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Home » English Articles, Golf in Schottland

History of Golf


Image taken by Flickr user "John Spooner", 2009-08-07 10:49:22.

The history of golf has roots deep in the history of man since for the past five hundred years they have at some point or another taken a stick to a ball or rock. Thus making it difficult to determine just when the sport was created and put a timeline to golf history.

So exactly who is credited with inventing golf and developing golf history? Well, it was really a collaboration of a number of countries and the efforts of many men hitting objects with a stick. Understandingly, with such a wide description of how the game was developed it left it wide open for everyone to claim ownership.

So basically everyone has laid claim to originating the game and contributing to the history of golf. Scotland may be the most prominent along with China, Italy, England, Belgium, Holland and France. So while the Scots may be most regarded as developing the game there is no clear title holder.

Some theories claim that shepherds first started the game by hitting rocks across fields as the tendered their flocks while others believe that fishermen created the game as a means to pass time during dry spells.

Of course there are many other forms of the game that have taken place in and throughout the world and they each included a ball and stick. The Chinese used to play a game as far back as 300 BC that involved beating a ball while the ancient Romans and Celts also had similar games that contributed to golf history.

The very first round of golf was said to be played at Bruntsfield Links in Edinburgh, Scotland around 1456. Seeing that the sport was supposedly developed around the 1100’s you can see how much it may have progressed in the 300 years until the first recognized round.

Regardless of the original inventors it is clear that Scotland was definitely the leader in modernizing the sport. They are also credited with the creation of the first golf course in the world. The Old Links located at Musselburgh Links in Scotland in 1672.

Obviously the game has evolved a lot since then. The first golf courses didn’t have eighteen holes. The famous St. Andrews golf course that sits along the sea in Scotland was initially created with just eleven holes. This was back in the fifteenth century when they would basically just walk out and play the terrain as it showed fit.

They used to play all eleven holes out and turn around then play them back in.

Golf history shows they then cut the number to nine holes total and would still play them out and back so that they played a total of 18 holes as we all know it today.

Major alterations to the game and the equipment have helped shape golf throughout the late 1800’s and early 20th century. The courses all changed as new grass and better lawnmowers were created. The vast improvement was seen mostly on the greens which drastically changed the form of putting. Corporations have designed better golf balls using newly discovered materials and clubs changed dramatically with the implementation of the metal shaft. The nineteen hundreds also produced the golf tee and metal and graphite composite club heads.

Now golf is a major international sport played by millions that grosses billions of dollars a year in revenue. The game has definitely come a long way from sticks and rocks. So goes the history of golf…

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