Welcome to the gentleman's game of golf, where the breeze often carries a distant murmur of swear words, and expensive clubs suffer routine abuse. Since its inception sometime in the Middle Ages, golf has inspired obsession. Some players are lured by the refined aura of the sport, the sweeping links and velvety greens. Others are obsessed with golfing gear -- the latest drivers, spiked shoes and fancy putters. Still others simply enjoy driving around in the golf cart.
There's no denying that golf sings a siren's song. Too often, however, that song is soured by a wicked slice or a ball that plummets to its final resting place at the bottom of a water trap. "They call it golf because all the other four-letter words were taken," said championship golfer and course designer Ray Floyd.
Before you throw down your clubs in frustration or unleash a string of profanity that would make your mother blush, we offer 10 tips, from the most basic fundamentals to the golden rule of golf, that will help you save your sanity and improve your swing.