Golf is an outdoor sport where individual players or
teams play a small ball into a hole using various clubs.
It is defined in the Rules of Golf as "playing
a ball with a club from the teeing ground into the hole
by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with
the Rules." Golf is believed to have originated
in Scotland and has been played for several centuries
in the British Isles and continuously in the United
States since 1887 (Foxburg, Pennsylvania).
Although often viewed as an elite pastime, golf is
increasingly popular and continues to attract ever more
players around the world. Golf can be scored by stroke
play or match play. In stroke play, the number of shots
taken for the whole round or tournament is counted to
produce the total score, and the player with the lowest
score wins. A variant of stroke play is Stableford scoring,
where a number of points (two for the target score)
are given for each hole, and the fewer shots taken,
the more points obtained, so the aim is to have as many
points as possible.
Another variant of stroke play, the Modified Stableford
method, awards points on each hole in relation to par
and then adds the points over a round; for more details
on this method, see the article on The INTERNATIONAL,
a tournament that uses Modified Stableford scoring.
In match play, every hole is played as a separate contest,
with the goal of winning as many holes as possible;
when one player's lead exceeds the number of holes remaining
in the round, the match ends.