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Why do golf courses have sand traps?
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Kathryn Baker, curator, British Golf Museum, St. Andrews, Scotland: Nobody knows. Go figure. We do know that the earliest courses were on linksland. Whatsland? Linksland. You know, like links -- the strip of land that links land to sea. You mean the coast? Not exactly. First, there's the beach, then a strip of sand and grass, then more fertile farmland. Aye. The middle strip, or linksland, wasn't much use to anybody so it was used for grazing cattle and sheep. That's where the game developed, on the linksland. Where there was nothing better to do. Exactly. Now about those sand traps? Gordon Moir, links manager, R&A of St. Andrews, Scotland: You had these sand dunes, right? Right. The sheep would burrow down behind them to take shelter from the wind. Over time, these areas hollowed out to form the bunkers, or as you Yanks say, sand traps. Ah, what do we know. Andy Mutch, museum director, USGA Golf House: St. Andrews was a rabbit farm, and some historians contend that rabbits played an important role in the development of golf. The wascals. Rabbits tend to dig holes in the finest grassy areas, which they then flatten out with their big feet. Over time, those areas became the putting greens. Sheep bunkers and rabbit holes? Who came up with this game, anyway? Glen Waggoner, golf editor, ESPN The Magazine: The shepherds. What shepherds? The very bored shepherds. What about them? They invented the game. Oh. They used herding sticks to whack petrified hunks of sheep dung into the rabbit holes. It's really a very silly game. You're telling me.

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