Golf is very popular in Australia. At the time of writing it’s estimated that around 1.3 million Aussie residents play golf regularly and there are more than 1500 golf courses on the continent.
Golf also can be one of the most financially rewarding pursuits and Australian professional golfers can win big money on many Tours worldwide, with the most lucrative the US PGA Tour.
Australians have been playing golf for over 150 years, much longer than they have played at casinoaus of course. The first golf courses in Australia were built at the beginning of the 19th century.
Golf is a sport that comes with a strict code of conduct. Naturally social golf can be fairly unstructured, but when playing in a competition round players need to sharpen up. For example, players will need their own (and appropriate equipment), as well as knowledge of the rules. In addition, players must observe the accepted etiquette and spirit of the game.
Australia has given the world brilliant golfers as Greg Norman, Aaron Baddeley, Adam Scott, Karrie Webb amongst many others. It is also home to world famous courses such as Royal Melbourne, NSW, Kingston Heath and Barnbougle Dunes just to name a few.
Hollywood movies often depict golf as a game only for the elite solely for the prosperous stratum of society, however that isn’t the case and in Australia public and (many) private courses allow access to all standard of players.
If you are new to the game, here are five interesting facts about golf.
The origin of the word golf
The word “golf” came from Holland. The traditional Dutch word is “kolve” or “kolf”. The Dutch introduced the game to the Scots via trading during the 14th to 17th centuries. Because of linguistic differences, the Scottish dialect transformed the initial pronunciation and the word became “gouff” or “goff” and finally the sport was confirmed as golf.
The game was originally invented by shepherds. When roaming with their herds they hit rocks using sticks and Scotland’s natural landscape was the perfect place for having a hit!
The number 18
Most Australian courses (and those worldwide) have 18 holes. They are divided into a front nine and the back nine. Therefore “a round” of golf usually comprises of eighteen holes.
Bird feathers and golf
The first golf balls were made from leather stuffed with bird feathers and stitched into a ball. As the game evolved so has the humble golf ball, now made from all types of fancy materials in multi layers that allow the player to hit greater and greater distances. The first feathered balls were last used in the middle of the 19th century.
Where is the hole?
Golf holes appear on the golf green and that’s where you are trying to get your ball from the tee in the smallest number of strokes possible. However, the golf hole never stays in one place, constantly moved by green keepers so areas have time to recover and to keep the condition of the greens in the best shape possible. Moving golf holes is essential especially at busy courses where the grass is at risk of being worn out.