A Brief History Of Golf

By: zachary skinner

Golf is an honorable game played by an overwhelming majority of honorable people who don't need referees. Golf is one of the few ball games that does not use a standardized playing area; rather, the game is played on golf "courses," each one of which has a unique design and typically consists of either 9 or 18 separate holes. Golf is not rocket science, but for all of the wrong reasons, it has been made to look that way. The origin of golf is open to debate as to being Chinese, Dutch or Scottish. However, modern golf is considered to be a Scottish invention, as the game was mentioned in two 15th century laws prohibiting the playing of the game of 'gowf'.

In match play competition, handicap strokes are assigned on a hole-by-hole basis, according to the handicap rating of each hole (which is provided by the course). The hardest holes on the course receive the first handicap strokes, with the easiest holes receiving the last handicap strokes. Calculating handicaps are often complicated, but essentially are representative of the average over par of a number of a player's previous above average rounds, adjusted for course difficulty. For example, handicap rules may include the difficulty of the course the golfer is playing on by taking into consideration factors such as the number of bunkers, the length of the course, the difficulty and slopes of the greens, the width of the fairways, and so on.

The major changes in equipment since the 19th century have been better mowers, especially for the greens, better golf ball designs, using rubber and man-made materials since about 1900, and the introduction of the metal shaft beginning in the 1930s. Though wooden tees are still most popular, various designs of plastic tees have been developed in recent years, and the synthetic materials composing the modern ball continue to be developed.

Golfers in their eighties claim that the game helps them to keep physically and mentally fit. This demand for travel which is centered around golf has led to the development of luxury resorts which cater to golfers and feature integrated golf courses. In addition to the officially printed rules, golfers also abide by a set of guidelines called Golf etiquette. A small elite of professional golfers are "tournament pros" who compete full time on international "tours". Gaining membership of an elite tour is highly competitive, and most professional golfers never achieve it.

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