Fore..."is another word for "ahead" (think of a ship's fore and aft). Yelling "fore" is simply a shorter way to yell "watch out ahead" (or "watch out before")..." http://golf.about.com/cs/historyofgolf
Why 18 holes? Credited to St. Andrews in Scotland...around 1764, St. Andrews converted from 22 holes to 18, which in 1858 became the standard according to the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. It has been said that this was simply because 18 holes are easier to care for than 22...however, I prefer the theory that it is because a bottle of Scotch has 18 shots in it and therefore, if you take 1 shot per hole, you are done after 18!!!
Where did the word golf come from? Some have suggested that it was an acronym for gentlemen only, ladies forbidden- NOT!!!- It is simply a derivative from the medieval Dutch and old Scots languages from words such as "kolf" or "kolve" (club), "golve", "gowl", "gouf". The word golf actually came to being in the 16th Century.
And for a more enlightened History of Golf (or should I say lighthearted), check out Robin Williams version of the history of golf...keep in mind that it is definitely rated RRRRRRRRRR!!!
Photos are from the Desert Refuge for Police Officers 9th annual tournament at Brookside in Pasadena, CA and the South Pasadena Rotary Club's annual Golf Game at Shorecliffs, San Clemente, CA, courtesy of Fon Leong, owner.