5 Moments in Golf History
(Last Updated On: October 2, 2020)


5 Moments in Golf History – With over 100 million golfers in the United States alone, golf is one of the most popular sports in the country. It’s also a popular sport throughout the world. Golf is especially popular in Ireland, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Other countries with a lot of golfers include South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and Denmark. Besides being popular, golf is one of the oldest sports in history.

Here are 5 moments in golf history.

1. The Origins of Golf Go Back to the Year 1297

Golf is an old sport. Really old. In fact, the origins of the sport date all the way back to 1297. This is when the Dutch invented a sport called Apocryphally. During this game, players hit a ball with a stick. Their goal was to hit a target hundreds of yards away. The player who hit the target with the least amount of strokes won the game.

2. The Scottish Developed the Modern Version of Golf

The Scottish parliament has the first recorded documentation of the modern version of golf. In 1457, King James II of Scotland prohibited people from playing a game called “gowf.” The King tried to stop people from playing this sport because it distracted them from practicing archery. The practice of archery was important for military purposes.
The Scottish were are also credited for coming up with these golf-related terms:

  • Golf club
  • Golfball
  • Drive
  • Tee
  • Putt
  • Caddie

Not surprisingly, the oldest golf course in the world is in Scotland. It’s called The Old Golf Course and is located in Musselburgh, Scotland. Today, Scotland has nearly 600 golf courses. This means Scotland has more golf courses per capita than any other country.

3. The First Golf Tournament Gets Played

Golf wouldn’t be the sport it is today without a tournament. As golf increased in popularity throughout the UK, players began to form golf tournaments. The first golf tournament was played in 1860. Professional golfers across England and Scotland took part in the British Open Championship. The golf course at the time only had 12 holes. Players in the tournament had to complete the course three times for a 36-hole competition.

Some of the other oldest golf tournaments include:

  • The British Amateur Championship – began in 1885 at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in England
  • US Open – began in 1895 at Newport Country Club in Newport, Rhode Island
  • South African Open – began in 1903 at Randpark Golf Club in Johannesburg
  • Canadian Open – began in 1904 at St. George’s Golf and Country Club in Toronto

All of these tournaments are still being played today.

4. The First Golf Association Is Formed

The first golf association was created on December 22, 1894. At that time, it was called the Amateur Golf Association of the United States. Today it is known as the United States Golf Association. The organization became the governing body of golf for the United States and Mexico.

Since that time, many other golf associations have formed. These include the Professional Golfers Association (PGA), Golf Canada, Golf Australia, International Blind Golf Association, and the European Golf Association.

5. The First Woman Competes as a Professional Golfer

The first woman golf player is believed to be Mary, Queen of Scots. She ruled Scotland from 1542 to 1567. The first golf tournament for women occurred in 1811 in Scotland. While history has its fair share of amateur women golfers, it wasn’t until 1934 that women played professionally.

The first professional women golfer was Helen Hicks. She won two major golf tournaments. The first in 1937 at the Women’s Western Open and the second in 1940 at the Titleholders Championship. Today, nearly 6 million women play golf. Some of the most popular professional women golfers include Inbee Park, Brooke Henderson, Lexi Thompson, Lydia Ko, and Park Sung-hyun.

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