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The Game of Golf

The modern game of golf is generally considered to be a Scottish invention. The word golf, or in Scots,gouf, meaning "stick, "club". The Old Links, Musselburgh, is the oldest playing golf course in the world. There is also a story that Mary, Queen of Scots, played there in the year1567. The oldest surviving rules of golf were written in 1744 for the Company of Gentlemen Golfers, later renamed The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.

The Spreading of Golf
In 1880 England had 12 courses, rising to 50 in 1887 and over 1000 by 1914. By the 1880s golf clubs had been established in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa. However, as in England, it was not until the late 19th century that golf started to become firmly established. By 1910 there were 267 clubs. During the 1920’s the game expanded greatly in popularity and by 1932 there were over 1,100 golf clubs affiliated to the USGA. By 1980 there were over 5,000 USGA affiliated clubs, and today the total exceeds 9,700. During the 1920s and early 30's several new courses were built, however the great depression and increasing anti-Western sentiment limited the growth of the game. By the time of the Japanese attacks against the USA and British Empire in 1941 there were 23 courses. By 1956 there were 72 courses in Japan. Between 1960 and 1964 the number of golf courses in Japan increased from 195 to 424. By the early 1970s there were over 1,000 courses. By 2009 there were over 2,400 courses. The popularity of golf in Japan also caused many golf resorts to be created across the Pacific Rim. The evolution of golf can be explained by the development of the equipment used to play the game. Some of the most notable advancements in the game of golf have come from the development of the golf ball. The golf ball took on many different shapes and sizes .The introduction of steel shafts began in the late 1890s, but their adoption by the governing bodies of golf was slow. In the early 1970s, shaft technology shifted again with the use of graphite for its lightweight and strength characteristics. The latest golf club technology employs the use of graphite shafts and lightweight titanium heads, which allows the club head to be made much larger than previously possible. The strength of these modern materials also allows the face of the club to be much thinner, which increases the spring-like effect of the club face on the ball. In 1905, golf ball manufacturer William Taylor was the first to add the dimple pattern using the Coburn Haskell ball. Golf balls had now taken on their modern form. The first powered golf car appeared around 1962 and was invented by Merlin L. Halvorson. In the stroke play era of the PGA Championship (which we consider a more difficult, challenging and competitive era) only two golfers have won this tournament at least four times. Tiger Woods is one of them. Woods' victories happened in 1999, 2000, 2006 and 2007. Through 2010, Woods had finished second two other times, and had two other Top 10 finishes.