Golf is a very old game of which the exact origins are unclear. Some say the Origin of Golf lies in the Roman game called ‘paganica’. This game is played with a bent stick and a leather ball stuffed with feathers. Others trace Golf from the ‘het kolven’ of the Dutch, the French and Belgian game ‘chole’, the French game ‘jeu de mail’ and the English game ‘cambuca’. However, the most accepted Golf History Theory is that Golf originated from Scotland in the 1100s. Scottish shepherds knocked stones into rabbit holes in the place where the famous St. Andrews Golf Club now sits.
In the early years, Golf was played with a leather-covered ball stuffed with feathers. It was only in 1848 that Golfers used the gutty, a solid ball made of gutta-percha – a rubbery substance. The gutty was then replaced by a rubber-cored ball invented by U.S. Golfer Coburn Haskell in 1898. And in 1951, the United States Golf Association, the United Kingdom’s Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews created the Rules and Standards for Golf.
Golf popularity spread from Scotland and England to the British Commonwealth, to India and the United States and other parts of the world. In 1829, India established the First Golf Club outside the United Kingdom called the Royal Calcutta. The Royal Montreal which was founded in 1873, was the first North American Golf Club.
In 1901, the world’s oldest Professional Golf Association, the British Professional Golfers’ Association was founded, followed by Professional Golfers’ Association of Australia in 1911. In America, Professional Golf Tours began in early 1920’s. Women’s Golf grew at the same rate as Men’s Golf though interest in Professional Women’s Golf only came after World War II.
Now, the United States alone has 16,000 Golf Courses and over 50 million Americans play Golf each year. In Japan, where space is scarce to put up Golf Courses, Golfers practice their Golf Swing in high rise buildings, hitting Golf Balls into a giant net. Golf Evolved from a simple farm game to one of the biggest sports industry in the world. Lots and lots of people are getting into Golf and Golf Courses are sprouting everywhere, making Golf a billion dollar industry.
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