The first 18-hole golf course in the U.S. opened this week in 1893 in Downer’s Grove, Illinois. Laid out by Charles MacDonald of the Chicago Golf Club, the course was an expansion of an existing 9-hole facility. The Chicago Golf Club soon moved to a new course in nearby Wheaton, and the Downer’s Grove course has since reverted to 9 holes. The sport arrived on these shores from Scotland, and there is evidence of golfing in the late 18th Century in South Carolina and Georgia. Today, over 24 million Americans play the game at least once a year at the 11,400 golf courses and country clubs across the nation. These establishments employ over 290,000 in the nearly $21 billion per year pursuit of what a frustrated player called “a good walk spoiled.” You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.