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A “Hole” History In One: Golf Over The Years

A “Hole” History In One: Golf Over The Years

Golf originated from a game played on the eastern coast of Scotland, in an area close to the royal capital of Edinburgh. In those early days players would try to hit a pebble over sand dunes and around tracks using a bent stick or club.

In 1502 the game gained the royal seal of approval when King James IV of Scotland (1473 -1513) became the world’s first golfing monarch.

The fame of the game quickly grew throughout 16th-century Europe thanks to this royal endorsement. King Charles I brought the game to England and Mary, Queen of Scots, introduced the game to the French when she studied there.

One of the premier golf courses of that time was at Leith, which hosted the first international golf match in 1682.

The game of golf formally became a sport when the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith formed the first club in 1744 and set up an annual competition with silverware prizes. The rules for this new competition were drafted by Duncan Forbes. Rules that, even now, sound so familiar to many golfers because of their impact on modern-day golfing etiquette. 

It was not until 1754, however, that the St Andrew’s Society of Golfers was formed to compete in its own annual competition using Leith’s rules. 

Today, it is the golf courses themselves that reflect the history of the game, with the US courses presented as beautifully sculptured, manicured, and landscaped parklands.

Thus, golf is a game that transcends geographic borders and is elegant to a degree that everyone can enjoy it. Golf is beautifully surmised in the following words,  “Golf, on the whole, is not a game for realists. Thanks to the precision of its measurements, it attracts the attention of perfectionists,” says  Heywood Hill Broun.

Some of the most famous golf courses in the world are still to be found in Scotland: their names conjure the passion and tradition of the game of golf. Gleneagles, The Old Course at St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Royal Troon, and Prestwick are a few of these golf-course forerunners.

The Industrial Revolution of the Victorian time brought with it many changes. The birth of the railways allowed typical people to explore outside of their towns and cities for the first time, and as a consequence, golf clubs began to appear all over the countryside. Mass production methods were adopted to manufacture the clubs and balls, making the game more affordable to the average person. As a result, the game’s popularity erupted! 

During the 19th century, the might of the British Empire expanded to encompass the globe, and golf followed closely behind. The first golf club formed outside Scotland was the Royal Blackheath (near London) in 1766. The first golf club outside Britain was in Bangalore, India (1820). Others quickly followed included the Royal Curragh, Ireland (1856), the Adelaide (1870), Royal Montreal (1873), Cape Town (1885), St Andrew’s of New York (1888) and Royal Hong Kong (1889).

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About the Writer
Shahed Al Ali was born in Syria, then moved to Lebanon at the age of five. She lived there for 10 years, after which she returned to the US this past June. The most important people in her life are her family and friends. She likes to draw from a very young age, but her drawing has only evolved a little. She also likes to play basketball and puzzles. Her achievements include success in her classes at school, helping her mother at home, and translating for the family because they do not know much English. Shahed likes to collect information around the world, including customs, traditions, culture, systems, and law. She likes to know everything; She believes that the perspective of journalism is accuracy, respect for the privacy of others, working in public, and being responsible. She joined The West Press because she wanted to offer advertisements and news to all people through the use of new ideas and technologies. She likes to enjoy her hobbies in her spare time. Her favorite quote is:        “A person cannot develop if he does not try something he is not used to.”

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