Golf is a sport in which a player, with many types of clubs, a driver, a putter and irons, hits a ball into every hole on a golf course in the lowest possible number of strokes. Golf is one of the few ball games, not playing with a standardized, but the game is played on golf "courses", each of whom has a unique design and typically consists of either 9 or 18 holes. Golf is in the Rules of Golf as "playing a ball with a club from the teeing grounds soil in the hole by a stroke or successive strokes in accordance with the rules"

The first game of golf for which records survive was played at Bruntsfield Links in Edinburgh, Scotland, in AD 1456, recorded in the archives of the Edinburgh Burgess Golfing Society, now The Royal Burgess Golfing Society. The modern game of golf spread from Scotland to England and now has a worldwide game, with golf courses in the majority of affluent countries.

Competition golf is usually played as stroke play in which the individual with the lowest number of strokes is declared the winner, or a game with the winner determined by whichever individual or team posts lower profit on each hole in a complete round.

Golf as a spectator sport has become increasingly popular, with several different levels of professional and amateur tours in many regions of the world. People like Arnold Palmer, Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus, Lorena Ochoa and Annika Sörenstam have become well-recognized sports figures in the world. Sponsorship has also become a large part of the game and the players often earn more from their sponsorship contracts as they are from the game itself.