The Game of Golf
If you adhere to Mark Twain's conviction that "Golf is a good walk spoiled," chances are you belong to the majority in America. In comparison with Sweden golf is nevertheless more common in the on this side of the Atlantic, where almost 10 percent of the population plays — here it's also a heavily male dominated sport with 80 percent of golfers men.
Golf expanded in popularity in the U.S. during the Roaring Twenties and there were over 1,000 clubs already in the early 1930s. The game of golf was invented in Scotland in the 15th century, and while the first club in America was established in 1787, it was brought to Sweden and most other countries in the late 19th century. In its current form, it involves the use of graphite or metal clubs to hit a small, hard ball into a cup on each of 18 different holes on a golf course. These holes can range in distance from slightly over 100 yards to 600 yards or more. Each swing a golfer takes is called a stroke and counts toward his or her total score. The number of strokes a player takes through an entire round is the player’s score, with the lowest score winning.
Although the earliest golf course in St. Andrews, Scotland started with 22 holes (11 on the outgoing course and 11 on the finishing course), several holes were eliminated, resulting in the 18 holes that became the worldwide standard for all golf courses.
Players begin each hole from the tee box. They try to drive the ball into the fairway, hit an approach shot onto the green, and then putt the ball into the cup. Along the way, different man-made or natural hazards (ponds, high grass, trees, sand bunkers and traps) and weather elements (wind, rain) hinder progress and increase the difficulty of playing a hole. Each hole is designated as either a par-3, par-4 or par-5, which indicates the benchmark number of stokes allowed for that hole. For the entire 18 holes, “par” is typically 72. If a player takes fewer than 72 strokes, he shoots “under par.” If he takes more than 72 strokes, he shoots “over par.”

The number of golfers in the traditional golfing countries has been on a constant decline for years. Read more on how a Swedish entrepreneur responded to an industry crisis by balancing environmental, economic and lifestyle issues: Reinventing the Game of Golf in Sweden