This is a game which has been played for centuries, but in recent years golf has become increasingly popular across all sections of society, including the disabled. Although played by all ages it is frequently the sport chosen by the active older generation. Golf has all the elements needed from an outdoor activity - it provides exercise, skills to master, the enjoyment of being outside in beautiful scenery along with the company of like minded people.
The oldest course in the world is the Musselburgh Links course in Scotland where golf has been played since 1672. Earlier versions of the game were played before this in both Britain and Northern Europe. There is also some evidence that a game very similar to modern golf was played in China 500 years before this!
Basic elements of the game
The area of land where the game of golf is played on is known as the course and the place where the first stroke is played is called the tee. After teeing off a player hopes the ball will land on the fairway where the grass is kept short and it can be hit with a clean stroke. If it lands in the rough, the balls exit will be far less predictable. Even worse it could land in a hazard - lakes, rivers and sand bunkers where special rules apply.
The player is aiming for the putting green, the area of manicured grass around the hole. Once on the green the ball is putted into the hole. Most courses have 18 holes and each hole is classified by its par. This is the number of strokes a skilled golfer needs to complete the hole from the tee. Holes are normally graded as three, four or five par. A typical 18 hole golf course may consist of 4 par three, 10 par four and 4 par-five holes making up the par 72 course.