History of Golf

Golf is an old sport; the exact origin is not clear and is often open to debate as to being either Chinese, Dutch or Scottish. However, the most accepted golf history theory is that this sport originated in Scotland during the 1100s.

old golfer wearing plaid

The game was mentioned in two 15th-century laws prohibiting the playing of the game of gowf. Some scholars have suggested that this refers to another game which is more akin to modern shinty, hurling or field hockey than golf. A game of putting a small ball in a hole in the ground using clubs was played in 17th-century Netherlands.

The word golf derives from the Dutch kolf meaning stick, club or bat. Flourishing trade over the North Sea during the Middle Ages and early Modern Period led to much language interaction between Scots, Dutch, Flemish and other languages. There are reports of even earlier accounts of golf from continental Europe.

The major changes in equipment since the 19th century have been better mowers, especially for the greens, better golf ball designs, using rubber and man-made materials since about 1900, and the introduction of the metal shaft beginning in the 1930s. Also in the 1930s the wooden golf tee was invented. In the 1970s the use of metal to replace wood heads began, and shafts made of graphite composite materials were introduced in the 1980s.

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  1. Golf: More Than Just a Game — SpartanCast Productions | March 2, 2012

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