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Golf is an outdoor game in which players hit a small hard ball with specially designed clubs that consist of a metal shaft and a wooden or a metal club head. The object is to strike the ball with the club so that the ball goes into a cup that is sunk in the ground and marked with a flag. A standard golf course is divided into 18 holes, each with a tee, where the initial stroke is made; a grass fairway; and a green, a smooth grass surface where the cup is located.

Each player attempts to reach the green and hit the ball into the cup using as few strokes as possible. Obstacles -- such as water, tall grass called rough, or traps filled with sand -- may be found near the green or fairway. As many as 14 different types of clubs may be used depending on the length of shot required or the terrain. The distance from tee to cup varies greatly, but generally it is from 100 to 600 yards. The length and difficulty of the hole determine the par, the number of strokes that a good golfer would need to put the ball into the cup. After 18 holes, the player with the lowest number of strokes is the winner of that round.

Golf tournaments are typically won by the player with the best (lowest) cumulative score after four rounds.

 

The Masters

Four major golf tournaments carry the most important titles in professional golf. They are the Masters, the Professional Golfer's Association Tournament (PGA), the U.S. Open, and the British Open. The Masters played at the Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia, is the most sought-after title in professional golf. The winners of the Masters Tournament up to 1993 are listed below.

 

Year
Winner
Score
Year
Winner
Score
 1934 Horton Smith 284  1964  Arnold Palmer  276
 1935 Gene Sarazen* 282  1965  Jack Nicklaus  271
 1936 Horton Smith 285  1966  Jack Nicklaus*  288
 1937 Byron Nelson  283  1967  Gay Brewer  280
 1938  Henry Picard  285  1968  Bob Goalby  277
 1939 Ralph Guldahl  279  1969  George Archer  281
 1940 Jimmy Demaret  280  1970  Billy Casper*  279
 1941  Craig Wood  280  1971  Charles Coody  279
 1942 Byron Nelson*  280  1972  Jack Nicklaus  286
 1943 No tournament held    1973 Tommy Aaron  283
 1944 No tournament held    1974  Gary Player  278
 1945 No tournament held    1975  Jack Nicklaus  276
 1946 Herman Keiser  282  1976  Ray Floyd  271
 1947 Jimmy Demaret  281  1977  Tom Watson  276
 1948 Claude Harmon  279  1978  Gary Player  277
 1949  Sam Snead  282  1979 Fuzzy Zoeller*  280
 1950 Jimmy Demaret  283  1980 Severiano Ballesteros  275
 1951 Ben Hogan  274  1981  Tom Watson  280
 1952  Sam Snead*  289  1982  Craig Stadler*  284
 1953  Ben Hogan  274  1983  Severiano Ballesteros  280
 1954  Sam Snead*  289  1984  Ben Crenshaw  277
 1955 Cary Middlecoff  279  1985  Bernhard Langer  282
 1956  Jack Burke  289  1986  Jack Nicklaus  279
 1957  Doug Ford  283  1987  Larry Mize*  285
 1958 Arnold Palmer  284  1988  Sandy Lyle  281
 1959  Art Wall, Jr.  284  1989  Nick Faldo  283
 1960 Arnold Palmer  282  1990  Nick Faldo  278
 1961 Gary Player  280  1991  Ian Woosman  277
 1962 Arnold Palmer*  280  1992  Fred Couples  275
 1963 Jack Nicklaus  286  1993  Bernhard Langer  277

 

* Won in a playoff