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Golf is a sport in which a player, using many types of clubs including a driver, a putter, and irons, hits a ball into each hole on a golf course in the lowest possible number of strokes. Golf is one of the few ball games that does not use a standardized playing area; rather, the game is played on golf "courses", each one of which has a unique design and typically consists of either 9 or 18 holes.
The most accepted golf history theory is that golf (as practised today) originated from Scotland in the 12th century, with shepherds knocking stones into rabbit holes in the place where the famous Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews now sits.However, the origin of golf is unclear and open to debate.
The game was brought to Europe by the Mongols in the 12th and 13th centuries.
A Dutch game was mentioned on 26 February 1297 in a city called Loenen aan de Vecht. Here they played a game with a stick and leather ball. The Scottish game of gowf was mentioned in two 15th century laws prohibiting its play.
However, the modern game of golf as we understand it today originated and developed in Scotland: The first golf club memberships were formed in Scotland.
Over time, the modern game spread to England and the rest of the world.
Golf is played in an area of land designated a golf course. A course consists of a series of holes, each with a teeing area, fairway, rough and other hazards, and the green with the pin (flagstick) and cup. Different levels of grass are varied to increase difficulty or to allow for putting in the case of the green. A typical golf course consists of eighteen holes, but many smaller courses have only nine.
Some rules state that:
Every player is entitled and obliged to play the ball from the position where it has come to rest after a stroke, unless a rule allows or demands otherwise.
A player must not accept assistance in making a stroke.
The condition of the ground or other parts of the course may not be altered to gain an advantage, except in some cases defined in the rules.
A ball may only be replaced by another during play of a hole if it is destroyed, lost ,or unplayable ,or at some other time permitted by the Rules. The player may always substitute balls between the play of two holes.
A "bunker" is a hazard consisting of a prepared area from which turf or soil has been removed and replaced with sand. If the ball is in a bunker, the player must play the ball as it lies within the bunker without incuring any penalty strokes.
A "water hazard" is any sea, lake, pond, river, creek, ditch or anything of a similar nature on the course. If the ball is in a water hazard, the player may play the ball as it lies or, under penalty of one stroke, play a ball from where he or she originally hit; or, under penalty of one stroke, drop a ball at any point along the ball's flight path toward the hazard.
Lateral water hazards
A "lateral water hazard" is a water hazard so situated that it is not possible or impracticle to drop a ball behind the hazard. If the ball is in a lateral water hazard, in addition to the options for a ball in a water hazard, the player may under penalty of one stroke, drop a ball within two club lengths of the point of entry into the hazard; or, under penalty of one stroke, drop a ball on the opposite side of the hazard no closer to the hole.
Professional Golf Severiano Ballestero Miguel Ángel Martín