|It was in the Roman Empire they first played a simple game called paganica. Players used a bent stick to drive a malleable, feather-stuffed ball. It took another five centuries for the game to develop on the other continents. Golf, the Scottish version, the version that eventually developed into the game played today is most likely a direct descendant of the game originally played in Rome. However, there is very little in the way of factual information to support this idea. There were many similar games in Europe; in France one could play jeu de mail, in England it was cambuca, and het kolven in the Netherlands. It is reported that as early as 1657 a form of the game of golf made it to the American colonies.
Played as a relaxing recreational sport or as a high stakes competitive game, golf, as played in Scotland, is one of the fastest growing and most popular sports in the world. The premise is simple, players use a diverse array of clubs to drive a small, hard ball over a prescribed course, onto a green and into one in a series of 18 holes, (in some cases only 9). The goal is to successfully get the ball into 18 different holes while negotiating specifically designed terrain all the while attempting to avoid a series of obstacles; trees, water and sand traps, in as few strokes as possible. Current records indicate more then twenty-two million people play golf in the United States, with almost half being professional players. A great spectator sport, golf tournaments have become very popular throughout the world. Today, with world-wide communications using television and internet for coverage of tournaments, and with the increasing amount of sponsorship money available because of this media exposure, golf has become one of the worlds top sports for athletes to earn money.
To be continued.