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In points of sail that range from close-hauled to a broad reach, sails act substantially like a wing, with lift predominantly propelling the craft. In points of sail from a broad reach to down wind, sails act substantially like a parachute, with drag predominantly propelling the craft. For craft with little forward resistance ice boats and land yachts, this transition occurs further off the wind than for sailboats and sailing ships.
Wind direction for points of sail always refers to the true wind—the wind felt by a stationary observer. The apparent wind—the wind felt by an observer on a moving sailing craft—determines the motive power for sailing craft.
True wind velocity (VT) combines with the sailing craft’s velocity (VB) to be the apparent wind velocity (VA), the air velocity experienced by instrumentation or crew on a moving sailing craft. Apparent wind velocity provides the motive power for the sails on any given point of sail. It varies from being the true wind velocity of a stopped craft in irons in the no-go zone to being faster than the true wind speed as the sailing craft’s velocity adds to the true windspeed on a reach, to diminishing towards zero, as a sailing craft sails dead downwind.
The goal is to play as few strokes per round as possible. A golfer’s number of strokes in a hole, course, or tournament is compared to its respective par score, and is then reported either as the number that the golfer was “under-” or “over-par”, or if it was “equal to par”. A hole in one (or an “ace”) occurs when a golfer sinks their ball into the cup with their first stroke from the tee. Common scores for a hole also have specific terms.
There are many variations in scoring and playing formats in the game of golf, some officially defined in the Rules of Golf. Variations include the popular Stableford scoring system, and various team formats. Some common and popular examples are listed below.
The USGA and R&A sanction a “Modified Stableford” system for scratch players, which makes par worth zero, a birdie worth 2, eagle 5 and double-eagle 8, while a bogey is a penalty of -1 and a double-bogey or worse -3. As with the original system, the highest score wins the game, and terrible scores on one or two holes won’t wreck an entire game, but this system rewards “bogey-birdie” play more than the original, encouraging golfers to try to make the riskier birdie putt or eagle chipshot instead of simply parring each hole.
Handicap systems have potential for abuse by players who may intentionally play badly to increase their handicap (sandbagging) before playing to their potential at an important event with a valuable prize. For this reason, handicaps are not used in professional golf, but they can still be calculated and used along with other criteria to determine the relative strengths of various professional players. Touring professionals, being the best of the best, have negative handicaps; they can be expected, more often than not, to score lower than the Course Rating on any course.
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