Golf

Golf is a game in which a player, using many types of clubs including a driver, a putter, and irons, hits a ball into each hole on a golf course in the lowest possible number of strokes. 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 holes. 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." A golf ball next to a hole A golf ball next to a hole The first game of golf for which records survive was played at Bruntsfield Links, in Edinburgh, Scotland, in A.D. 1456, recorded in the archives of the Edinburgh Burgess Golfing Society, now The Royal Burgess Golfing Society. The modern game of golf spread from Scotland to England and has now become a worldwide game, with golf courses in the majority of countries. Golf competition may be played as stroke play, in which the individual with the lowest number of strokes is declared the winner, stableford points play (as devised in 1931 by Dr. Frank Stableford of the Wallasey & Royal Liverpool Golf Clubs), in which the individual with the highest points score is declared the winner or as match play with the winner determined by whichever individual or team posts the lower score on the most individual holes during a complete round. In addition, team events such as fourball have been introduced, and these can be played using either the stroke, stableford or matchplay format. Alternative ways to play golf have also been introduced, such as miniature golf, sholf and disc golf. Golf has increasingly turned into a spectator game, with several different levels of professional and amateur tours in many regions of the world. People such as Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sorenstam have become well recognized sports figures across the world. Sponsorship has also become a huge part of the game and players often earn more from their sponsorship contracts than they do from the game itself.

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