The History of Golf

It is generally believed that golf originated in Scotland in the middle ages. It did not become popular until the 19th century when it spread throughout the British Empire and to the United States. The first standard written rules of golf that still exist came out of the Company of Gentleman Golfers published the Articles and Laws in Playing Golf. The first competition that awarded a trophy took place in 1744. The building of Balmorals Castle in Scotland in the 1850’s and the advent of rail service allowed for the expansion of golf as a game and several golf clubs opened up during this period.

Original golf courses did not have 18 holes. St. Andrews which is considered to be the first formal golf course originally had 22 holes. It was actually 11 holes played one direction and then followed by playing the same holes in reverse. As the game evolved it was decided that some of the holes were too short and were combined resulting in the traditional 18 holes that now is standard in all golf courses.

The evolution of the game came primarily from the evolution of equipment. Golf clubs were originally made of whatever wood was available in the area. As the game evolved Hickory became a standard for club shafts and American Persimmon was used for club heads.  As the game evolved iron club heads came into use. Now most clubs are made from graphite shafts and lightweight titanium heads. With the advent of lightweight clubs and heads it has become more and more found in club heads to grow in size allowing more of the spring on the club face increasing the distance balls can travel. The USGSA (United States Golf Association) has limited the size of club head and the spring ability to attempt to insure that the game remains a challenge.

There are many ways for an amateur golfer to improve their game. There are training aids that go from clubs that assist in improving your swing to putting greens that can be used in your office or ones that can actually be built in your back yard. There are DVD’s that can assist in improving their game by improving the swing, to insuring that players are addressing the ball properly. Players can also use professional coaches to learn all facets of the game from golf terminology to how to swing a club and what club is the best.

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