I love golf and I love bits and pieces of history, so these facts on Golf Holes combine my two loves,
The 18 holes come from the renovations of the Old Course at St. Andrews, the ostensible first golf course from 1400’s.
In 1848 or so, with the invention of the new, cheap, golf ball, the Brits went golf mad, like the tennis buffs in the 1970’s and the joggers in the ‘1980’s. They were churning up the Old Course something fierce, playing the 9 holes both directions, (this was way it was done, up, then back same course.)
So decisions were made to alleviate the problem. First thought was to extend the course and bring it around into a circle, ending at beginning. This was met with great uproar and consternation. So the additional 8 greens were added by increasing the width and people go up “the back nine” and back the additional.
Then George V saw what they had done and had an 18 hole course built at Richmond Palace, with the object in mind to provide the people who couldn’t afford the private clubs a golf course. Old Course at St. Andrews 18 hole, this Prince’s and the subsequent Duke’s courses are part of the heart of the British people.