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Due to the status of St Andrews as the 'home of golf', other courses followed suit and the 18 hole course became the standard which has remained to the present day.
There are now more than 550 golf courses throughout the country, with at least 21 courses in Edinburgh alone.
Therefore, golf courses, whether public or private, are far more common in the Lowlands than in the Highlands and Islands, where shinty (a game which may share a common ancestry with golf) It is frequently used to market the country to potential visitors, for example for the Homecoming year in 2009, and golf tourism accounted for approximately 2% of overall Scottish tourism spending in 2004.
One page that explains the history of golf in Scotland starts off by stating that, "There has been much debate as to the origins of the game and, in some cases, how it was originally played.
The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, known as the R&A, is the world governing body for the game (except in the United States and Mexico).
The number was thereby reduced from 11 to nine, so that a complete round of the links comprised 18 holes.
One thing is certain — the game of golf as we know it was born in Scotland". The highest concentrations are around Glasgow (94 courses) and Edinburgh (67 courses), since these two cities and their environs account for the bulk of the population.
But the other districts still average about 40 courses each. Such largesse is possible because Scotland boasts more courses per head of population than any other country.
The course that emerged featured eleven holes, laid out end to end from the clubhouse to the far end of the property.
One played the holes out, turned around, and played the holes in, for a total of 22 holes.
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Around the same time, in 1552, John Hamilton the Archbishop of St Andrews granted the right of the people of St Andrews to play golf and gather turf on the links, retaining his rights to the rabbit warrens there.