Golf is one of few sports that is not played on a standardised playing surface, meaning that, providing you have a hole, a teeing ground, a club and a ball, it can, theoretically, be played anywhere! The game began on the links of Scotland; poor quality grazing land on sandy soils by the sea. With the growth of the game throughout the world, however, golf is being played in increasingly diverse regions and climates, from deserts to rainforests. A golf course usually consists of nine or 18 holes. Play starts on a teeing ground and ends when the golfer gets his ball into the hole cut into the ground on the green or putting surface. A flagstick displays the location of the hole. Each hole will have a ‘par’ of three, four or five – though there are rare exceptions to this rule. On a ‘par-four’ or a longer ‘par-five’ hole, players will aim to hit the fairway with their first shot before attempting to reach the green with their next strokes. On a ‘par-three’, however, a player will attempt to strike the ball onto the green, directly from the teeing-ground.