The Game of Golf
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Golf has come a long way since its roots in 15th century Scotland, where
it was played with a bent tree branch and a small leather bag filled with
feathers. The game grew from there until the game, as we know it
today, originated at St. Andrews, Scotland, in 1744. The first
American golf course, which had three holes, was built during 1888 in
the city of Yonkers, New York, and was called the St. Andrews Golf Club.
The game was mostly enjoyed by the wealthy until 1913, when a 20-year-old caddie named Francis Ouimet surprised everyone by being the first American to win the U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, Massachusetts. Since then, golf has become increasingly popular in America; today more than 24 million Americans enjoy the game of golf.
Because you don't need special athletic ability to play the game, golf is enjoyed by men, women, and children alike. While golf is a great form of exercise — playing 18 holes is the equivalent of walking five miles — many people use the game as a form of relaxation.
The fact that golf is played outdoors on some of the most beautiful pieces of land in the world adds to the game's serenity. The area of land on which golf is played is called a golf course, each of which consists of 9 or 18 holes. When you play those 9 or 18 holes, you are playing what is called "a round of golf."
The object of the game is to play all the holes on the course, using as few strokes as possible to get your ball from the teeing ground — the starting point — to the cup — the ending point — on each hole. The golf clubs, used to hit the golf balls, vary in length and design, and are referred to as woods, irons, or putters.
Every hole on the course is assigned a par of either three, four, or five. The par, which is different for men and women, is based on the length of the hole measured in yards. When playing the game, your score is determined by the number of strokes it takes you to play each hole. Only the best golfers golf at or below par. Handicaps, assigned to golfers of varied skill levels, are used so that golfers of different abilities can compete with one another. A golfer's handicap number is based on the score which a golfer normally shoots.
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The Game of Golf
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