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Golf as we know it first started in Scotland, where it was called “gouf.” From its earliest days, it had loyal adherents. Shepherds in the Scottish countryside would try to hit a pebble into a rabbit hole with their staffs. After a while, the shepherds would all compete, which raised the question of who was watching the sheep. The Scots were the first ones to develop a ball and stick game with a hole. By the 16th century, golf was popular with kings and commoners alike. Mary, Queen of Scots was criticized for playing, but she didn’t care. Golfers took the game seriously even then, and wrote how-to guides on improving your stroke. By then, balls were made of feathers wrapped in horsehide. Clubs were called cleeks, and were made of various woods. Golf also had a version of a handicap system. In the 18th century, golf clubs looked almost modern. Shafts were made of hazel or ash, and heads were made of beechwood or iron. The ball was still feathers and horsehair, but better made. Golf also had written rules, instituted in 1744 at Leith Links, web site, such as “the ball must be played where it lies.” No cheating, now!