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Origins of Golf - A Brief History

History of Golf

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Sport is an excellent activity that helps us keep fit and stay healthy. Some people prefer gambling, in particular, playing slots. They choose the best free spins casino for playing online pokies. This is a hobby they stick with.
At the same time, some men focus their attention on sport: they prefer playing football, basketball, volleyball, hockey, and golf.
Modern golf originated in the 15th century in Scotland. The game was played close to the royal capital — Edinburgh. However, this version is not the only one. When it comes to the game's origin, there are many debates and a lot of uncertainty.
In this article, we have tried to get to the bottom of it. If you are obsessed with golf as we are or are just starting your journey, the information below will be in handy.


As we said, the origin of the modern golf game has been debated for a long time. Some historians claim that golf originated from the Roman paganica, which involved a bent stick that helped players to hit a wool-stuffed ball. The game spread across the country when the Romans conquered Europe in the 1st century BC.
Other scientists believe golf is a great-grandchild of chuiwan — a Chinese-born game invented in the 14th century. It was described as “a game in which a player hits a ball with a stick when walking”.
Many historians considered early forms of golf to be played in Holland, Belgium, and France. The word "golf" is thought to be derived from the Dutch word "kolf", meaning "club".
According to one version, the golf game could appear at the beginning of the 15th century. It was a form of mediaeval football. It was one of few games in which the element of violence has been eliminated. Violence has been replaced with skills. 

Are Scots Inventors?

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A popular misconception about golf's origin is that Scots invented the game. This fallacy is based on several references in Scottish acts of Parliament dated back to the end of the 15th century.
However, one piece of the evidence points to a continental European origin of the game, namely the picture depicting the golf game that dates back to the 15th century.
The first mention of golf in Scotland appeared only in 1680. It is an oil painting where four gentlemen and two caddies are depicted in the background of St. Andrews. Another physical evidence found in Scotland is a picture painted by Paul Sandby. He depicted several soldiers playing golf: they are fighting for the ball in the shrubbery close to a famous Edinburgh Castle.
Speaking of the Scottish origin of golf, we have to note that the Scottish sources cannot confirm that modern golf resembles the same game mentioned in the acts. 

Early Golf in Scotland

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In 1457, James II banned the golf game in Scotland. He felt that the game was a distraction from archery practice. However, the ban was short-lived, and golf quickly regained popularity. By the early 16th century, golf was well established in Scotland and had spread to other parts of Europe.
The earliest known Scottish golf course was at St Andrews. It was founded in 1552. The game soon became hugely popular among the nobility and gentry, with much royal patronage. Mary, Queen of Scots was known as an avid golfer and is even said to have played while pregnant! Some historians believe she played "pell-mell and golf" (the game played predominantly on earth surfaces) soon after the death of her husband, though she must have been in mourning. A Scottish scholar, George Buchanan, wrote that the queen was playing on fields not adapted to women.
James II of Scotland played the first international golf contest in 1681. It was the game when he was competing against two English courtiers. His teammate was one John Paterson, the man who got money and built a mansion in Edinburgh known as “Golfers Land” after a famous golf match.

Other Countries

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Before golf clubs and organisations appeared in North America, British settlers and merchants took the golf game with them. In India, the first golf club was founded in 1829. It was called “the Royal Calcutta Golf Club”. Twelve years later, the golf club appeared in Bombay and other Asian countries as well. For instance, in Bangkok the first club was in an ancient temple. The Chinese and Japanese got familiar with an already popular game only at the end of the 19th century.
Golf became a popular sports game in Japan right after World War II. There were thousands of people who wanted to try the new game even though the land in the country was expensive, and players had to pay quite a sum.
The first golf course in France was in Pau, in 1856. Until 1913, the golf club “Golf de Pau” was popular with Scottish residents. By the way, some of them were descendants of Wellington’s army.
In Germany, golf was first played by Englishmen. Later, in 1895, the first German club was founded. 
There was also a club in Cannes. You may not know, but it appeared thanks to the “King of Cannes”, the Russian grand duke Michael, in 1891.

Is Golf Popular Now?

Despite its long history, golf remains a popular sport today. Though its popularity has ebbed and flowed over the years, there are still many passionate golfers in the world.
Several factors have kept golf popular throughout the years. For one, it is a relatively easy sport to learn. While it takes time and practice to master the game, most people can pick up the basics fairly quickly. Additionally, golf can be played at any age - making it a great activity for families or groups of friends of all ages.
Another reason golf has remained popular is that it is a social sport. Unlike other individual sports such as running or swimming, golf allows people to interact and connect with others. Whether you're playing a round with friends or meeting new people at the driving range, golf is a great way to socialise.