We’ve recently given you tips on how to play golf as a beginner, as well as tips on how to choose the right country club for you to play your game. Now we go back in time and answer the question, how did golf start out? This way, we can really appreciate the game and realize how far it has gone today from its origins. Here we discuss the history of golf.
Like most kind of sports, golf also has origins in earlier games, going as far back as thousands of years. In fact, golf’s roots actually come from the the ball-and-stick games of ancient times wherein players used a bent stick to hit a stuffed leather ball. This game was later termed as paganica. It then eventually developed into a more recognizable version like what we know of today. The modern game of golf dates as far back as the 1400s in Britain, and more specifically, in Scotland.
In its early days, the Scottish kings actually outlawed the game. The parliament passed several acts banning the practice or even just leisure playing of the game, along with football, because the two sports were interfering with archery practice, which was necessary for national defense. However, King James IV, who ruled in the 1500s, enjoyed playing golf himself. Then, in the early 1500s, in a short peace with England, the game became popular there as well.
The popularity of the sport was contributed mostly by how the ruling class enjoyed the game so much. Mary, Queen of Scots often played the sport herself. In fact, her clubs were known to be often carried by students she called “cadets” which later on would be the origin of the term “caddie.” More royalty then supported the game as James I appointed both official golf club and golf ball makers shortly while also lifting the ban on Sunday golf.
Golf courses back then were not always as seen as something as we have in today’s country clubs or golf clubs. Golf in the 17th century was not as formally arranged too, with little organization regarding the number of holes and even the rules. Royalty played on golf courses quite similar to what we have today while the lower classes played on open land only. In fact, playing among herds of sheep was actually quite common.
The 19th century is considered by many to be the period when modern day golf as we know todday emerged. What about golf today? In 2012, work has started on the Rio 2016 Olympic golf course at Barra da Tijuca. Soon, golf will be played at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for the first time in 112 years.
Golf has definitely come a long way.