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History Of Golf: Where Did It Originate?


Image taken by Flickr user "woody1778a", 2009-03-24 20:56:25.

You're sitting in another boring college history class. As you open your mouth up wide to yawn, the instructor finishes telling the class what will be discussed today:

The history of golf.
Suddenly, you sit straight up in your chair at perfect attention. Your eyes are wide open, and your pen is poised over your paper to begin taking notes.

Let's begin.

It all started out with a simple stick and a rock. Man took these two items and decided to create a way to entertain himself. After all, what else was there to do for fun before the 15th century that didn't involve beheadings and fighting wars? Although the game of golf started out by man swinging a stick towards a rock in order to propel it into a certain direction, this was the way that many current sports games started. Just about any place or country you could find a stick and a rock, you could find golf, baseball, tennis, lacrosse, or hockey!

As you might assume, however, when a great game such as golf was invented, EVERYONE wanted to claim that it was their country's idea. For example, the country of Scotland claims that it invented the game. But then again, so does Italy, China, England, France, Holland, Belgium, and countries far away in Asia. Games that resembled golf in other countries included 'paganica' in Italy. This was a game that involved using a stick and a rock to hit a target. In Scotland, the same game was referred to as 'shinty.' In the country of Laos, it was called 'khi', and in China it was called 'ch'ui wan', which translates into 'beating a ball'.

Some of these games were played before the year 300 B.C. – so to be able to pinpoint exactly where it started would be nearly impossible! Historians themselves have only one answer as to who invented golf: They just don't know! Golf may be one of those games that was so great, and so many people loved to try it, that it really had no origin. It was born when the Earth was born, and it is universal in its popularity!

One thing that sways popular belief to accept that the modern game of golf began in Scotland is the fact that the hole was first used here. And today, as you know, without the golf hole, there is no golf. It is believed that rabbits, who often made their homes and play areas along the Scottish coast inside these holes. After a while, some people began to play with their sticks and rocks, trying to get the rock into the rabbit hole. This began the modern game of golf. It became so popular in Scotland, that Kind James II banned it on Sundays to bring focus back on another sport – archery.

Over the centuries, golf has become more and more popular all over the world. Even though no one knows where the game was truly born, we all know one thing – just about everyone enjoys playing it!

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