Golf history

Although golf’s exact origin is quite unclear, we know that it is one of those games that have lasted for very many years. Golf history varies from one region to another, depending on how people defined it and how they played it. This article will learn where golf all began and how it has grown to the game we know now.

Golf history

What are some of the earliest golf recordings?

The oldest is the Chinese origin, defining golf as a game played between the 8th and the 14th century. Golf was commonly known as ‘chuiwan’ where “Chui” means striking and ‘wan’ a small ball. This game became very dear to people in China. The Ming Dynasty of 1368, known as the “The Autumn Banquet” for example, shows a Chinese imperial court member. He is swinging a golf club at a small ball, aiming it at a small hole. The golf game from this region people introduced into Europe during the middle ages.

History of golf

Another recording of golf’s origin is the Netherlands game. That game is known as Kolf or Kolven that was played in the 12th century. In this game, people by a stick hit a leather ball filled with feathers. Similarly, golfers introduced this game into Europe in the middle ages. At around the same time, games played in golf’s manner were Cambuca of England, Chaugan of Persia, now Iran, and Chambot of France.

What seems like a similar game to what we know about golf today traced back to Scotland in the 15th century and specifically the year 1457. The fact that it was called golf means that it had started gaining momentum to establish what golf is currently. This game was distinct from other ancient played games because of the ‘hole’ feature. Now that modern golf is highly attributed to the Scots let’s talk more about it.

The Scottish Golf history

The Scottish golf origin was quite interesting. It was first mentioned in 1457 as it was being banned alongside football for being a distraction in military training. Meanwhile, King James II of Scotland banned the game as he felt that archery would be a more fruitful sport for the military. The restrictions continued for the better part of the century, and authority commonly dubbed golf as an ‘unprofitable sport’. The conditions were, however, lifted in 1502 with the Treaty of Glasgow.

King James II of Scotland
King James II of Scotland

The scots up to now value golf’s game. They continued to attract golf lovers from all over the world in their ancient courses. One of the ancient courses in particular very popular in Scotland is Leith near Edinburgh. Here people hosted the first international golf match in 1682.

This game’s popularity spread highly during the 16th century after King James IV of Scotland’s endorsement. King Charles I introduced the game to England, Mary Queen of Scots to France. The golf game was fully official when Gentlemen Golfers of Leith formed the first club in 1744. It began the same time organizer introduced the annual competitions along with prizes for the winners.

A brief capture of how golf spread in America

The history of golf leans more to North America. The first permanent golf club name was “Canada’s Royal Montreal Club”. It was founded in Montreal, Canada, in 1873. The game later gained popularity in the US. The first 18-hole course ‘The Chicago Golf Club, was developed in Wheaton, Illinois, in 1893. The governing body United States Golf Association (USGA) started its activity in 1894 and the Professional Golf Association of America in 1916. Today, the US is the hub of golf with over 1500 available courses.

Royal Montreal Club
Royal Montreal Golf Club

Golf history. How golfers developed the rules for the game?

Firstly, the oldest golf rules originated in 1744, the same time the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers introduced annual competitions. The founders of rules dubbed it “Articles and Laws in Playing at Golf”. The piece contained 13 rules. Golfers used it the first time in a tournament played on April 2, the same year. National Library of Scotland preserves these historical pieces. Muirfield, now one of the longest surviving golf clubs in the history of golf, was the club that highly implemented these rules.

Articles and Laws in Playing

The rules of golf book

That is the most extensive collection of golf rules for the 20th and 21st centuries. Moreover, the golf governing bodies published the book every four years (USGA and R&A) since 1952. These bodies managed the implementation of the rules until 2004 when the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews took over to control the application of the rules globally except in Mexico and the US still under the USGA, in 2004. The rules of golf book define, among other things, the etiquette, decision, definitions, and any rules changes that need more focus.

What is the longest golf drive in the world?

On average, a male golf player is capable of hitting a drive of over 300 yards. In professional plays, golfers try to maximize their power by concentrating the weight of the hips, legs and the body, in general, to hit drives over 300 yards. In a professional play, the standing champion to hit the longest yard is Mike Austin. He managed to hit a record 515 yards at the Winterwood Golf Course in Las Vegas, Nevada, in 1974. That was 65 yards past the flag. On hitting this world record, people named that swing “the Mike Austin Swing”. Up to now, professional golfers teach beginners to learn this swing.

Longest golf drive in the world

The bottom line

Golf history cuts across several centuries and is one of the ancient games that we enjoy playing even now. The fact that this game has been able to stand the test of time means that it is highly loved and appreciated globally. Besides, people made several changes in the equipment used, the rules, and even the golf courses’ design, but we can say that it still feels like what history defined it to be in the past. The golf game has room even to improve and become the best sport globally and yield more champions who will break the various records set by past players.