Understanding The Story Behind 18-Holes

Golfers Expect 18-Holes

18-holes is a substantial standard for most golf courses globally. Whether you are at the Emirates Golf Club in Dubai or Allister Mackenzie Golf Course in Sacramento, CA, this is true. Most golfers and non-golfers alike know this as the contemporary status quo. In the past, the world of golf was much different. Golf courses had varying numbers of holes, and there were no strict regulations on the amount of holes. In fact, available land often determined how many holes were on a course. However, today 18 holes are what most of us expect on the golf course, leading to why golfers chose the number in the first place.

The Legend Of The Irish Whiskey Bottle

Just imagine a dank and musky Irish tavern, perhaps called The 19th Hole, with golfers from the Age of Ascendancy clamoring around a whiskey bottle. They settle bets and drink with their playing partners after the round. At some point, the revelation that a whiskey bottle has 18 shots and, therefore, the golf hole standard will be 18 holes was made. And so often, the old Irish bar where 18 holes became was an entertaining dinner story. After all, one could easily conceive how 18 shots in a whiskey bottle contained the same number of shots as holes on a course in Ireland. But this tale is just an urban legend.

So, What Is The Real Reason Behind 18 Holes In Golf?

The story dates back to 1764 at the Old Course at St. Andrews, where there were twelve holes initially. Golfers would play ten of the twelve holes forward and then back, making 22 holes. Subsequently, golfers combined four of the holes into two. This change marked the beginning of 18 holes in golf.

Today, the golf industry is changing and offering more alternatives for golfers. Although eighteen holes remain the status quo, there are now courses with varying amounts of holes around the globe, but 18 holes are predominant. For how long is now the question.

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