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The Origin of Golf

The History of Golf

by: William Berg

Golf as we know it was invented in Scotland, but its roots stretches back into Flanders. The first record of “Chole” is from 1353 and portrays a something that could be described as a mix between hockey and golf played in Flanders (Belgium). The game was preferably played on ice and the players used sticks curved at the bottom to move balls from starting point to finish point. Since Scottish and Dutch merchants traveled a lot between the two regions and traded with each other, the game played in Flanders soon spread to Scotland where it developed on the grassy Scottish fields and soon ceased to be a winter game. It was the Scots that started to dig holes in the ground instead of simply selecting a finishing point. Digging a hole in the Dutch ice had naturally not been a good idea.

Even though the game changed a great deal after being introduced in Scotland, the balls where still often imported from Flanders. The more patriotic Scots claim that golf instead evolved from different stick-and-ball games that we know were played all over the British Isles as early as the Middle Ages. These games were inspired by a stick-and-ball game introduced to the British Isles by the Romans.

The first record of the term golf is from 1457 when King James II of Scotland outlawed golf as well as soccer, since the games were so popular that they made the king's archers skip their practice and play golf and soccer instead. James III re-issued this law in 1471, and James IV followed in his footsteps with a new ban in 1491. Golf did however continue its development in Scotland despite the ban. Even during these early days, all the essential parts of golf had already been invented. The players used a club to swing a ball into a hole in the ground. The player that managed to get the ball into the hole using the least amount of strokes won.

The word gold is derived from the Old Scots words “goff” or “glove”, and these words in turn derive from “kolf” or “kolve”, medieval Dutch words that simply meant club. When the words kolf and kolve were imported to Scottland, the old Scottish dialect transformed the letter K into G, and the game was called Goff, Glove, Golve and Gowl. During the 16th century, the word Golf became established.

The ban on golf had been issued in a time when Scotland was preparing to defend itself from the English. In 1502, the Treaty of Glasgow made it possible for James I of England (King James IV) to lift the ban. He even began to play himself and turned into a keen golf enthusiast. The game became highly fashionable and its popularity spread over the British Isles during the 16th century, partly thanks to King Charles I who loved to play golf. Mary Queen of Scots had French roots and she introduced the game to the French while she attended school in France. The word “caddie” actually steams from a French word – cadet. The cadets of the French Military helped Mary Queen of Scots when she played golf.

Two of the oldest golf courses in the world are Leith and the Old Links. Leith is located close to Edinburgh and the Old Links is found at Musselburgh. When King Charles I received the news about the Irish rebellion in 1641 he was actually standing at Leith. The Old Links was founded in 1672. The first international golf match took place at Leith in 1682. The Duke of York and George Patterson (playing for Scotland) managed to beat two English players. Strangely enough, it wasn’t until 1744 that the first known golf rules were written down and published in Edinburgh.

About The Author:

William Berg

The game of golf has of course changed a lot over the years that it has been played and more and more technology is involved in and surrounding the game. An example among many of such technologies that has affected the experience of golf is golf carts. All golf carts from the most basic ones to more elaborate models such as the Hummer golf cart has made it easier to enjoy golf regardless of your physical condition. Article written by William Berg (robert@williambergs.com).

Source: articlecity.com

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Golf History

The Birth Of Golf

Golf as we know it today originated from a game played on the eastern coast of Scotland in the Kingdom of Fife during the 15th century.

Players would hit a pebble around a natural course of sand dunes, rabbit runs and tracks using a stick or primitive club.

Some historians believe that Kolven from Holland and Chole from Belgium influenced the game. The latter was introduced into Scotland in 1421. However while these games and countless others are stick and ball games, they are missing that vital ingredient that is unique to golf - the hole. Whatever the argument, there can be no dispute that Scotland gave birth to the game we know as golf today.

During the mid-15th century, Scotland was preparing to defend itself against an English invasion. The population’s enthusiastic pursuit of golf and soccer to the neglect of military training (archery primarily) caused the Scottish parliament of King James II to ban both sports in 1457. The ban was reaffirmed in 1470 and 1491 although people largely ignored it. Only in 1502 with the Treaty of Glasgow was the ban lifted with King James IV (James 1 of England) himself taking up the sport.

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History of Golf

In one form or another, the variant games of present day golf were clearly enjoyed throughout Europe in the Middle Ages. The game persisted over the centuries and the form that it took and rules that were applied varied as widely as the terrain the game was played over.


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Who Invented Golf?

Well, who actually did invent the game of Golf? The question has been asked and argued for many years with no true winner. Many countries have a valid claim to an early game that resembles the game of golf. Some of the countries that make this claim are England. Scotland, China, Rome, France, The Netherlands, Belgium and Laos. The most heated debate over who invented golf definitely comes from Great Britain and Scotland.


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History of Women's Golf

Ladies, the next time you grab your clubs and head out to the golf course for your weekly foursome, take a moment to reflect on the amazing contributions that women in golf have made throughout history. The contributions were not only to the game itself, but to your "right" to play this sport which was once reserved for men only.


Other great articles on the History of Golf:

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