The modern game of golf originated in 15th century Scotland. The 18-hole round was created at the Old Course at St Andrews in 1764. Golf’s first major, and the world’s oldest tournament in existence, is The Open Championship, also known as the British Open, which was first played in 1860 in Ayrshire, Scotland.
The word golf was first mentioned in writing in 1457 on a Scottish statute on forbidden games as gouf, possibly derived from the Scots word goulf (variously spelled) meaning “to strike or cuff”. This word may, in turn, be derived from the Dutch word kolf, meaning “bat” or “club”, and the Dutch sport of the same name.
The first record of commissioned golf clubs was by King James IV of Scotland , who hired William Mayne, a bow-maker, to craft him a set of clubs and made him the Royal Club Maker.
Three consecutive birdies during one round of golf .
The word ‘ golf ‘ is not an acronym for anything. Rather, it derives linguistically from the Dutch word ‘kolf’ or ‘kolve,’ meaning quite simply ‘club. ‘ In the Scottish dialect of the late 14th or early 15th century, the Dutch term became ‘goff’ or ‘gouff,’ and only later in the 16th century ‘ golf .
There is a lore that a golf course is made up of 18 holes because it takes exactly 18 shots to polish off a fifth of Scotch . Drinking only one shot per hole meant a round of golf was finished when the Scotch ran out. The 18 – hole course was determined by the members of St. Andrews.
The Old Links at Musselburgh
Golf , One of the Oldest Sports Still Being Played, Is Expanding Around the Globe. The sport’s origins date back to the year 1297 when the Dutch developed a sport called Apocryphally. The object of this game was to hit a ball with a stick to a target hundreds of yards away.
Golf originated in China , Ling asserts, and the earliest reference can be traced to the Nantang dynasty, five centuries before the parliamentary act the Scots cite.
Why are golf terms birds ? “Birdie”, meaning a score of one stroke under Par, comes from the early 20th century American slang term “ bird ”, meaning anything excellent. He duly holed his putt to win with one under par and the three of them thereafter referred to such a score as a “birdie”.
In the mid-20th century, both the USGA and the R&A ruled that golf clubs with steel shafts could be used in tournaments. While steel was used for club shafts, wooden heads were the norm for drivers and fairway woods until the 1970s .
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The credit for golf in its modern form is generally given to the Scots, but they certainly did not invent it from scratch. Van Hengel traced colf back to the Low Countries around the end of the twelfth-century. The game appears in many Dutch paintings and art: evidence of its popularity.