affect their performance. Identical shots taken in 2 different air temperatures start off pretty much the same, but the amount of flight the golf ball will experience differs dramatically later on!

            The threats on a golf course certainly abound, but this should never discourage an enthusiastic beginner or recreational veteran! Like with any sport, a good golf player is built by perseverance, an enduring spirit, and lots of practice. Approaching hazards in golf is all about strategy, logic, quick thinking, and taking the best shot possible. As for bad weather…maybe staying indoors and waiting for a clearer day isn’t such a bad idea!

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