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There is nothing more relaxing or enjoyable than taking in a round of golf with friends or family. Stereotyped as an old-man sport, in recent years golf has undergone something of a revival with young bloods such as Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, and Luke McDonald, blazing a fashionable trail. Nor is golf a 'men only' preserve anymore: top players such as Lorena Ochoa and Cristie Kerr are staking their own claim to the soil. From dedicated players to utter beginners, and everything in between, golf is sure to pique both you and your family's interest.
Golf has a number of widely debated origins; the Romans game of paganica is reputed to the forerunner of modern golf, spreading as it did throughout Europe during the Roman conquest; others cite the Chinese game of chuiwan, played between the eighth and fourteenth century. However, a form of golf was played in both England and France during the middle ages, known respectively as cambuca and chambot, before being exported to the rest of Europe. Nonetheless the most accepted version of the origin of golf traces back to St. Andrews, Scotland, in the twelfth century, where apparently shepherds would knock stones into rabbit holes on the current site of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. The brilliance of gold lies in its handicapping, allowing for every players weaknesses and strengths and ensuring a fair game between all, this system often means that youth is not always an advantage - an eighty-seven year old player can frequently thrash a 'young blood' so watch out grandchildren!
Golf is one of those all inclusive sports that every age can play, from the youngest child just picking up his, or her, first club to Granny who has been playing for a good sixty years, the enjoyment level is the same. Golf is a family game and invaluable to teaching your kids some old fashioned manners and etiquette now sadly lacking from much of our society, whilst providing a fresh day out. Renting a holiday cottage with access to golf could be a perfect vacation as the UK contains some of the most beautiful courses in the world, St. Andrews coming first to mind, although perhaps owing more to its history. The Berkshire Golf Course is reputed to be one of the finest courses to play, and a sure treat for any golfing enthusiasts, no matter their handicap. Muirfield in Clyde Scotland, and home to the oldest golf club (founded 1774) is well worth a visit, the Royal St George in England is known for subtly blending and enhancing the natural beauty of its surroundings, finally for those more experienced golfers Carnoustie in Scotland is considered to be one of the most difficult courses in Britain - enjoy!