Golf as we know it emerged in Scotland. The Scots were playing golf in its very basic form—take a club, swing it at a ball, move ball from starting point to finishing point in as few strokes as possible—by at least the mid-15th Century.
The medieval Dutch word "kolf" or "kolve" meant "club." It is believed that word passed to the Scots, whose old Scots dialect transformed the word into "golve," "gowl," or "gouf."
Eighteen holes did not become the standard for golf courses until the early 1900s, but from 1764 onward, more courses copied the St. Andrews 18-hole model. Then, in 1858, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews issued new rules.
At least not until the mid-18th Century, when the first known written rules of golf were put into writing by the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith, now the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers based at Muirfield. The rules were written for the Annual Challenge for the Edinburgh Silver Club in 1744.
"Fore" is another word for "ahead" or "forward" (think of a ship's fore and aft). And in golf, yelling "fore" is simply a shorter way to yell "watch out ahead" (or "watch out before"). It allows golfers to be forewarned, in other words. A forecaddie is a person who accompanies a grouping of golfers around the golf course, going forward on each hole to be in a position to pinpoint the locations of the group members' shots. If a member of the group hits an errant shot, the forecaddie tracks down the ball and lets the golfer know its location.
The size of the golf hole on every putting green on every standard golf course in the world is 4.25 inches in diameter.
Really, basic scorekeeping in golf is very simple: Every time you swing at the golf ball with the intention of hitting it, that's a stroke. Every time you make a stroke, count it. At the end of each hole - after you've rolled the ball into the cup - tally the strokes you used on that hole. And that's your score for the hole.
A round of golf, on average, is expected to take about four hours to play for a group of four golfers. That is the estimate most golfers will give for an appropriate length of time to play 18 holes (18 holes is the length of a "standard" round of golf). But the actual time it takes to play varies for many reasons.
Green fees vary depending on the type of facility and the golf market where you live or are visiting.
Golf courses are collections of golf holes. A standard round of golf consists of playing 18 holes, and a "full-sized" golf course contains 18 holes. The golf course includes elements of the holes such as teeing grounds, fairways, and putting greens, plus rough and all other areas that are within the boundaries of the golf course.
Many of them relate to the safety of golfers, many relate to pace of play (which helps keep the game enjoyable), and other rules of golf etiquette relate to maintaining the quality of the golf course.
Many golf courses do have dress codes. But not all of them. Many municipal golf courses do not have dress codes—except, of course, in the sense that you must be dressed! (No shirt, no service.)
That one number that all golf balls share is an identification number that almost always appears right below the name of the golf ball's brand. This number is most likely to be a 1, 2, 3, or 4 (although it can also be anything from a zero to a 9—and, in recent times, golf ball customization has allowed some golfers to order a double-digit number in this spot).
The number of dimples on today's golf balls typically ranges between 300 and 500, with variations between make and model of golf balls.
Wearing a golf glove is not a requirement to play the game, but it is recommended. Why is that? It's pretty simple: A golf glove helps the golfer maintain a secure hold on the golf club. The human hand simply isn't as tacky as the material used in golf gloves. This is especially true when the golfer is sweating, or when the grips of one's golf clubs are wet. A golf glove will provide a more secure grip on the club.
The answer to that question is mostly "no." But some golf courses do require golf shoes, and even at the majority that don't wearing golf shoes will help you play better golf.