All About Golf

Golf is a centuries-old game of skill with a rich history, popular for both exercise and relaxation. Modern professional golf has millions of fans worldwide and is set against some of the most gorgeous backdrops of world-class golf courses.

The sport of golf consists of simple elements, but centuries of refinement have led to the popular sport we know today.


Golf is most associated with Scotland, and while the Scottish connection to the game runs deep, there may be elements of many other traditions in the game as it is played today. Both the Roman Empire and ancient China have records of games and contests based around hitting a small ball with a stick or rod. The roots of golf may have a connection to an early Persian stick sport that also gave rise to polo. Even in Northern Europe, the early games upon which modern golf developed may have first emerged in the Netherlands before migrating to Scotland.

Even if it did not originate there, Scotland’s passion for golf is undeniable. In the 15th century golf was such a preoccupation that it got in the way of military service and was hence banned by royal decree in 1457. Golf was legalized again in 1502, and from there, spread across the European continent. Even today, many of the world’s top golf courses are in Scotland and many historical firsts for the sport are rooted there.

Golf as we know it today began to emerge from these origins. The first golfer’s club in the Scottish town of Leith began formalizing rules as well as an annual golf competition in the mid 1700s. The concept of an 18-hole golf course grew from the course at St.Andrews, now considered the historic home of modern golf.

Through the centuries interest in the game has not subsided. The combination of skill and camaraderie have only increased interest in golf over time.

Playing Golf

What probably began as simple contests to hit a small stone or projectile towards a goal, has become a sport of exactitude and finesse. The original outline of rules dating from the 1700s included just 13 regulations. Current codes extend that and standardize the sport, including balls, tees, clubs and course layout.

Golf is played hole by hole and each hole begins with an initial drive from a starting area called the “teeing ground”. In golf, low scores are the goal indicating getting your ball to the hole in the least amount of strokes. Golf courses are designed with challenge in mind. 

On most courses the clearest route to the hole from the teeing ground is a well-maintained area of low grass called the “fairway”. The fairway is bordered by challenges to the golfer called “hazards”. In order to efficiently direct your ball to its goal, you’ll likely have to strategically navigate it to the hole while avoiding water, high grass and sand. Each hole on a course is located on a specially maintained area of lawn called a “green” designed to facilitate the precise close shots needed to sink the ball into the hole.

Over time, golf clubs have evolved to meet the many strategies a player needs in golf. Drivers are clubs used for making the initial stroke from the teeing ground towards the hole. Drivers are often wood clubs that help the player get distance with the ball. While moving towards the green, middle irons are used for greater accuracy. Finally, close to the hole a club with a straight face is used for the precision job of putting.

Accessing the Legacy

Whether you’ve been playing for years or are new to the game, the Lake Carroll golf course can help you have an exceptional experience on the green. With lovely views of the rolling hills of northwestern Illinois, this gem of a course is open to players of all skill levels.

For those new to golf,  there’s no better place to start than with lessons and practice. Lake Carroll’s golf pros offer lessons to develop posture and swing and the courses driving range helps you perfect your technique

The golf aficionado might also want to note –  the Lake Carroll golf course is an amenity for the region’s property owners, with no membership or greens fees for Lake Carroll homeowners