History of Golf - Where And How Golf Game Started?
The name golf originated from the Dutch word colf or colve which is a name
for a stick that is used in a game call kolven. There are many the
ball-and-stick games similar to the golf that was played in ancient times.
As being said almost every civilization played some kind of game that
included ball and stick with the variations in rules and
form. One of the most popular and most famous game was the game of “Gowf”,
as it was known in Scotland. On Scotland’s east coast the game was played
by the citizens of Leith, St. Andrews and Aberdeen and it has been raised
to the great game that is loved and played by millions of people.
Possible Golf Origins - Pre 14th Century Golf History
Paganica from Ancient Rome
One of the first forms of the game that have similarities with the modern
golf is a Roman game of Paganica. In that game, players hit a feather-stuffed leather ball with
club-shaped tree branches. Balls were bigger than today's golf balls, with 15 centimeters in diameter. Paganica was played in many
parts of Roman empire during the first century BC, and there were probably
many different names and variations of a game.
Kolven from Netherlands
In Netherlands, there is a game called Kolven of Kolf.
Apart from similarities in rules, the name golf originates from that game’s
name. In Kolven four players hit the ball over some distance and the first
player that reaches its opponents’ starting point is the winner. This game
was first mentioned in a Middle-Dutch manuscript Boeck Merlijn written by
the Flemish poet Jacob van Maerlant in 1261. The game of colf was banned in
Brussels in 1360 by its council with a fine of 20 shillings to whoever
breaks the ban.
Chuiwan from Ancient China
Another game with the rules similar to modern golf is a Chuiwan (where “chui” means hitting and ”wan” means small
ball in Chinese), which was played in ancient China and it
was described as “game in which you hit a ball with a stick while walking.”
The game dates back to 943 AD, during the Song Dynasty and
it was the favorite game among palace maids and ordinary people of that
time. Even the emperors played it, and the imperial clubs were made of
precious materials like precious stones and gold. The game also became a
competitive sport. Later, during the time of Oing dynasty, the game was
Cambuca from England
There is also a record of a game similar to golf called Cambuca (a
term of Celtic origin) that was played in England in the 12th
century. Like Paganica, the game was played with a leather ball and a bent
Hurling from Ireland
is a game that originated in Ireland. The objective of the game is to hit a
ball with a wooden stick into the opponents’ goalposts. The game is
probably more than three thousand years old. It is one of the Gaelic games
which are native to Ireland, and it was played by teams representing
neighboring villages. There are many similarities between Hurling and
Gaelic football. Game of Hurling was originally played on both ice and
grass, but because of mild climate in Ireland, it was usually played on
grass. The one and only time that hurling was on the Olympic was at the
1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri, in the United States.
Shinty from Scotland
In Scotland, another game that is played with stick and ball is very
popular: Shinty. The game has some similarities with field hockey, but also some important
differences. Today it is played mainly in the Scottish Highlands and,
traditionally, during the winter months. At New Year’s Day, the whole
villages would gather to play Shinty. The game is played by the wooden
stick that is slanted on both sides and called a caman. Just like the
Hurling, it is usually paled on grass because of the weather, but it can
also be played on ice. Shinty also has the same root as the Welsh game of
Jeu de mail from France
A game called Jeu de mail or jeu de maille is a lawn game
that was played in France during the Late Middle Ages with the first record
of the game is a text from 1416. The game can be described as a ground
billiards with several different rules variations. There was still some
places where the game was played in the 20th century.
Chaugan from the Middle East
There is a game called Chaugan that is played in the
Middle East and it has similarities with polo and golf: it is played with a ball, horses, and sticks. The translation of a name can be
Golf Beginnings - 1353 – 1850
Golf was banned
, along with football by the King James II in 1457. It was done to preserve
the skills of archery. The ban was reaffirmed by the kings James III and
James IV as well. In the year 1502, the ban was finally lifted after
signing of the Treaty of Perpetual Peace between Scotland and England.
After that King James IV makes the first recorded purchase of golf
first recorded female golf player was Mary, the Queen of Scots in 1567
. The first golf ball (featherie ball) was invented in 1618. Golf was banned in Albany, New York in 1658 and that
was the first record of golf in America. Many English kings played golf,
such as Charles I and William IV. Many golf clubs were formed at that time
as well. The first golf match that was reported in a newspaper was a match
between Captain John Porteous and Alexander Elphinstone in 1724. The first
book that is describing golf is Thomas Mathison's epic The Goff which was
published in 1743. The guta-precha ball or the “guttle” was invented in
1848 which was much less expensive to make, and it helped the game to
History of Modern Golf – 1851-1945
This part of golf history was marked by forming many new golf clubs such as
The Prestwick Golf Club, The King James VI Golf Club and much, much more.
In 1860 Willie Park Senior of Scotland won the first Open Championship in
Prestwick. Oxford won the first University Match that was played in the
London Scottish Golf Club course at Wimbledon, in 1878. At the beginning of
the 20th century, Walter Travis won three U.S Amateurs and
published his book, Practical Golf.
Post-WWII Golf –1946-Today
In 1947 the golf was broadcast via television for the first time. Many golf
magazines were born during this time. The first golf magazine was Golf
World. In 1973 the graphite shaft was invented. At the end of the century,
many new materials for golf clubs were introduced, such as metal, stainless
steel, graphite, titanium, carbon fiber, and tungsten.
Golf History by Countries
The first record of golf
in the United States was in 1657 when
two drunk men were arrested for breaking the windows by hitting balls
with the stick
. Next year the golf was prohibited in that state. The Northeastern United
States was the first part of the country where people start playing golf.
The oldest golf club in the US is Savannah Golf Club which was established
in 1794 or 1795. The first golf course was built in February 1888, by a man
named John ReidIn. The game of golf spread slowly because the country is
recovering itself from the Civil war. In a matter of fact, golf became more
popular in Canada than the US at that time. USGA - The United States Golf
Association was established in 1894 and in 1916 The American Professional
Golfers Association, or PGA was formed. Today, there are more than ten
thousand USGA affiliated golf clubs.
The first golf club in Japan was formed in 1903 by a group
of British expatriates. A golf course at Kobe was constructed at that time.
In 1914, the Tokyo Golf Club was founded. After World War II golf gains
much of its popularity in Japan and by the year of 2009, there were over
two thousand and four hundred courses countrywide. There are also a lot of
golf courses that are built throughout the Pacific Rim which was caused by
the popularity of golf in Japan.
Some people believe that the golf was played in Melbourne, Australia back in 1847 but the first club that was formed
was the Royal Adelaide Golf Club, in 1870. In 1873, the Christchurch Golf
Club was formed in New Zealand.
The first golf course in Sweden was made by English
architect, Edvard Milner on a private Estate in Ryfors in 1888. It had six