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Golf History

The Romans during the reign of Caesar played a game resembling golf by striking a feather-stuffed ball with club-shaped branches. Book illustrations show the Dutch playing a similar game on their frozen canals around the 15th century. Cross-country variations became popular in France and Belgium.

Golf became firmly established in Great Britain by the 17th century when James VI of Scotland, later James I of England, was attracted to the sport. In 1860 the first British Open was played at Prestwick, Scotland. The competition was opened to both professionals and amateurs the following year.

The first permanent golf club in North America, Canada`s Royal Montreal Club, was founded in 1873. St. Andrews, one of the oldest golf clubs in the United States, was established as a 3-hole layout in 1888 at Yonkers, New York. During the next few years numerous 6, 8, 9, and 12-hole courses were opened in the East. The first 18-hole course in the United States, the Chicago Golf Club, was founded near Wheaton, Illinois in 1893. For more recent information about golf.
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players (or golfers) use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes. Golf is defined, in the rules of golf, as "playing a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the Rules."

It is one of the few ball games that does not require a standardized playing area. Instead, the game is played on a "course", generally consisting of an arranged progression of either 9 or 18 "holes". Each hole on the course must contain a "tee box" and a "putting green" with the actual hole, and there are various other standardized forms of terrain in between such as the fairway, rough, and hazards, but each hole on a course and indeed among virtually all courses is unique in its specific layout and arrangement.

Golf competition is generally played for the lowest number of strokes by an individual, known simply as stroke play, or the lowest score on the most individual holes during a complete round by an individual or team, known as match play. Stroke play is the most commonly-seen format at virtually all levels of play, although variations of match play such as "skins" games are also seen in televised events.