Golf is one of those sports which people love watching, but not many have tried playing. For most new viewers, swinging a club and hitting a ball seems simple enough, until they swing and miss, or swing and hit the ball, tee and ground, making a mess and most likely, making a couple people laugh.
The game of golf is known to most people, but strangely enough, not many specifics are known about the origin of golf and where it came from. Here is more on the topic.
The Earliest Origins of Golf – Speculations Rather than Facts
The earliest origins of golf are still discussed and it isn’t settled on which part of the world golf actually came from. There are a few different takes on where golf came from, and either are on the other side of the world.
There are reports of golf being played in the Roman Empire, under the name of paganica. A bent stick was used to strike a leather, stuffed ball. Given the empire’s expansion throughout Europe, the game was also spread, and therefore came to most parts of Europe. This is, however, just a theory.
Another theory puts golf in China, during the Ming dynasty, between the 8th and 14th century. The game’s name at the time was chuiwan, where chui stands for strike and wan for small ball. There is a scroll which details what appears to be people striking a small ball with a club, attempting to put them in a hole. This theory puts golf in Europe during the Middle Ages.
These are just theories and the modern game of golf, as we know it, originated in Scotland and it dates to the 15th century.
The Modern Version of Golf – Scotland
Scotland is known for many things and golf is one of them. The first mention of golf was when it was banned by king James II in 1457, for being dangerous and a nuisance, particularly because they were at war with England and it was difficult for the archers to practice with balls flying around.
Because golf was so popular at the time, as soon as the war ended, and the peace treaty was signed, golf was unbanned in 1502, and king James IV purchased the first ever set of golf equipment.
The Old Course at St. Andrews is considered to be the first ever golf course, dating back to 1574.
The oldest tournament dates back to 1860 in Prestwick, Scotland, and the game was taken to the US in 1888, by two Scotsmen, one of them opening St. Andrew’s Golf Club in New York.
While the exact origins of golf are unknown, as it often is with most sports, modern golf emerged in Scotland where the oldest golf course, St. Andrews, can be found.