14 September 2016

Why does golf have 18 holes?

The earliest golf courses had different numbers of holes, anything from 12, to 19, or 23, or any other number. They were also not always played in a defined order. Then, around 1764, Royal and Ancient St. Andrews, which had 12 holes at the time, decided to reduce the number to 10 and began playing eight of those holes twice.  In 1857, the course started to be played as a full 18 holes. Eighteen holes did not become the standard right away, but gradually more courses copied the St. Andrews model. Then, in 1858, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews issued new rules: Rule 1 stated, “One round of the Links or 18 holes is reckoned a match unless otherwise stipulated.”


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