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Good Questions: Ryder Cup Edition

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- Each Friday, we answer some of your Good Questions. This week, with the Ryder Cup in town, Heather Brown takes a shot at answering your golf questions.

Why is the standard golf course 18 holes?

According to Scottish Golf History, very early courses in Scotland and England had five or seven holes.  Then, the prestigious Scottish course St. Andrews combined holes and came up with 11. Golfers would play it twice for 22.

St. Andrews scaled it back to eighteen in the mid-1700s and other courses followed suit.

Who is Ryder?

Samuel Ryder was an English businessman who loved and promoted golf. He made his money by selling seeds in packets.  He commissioned the first trophy for the Ryder Cup back in 1927 and the tournament was named after him.

Why is the sport called golf?

The legend that it stands for "Gentleman Only, Ladies Forbidden" is not true.

Instead, the British Golf Museum says it likely originated from the Dutch word for club -- colf.  The Scots then ran with that and called it golve, gowl or gouf. In fact, there's still a course in Scotland called the Loudon Gowf Club.


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