The exact origin of golf is unclear, some say the origin lies in the Roman game called paganica, others that golf can be tracked down to the Dutch, French and Belgian game "chole". However, the most accepted theory is that golf originated from Scotland in the 1100s, where Scottish shepherds knocked stones into rabbit holes in the place where the famous St. Andrews Golf Club now sits.
Golf's popularity spread from Scotland and England to the British Commonwealth, to India and the United States and other parts of the world. In 1829, India established the first golf club outside the United Kingdom called the Royal Calcutta. The Royal Montreal, which was founded in 1873, was the first North American golf club.
Today golf has become extremely popular around the world and golf tourism is a multi million dollars industry. It is estimated that over 50 million golf tourists travel the world to play golf on some of the around 32,000 golf courses worldwide.