A golf course is the grounds where the sport of golf is played. It consists of a series of holes, each consisting of a tee box, a fairway, the rough and other hazards, and a green with a cylindrical hole in the ground, known as a "cup". The cup holds a flagstick, known as a "pin". A standard round of golf consists of 18 holes. Most courses contain 18 holes; some share fairways or greens, and a subset has nine holes, played twice per round. Par-3 courses consist of nine or 18 holes all of which have a par of three strokes.
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Many older courses are links, often coastal. The first golf courses were based on the topography of sand dunes and dune slacks with a ground cover of grasses, exposed to the wind and sea. Courses are private, public, or municipally owned, and typically feature a pro shop. Many private courses are found at country clubs.