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Golf course

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A golf course consists of either 9 or 18 holes, each with a teeing ground that is set off by two markers showing the bounds of the legal tee area, fairway, rough and other hazards, and the putting green surrounded by the fringe with the pin (normally a flagstick) and cup.

The levels of grass are varied to increase difficulty, or to allow for putting in the case of the green. While many holes are designed with a direct line-of-sight from the teeing area to the green, some holes may bend either to the left or to the right. This is commonly called a "dogleg", in reference to a dog's knee. The hole is called a "dogleg left" if the hole angles leftwards and "dogleg right" if it bends right. Sometimes, a hole's direction may bend twice; this is called a "double dogleg".

A regular golf course consists of 18 holes, but nine-hole courses are common and can be played twice through for a full round of 18 holes.

Early Scottish golf courses were primarily laid out on links land, soil-covered sand dunes directly inland from beaches. This gave rise to the term "golf links", particularly applied to seaside courses and those built on naturally sandy soil inland.

The first 18-hole golf course in the United States was on a sheep farm in Downers Grove, Illinois, in 1892. The course is still there today.

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