Golf, a game invented in Scotland, is one of the most famous sports in the world. More than 20 million people in the United States play this game. Among them are 8,000 professional players. Golf tournaments have receive wide television coverage for more than fifty years. Nowadays, it is even easy to find numerous computer games and cable channel devoted to gold. Although this game is very popular, not many people know about its history and development. Here are some golf history facts that you might not know.

Golf History Facts

Why It Is Named “golf”

Not many people know the origin of the word “golf”. This word is actually derived from the Dutch word, kolve which means “club”. This word was first mentioned in writing on a Scottish statute in the mid of 1400. Scotts pronounced this word as goff or gouff influenced by their dialect in the early 15th century. It was not until the 16th century when the world “golf” started to be spelled the way it is nowadays.

The Materials To Make The First Golf Balls

During the early days of golf, leather was used as the main material for the balls. Feather was used to wrap the leather. However, feather was expensive and it required a long and complicated process to make golf balls using feather. In the 1970s, a material called a petroleum-based polymer replaced the use of leather and feature. This material produced a more bounce ball yet it is too soft. Therefore, zinc was added to make the ball stronger.

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Nowadays, most of golf balls are made of the combination of rubber and plastic materials. A two-piece golf ball is made of a solid rubber core covered with a durable resin. Meanwhile a three-piece balls consisted of rubber thread wound around a solid rubber with a rubber cover.

How It Became Popular

The popularity of golf started to increase in the 19th century because of the Industrial Revolution. There was railway system constructed in Scotland that allowed English tourists to travel by train to Scotland for holidays and golf tournaments.

Before it became popular in the UK, American had known this game first. The early versions of gold arose in upstate New York in the mid of 1960. Then, in 1770s, the fame increased among Scottish and British communities in some other towns such as the Carolinas, Georgia, Charleston, and Pinehurst. All of those cities had golf clubs with active golfing communicates. At that time, a large quantity of golf balls and clubs were shipped to the US from Europe.

Golf Key Figures

Golf History Facts

Scottish immigrant John Reid demonstrated golf on a Yonkers cow pasture to friends.

If football has some influential such Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi, Golf also has some key figures like John and Elizabeth Reed. Do you know who is John Reed? He is the founder of St. Andrew’s Club. It is the oldest youth club in the world, which has been making an invaluable contribution to the local community (founded in 1888). Meanwhile, Elizabeth Reed established Seagkill golf club for women.

Bobby Jones is another popular figure in golf. In addition to winning Grand Slam in 1930, he is also well-known for cofounding Augusta National, one of the most popular private golf clubs in the world. Other popular golfers are Glenna Collet Vare, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, and Arnold Palmer.

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That’s the brief history of golf game. However, who invented the game is still unknown. There is no doubt that the Scotts established the foundations of the modern game but there is still a debate among historians on who invented the game at the first time. Among the golf history facts above, which one have you already known?