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There are other standard forms of terrain in between, such as the fairway, rough (long grass), sand traps (or "bunkers"), and various hazards (water, rocks, fescue) but each hole on a course is unique in its specific layout and arrangement.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.

A "round" typically consists of 18 holes that are played in the order determined by the course layout.Traditionally, golfers used mounds of sand to elevate the ball, and containers of sand were provided for the purpose.A few courses still require sand to be used instead of peg tees, to reduce litter and reduce damage to the teeing ground.A regular golf course consists of 18 holes, but nine-hole courses are common and can be played twice through for a full round of 18 holes.This gave rise to the term "golf links", particularly applied to seaside courses and those built on naturally sandy soil inland.While many holes are designed with a direct line-of-sight from the teeing area to the green, some holes may bend either to the left or to the right.This is commonly called a "dogleg", in reference to a dog's knee.Playing a hole on a golf course is initiated by putting a ball into play by striking it with a club on the teeing ground (also called the tee box, or simply the tee).For this first shot on each hole, it is allowed but not required for the golfer to place the ball on a tee prior to striking it.Shorter holes may be initiated with other clubs, such as higher-numbered woods or irons.Once the ball comes to rest, the golfer strikes it again as many times as necessary using shots that are variously known as a "lay-up", an "approach", a "pitch", or a "chip", until the ball reaches the green, where he or she then "putts" the ball into the hole (commonly called "sinking the putt" or "holing out").

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