A very early reference to the game of golf is believed to date from 1452 when King James II banned the game because it kept his subjects from their archery practice.
There is a persistent urban legend that golf is an acronym “Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden”. T’ain’t true – golf is probably derived from the Dutch word “colf”, which means stick or club.
Golf courses have not always had eighteen holes. The world-famous St. Andrews golf links in Scotland originally had 22 holes, but several were considered too short, so they were combined. This led to today’s current standard of 18-holes per course.