The Equipment and the Course
The development of the modern golf course is rooted in the nature of the Scottish landscape. The course at Old St. Andrews, established in 1754, followed the greens, closely cropped by grazing hares and sheep, through the natural sand dunes typical of the Scottish lowland coasts, and between the extensive patches of brush which formed the first "rough."
It was the nature of the early golf links that determined the development of a typical set of golf clubs. From the simple crooked stick of the distant past, different golf clubs developed to suit different needs in getting the ball along the course from the tee to the hole. From the mid-1700s to the mid-1800s, when the feathery ball was in use, a set of clubs probably consisted of from seven to nine clubs, only two of which were irons.