What is the History of Golf?
Although most people believe that Scots started the tradition of playing Golf, the inventor of this game is unknown, and will probably be never known. However, there are a few reports that suggest that initially, as early as 1297, a similar game was played in Netherlands. A few Dutchmen played a game with a stick and a leather ball, and the winner would be the one who reaches the target with lowest number of strokes.
History says that Golf became a popular game in Scotland, where it was played for many decades. Later, the game spread throughout in the whole of the UK, and then the US.
This was a popular belief until 2005, when Prof. Ling Hongling, found out a piece of evidence that says Chinese men used to play this game at least about 500 years before it was played in Scotland. In China, they call it Chuiwan. Quite surprisingly, the game was then played using 10 different golf colors.
However, when it comes to modern Golf, it is believed to be invented by the Scottish people. The game was first officially named in the Scottish Parliament, when James II decided to ban golf and football because it might have caused distraction from archery.
The word golf, or golf in Scots, meant any of these: sticks, club, colve, colf, etc. Later, in the Acts of 1471 and 1491, the game of golf was banned, mentioning that it was unprofitable. Once again,
during the control of James VI of Scotland, Golf was banned. However, he went to Perth with leather balls his golf clubs. But he was never noticed playing Golf. Afterwards, in 1672, Sir John Foulis played the first recorded game of Golf at Musselburgh Links on March 2.
The boom of 19th Century
Due to improvement in transportation and infrastructure facilities, tourism increased dramatically in Scotland. An increasing number of people played this sport, liked it and recommended it to others. Soon, there was a boom in England too. In 1880, there were just 12 golf courses. In 1887, the number increased to 50, and by 1914, there were as many as 1000 courses.
However, the boom was not limited only to Europe. It spread in other quickly just as rapidly. After the formation of United States Golf Association (USGA) in 1894, the activity spread like a wildfire. Here too there were very few USGA clubs. Within some months, the number stated increasing, and it grew to 5,000 by 1980. And now, it’s about 5,700.