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Historic Facts of The Game of Golf

Updated on May 2, 2020

Gentlemen Golfers 1744

Gentlemen Golfers
Gentlemen Golfers | Source

1744 Original Rules of Golf

Rules of Golf
Rules of Golf | Source

The Beginning of Golf

Oh, how times have changed! From wooden balls to featherie balls to today's dimpled golf balls!

Whoever would believe the game golf was banned in Scotland, the birthplace of golf? But that happened in 1457, 1470, and 1491 by King James himself. And he made it official in his proclamation titled "On This Day." You might ask why the King would do that? Well, in the 15th century, the military needed to be trained and ready at all times. It was also compulsory that males over the age of 12 were to be schooled accordingly.

The archers were beginning to neglect their training and practice by playing golf. Then with the invention of gunpowder at the ends of the 15th century, archers were obsolete.

Of note is that there was another ban of golf, this time was much later and in Albany, New York. In 1650 at Ft. Orange, N.Y., the Dutch settlers called gulf," and they played in the streets of the village, making it hazardous to the settlers, and windows were broken. So, an official ordinance was enacted banning golf in the streets.

It is believed that Hugh Kennedy of Ardstincher was Scotland's first golfer. Kennedy was excommunicated as a priest, then a mercenary and was Joan of Arc's Scottish captain. He was also skilled in the game of golf. Together with Kennedy were Robert Stewart and John Smale, who was credited with the game of golf in Scotland.

Mary, Queen of Scots, was out playing golf soon after her husband was murdered. She was, after all, a free spirit. She loved and rode horses like a man and played golf often. She had been schooled in France, where the cadets served the royals carrying their clubs. Thus, she is credited with the word "caddie," and she became known as the "Mother of Golf."

There was a publicity stunt in Florida that an elephant was used as a caddie when President Warren G. Harding played in Miami Beach.

Mary, Queen of Scots

Mary, Queen of Scots
Mary, Queen of Scots
Elephant "caddie" in Florida
Elephant "caddie" in Florida

Rosie, the Elephant Caddie

Rosie, the elephant, was used as President William G. Harding's caddie while playing golf in Miami Beach, Florida. It was a publicity gimmick for Carl Fisher, a developer there.

It was a bonanza for further development in Florida, and newspapers all over the country jumped on the promotion.

Wonder if they ever used a crocodile?

On This Day Proclamation

On The Day
On The Day | Source

Gentlemen Golfers of 1744

The Gentlemen Golfers, later known as the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers while playing at Leith Links, drafted the First 13 Rules for Golf. The original list is preserved at the National Library of Scotland in Edinburgh, U.K.

John Rattray was elected as the 'Captain of the Golf" and signed the very first rules. There were 12 players drafting these rules for playing golf.

John Rattray, Captain of the Golf

John Rattray,Captain of the Golf
John Rattray,Captain of the Golf | Source

Leith Links, Scotland, 1744

Leith Links 1744
Leith Links 1744

The Apple Tree Gang

The Apple Tree Gang
The Apple Tree Gang

The Apple Tree Gang

Formed in 1888 in New York by John Reid after his boyhood friend, Robert Lockart, gave him some golf equipment. It seems Lockhart had some golf equipment sent to him from Old Tom Morris and his shop consisting of two dozen gutta-percha golf balls and six clubs which he gave to Reid.

Reid and five of his friends laid out three short holes across from his home in Yonkers, New York. By the year's end, they formed the St. Andrew's Club, which soon became a nine-hole golf course. They named it St. Andrew's Club after the famous Scottish Club but added an apostrophe.

Can you imagine if the equipment and rules were used by today's golfers?

Five Oldest Golf Courses

Here is a list of the Five Oldest Courses:

Royal Aberdeen, Scotland

Musselburgh, Old Links

Royal North Devon, England

St. Andrews, Old Course, oldest in the world

Oldest Golf Courses in America

Listed here are the oldest golf courses in America

Oak Hurst, W. Virginia

Dorset Field Club, Vermont

Foxburg, Pennsylvania

Shinnecock Hills, New York

Downers Grove, Illinois

The CountryClub, Massachusetts

Newport Countryy Club, Rhode Island

Chicago Golf Club, Illinois

St. Andrew's Golf Club, New York

Golf Museums

British Golf Museum, St. Andrews, Scotland

UGA Museum, Fair Hills, New Jersey

World Golf Hall of Fame, St. Augustine, Florida

Canadian Golf Hall of Fame, Oakville, Ontario

American Golf Hall of Fame, Foxburg, Pennsylvania

Historic Years of Golf

1457-1491 Golf banned in Scotland by King James

1560 Mary Queen of Scots, "Mother of Golf."

1618 Featherie golf ball used

1641 King Charles plays golf

1658 Golf banned in Albany, New York

1744 Gentlemen Golfers formed

1744 First 13 Rules of Golf

1764 St. Andrews, Scotland enlarged to 18 holes

1786 Charleston Golf Club, Charleston, S.C

1888 St. Andrew's Golf Club, New York

1888 Apple Tree Gang

1897 Golf Magazine published in the USA

1900 Olympic Games, winner of men's, Charles Sands

Olympic Games, Women's, Margaret Abbot

1900 Rubber Golf Balls invented

1905 Dimples on golf balls

1929 PGA Formed

1933 Agusta Golf Club opens

1951 PGA Women's Golf


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