Golf is a cross-country game that originated in Scotland, but has become widely popular in the United States. It involves striking a small ball with various clubs from a series of starting points (teeing grounds) into a series of holes on a course. The player who completes the course with the fewest strokes wins.
Golf as an organized game in the United States dates back to 1888, when the St. Andrew's Golf Club was founded in Yonkers, New York, by John Reid, a Scot who is regarded as "the father of American golf". Since then, golf has grown to become one of the most popular sports in the country, with more than 25 million Americans playing golf on a golf course in 2022, or 8% of the total population. Additionally, 34.2 million people played golf both on and off course, and 15.5 million people participated in off-course golf activities like driving ranges and golf simulators in 2019.
The United States is home to some of the most prestigious and renowned golf courses in the world, such as Pebble Beach Golf Links, Augusta National Golf Club, Pinehurst Resort, and Oakland Hills Country Club. The country also hosts some of the major championships of professional golf, such as the U.S. Open, the Masters Tournament, the PGA Championship, and the Ryder Cup. The United States has produced some of the greatest golfers of all time, such as Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, and Bobby Jones.
Golf is not only a sport, but also a social and economic phenomenon in the United States. It provides recreation, entertainment, health benefits, and networking opportunities for millions of people. It also contributes to the tourism industry, the real estate market, the environmental conservation, and the charitable causes. According to the National Golf Foundation, golf generated $84.1 billion of direct economic impact in 2016, supporting 1.89 million jobs and $58.7 billion of wage income.
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