An Individual Game - Golf

  • Added:
    Jan 30, 2013
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Golf at Grand Royale
Golf at Grand Royale
Photo by BEST PHOTO

Golf is one of a number of games men have played with sticks since the earliest times; others are the different forms of hockey and polo, played on horseback. Unlike the others, however, golf is an individual game, and its origins can be traced to one country. Scotland. Hockey, too, was played in Scotland in a rough form several hundred years ago and seems to have derived from the Irish game of hurling. Polo, on the other hand, is of Asian origin, and something like it was played in Persia around 600 BC.

The modern game of golf is played by up to four players. Standard golf courses consist of eighteen holes of between 100 and 600 metres in length, the object being to hit a small white ball into a hole in the fewest possible strokes. Courses are designed so that good players can normally complete a hole in four, and a round of eighteen holes in 72 strokes, but this is not just a matter of strength and direction, since the average hole encloses various hazards – sand traps (called bunkers), trees, ponds and streams – to complicate the task. Golfers normally use woods (clubs with wooden heads) for their first shot, irons (with metal heads) for the intermediate strokes, and a putter for the final strokes on the carefully tended greens, which are usually surrounded by bunkers.

Golf is mentioned in documents from the Scottish court as early as 1424, but it was not until 1744 that the first golf club was formed in Edinburgh, and not until 1860 that the first major championship, the British Open, was played. Since then golf has spread all over the world, above all to the United States, the former British dominions, European countries, South America, and in recent years to Japan and Southeast Asia. For most people, the game is still expensive. Apart from the cost of a set of clubs and the balls, the considerable space required for golf courses and the need to maintain them in good condition has usually made it a rich man`s sport. This is not the case, however, in its original home, Scotland, there boys and girls are taught to play from an early age on the many public courses where one can play for as little as 2 pounds a round.           

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