The History of Golf

Where did Golf begin?

Have you ever wondered about the history of golf?

How did golf begin, where did it start and what kind of clubs and balls did they use?.

If you have wondered, you can find the answers here.

(There are lots of photographs and images on these pages. At any time just click on an image to see a larger view)

Golf on Ice?

Are you serious!

The History of Golf

Follow the story of golf’s evolution . . . . . . .

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The height of golfing fashion in 1787

Can you imagine this in your local Pros Shop?

The origins and history of golf

The origins of golf

The origins of golf  are shrouded in the mists of time. Did golf originate in Scotland? or was it Holland, France or Belgium? Judge the history of golf for yourself in this introductory topic.

The first golf courses, golf societies and golf clubs in Scotland

The first written evidence of golf courses are of those in Scotland. But which was the first? Was it St Andrews, as most people presume, or was it somewhere else?

The first written evidence of the formation of golf societies and golf clubs was also in Scotland. But which ones, where and by whom?

When and did the Royal and Ancient get its name?

The earliest golf courses outside of Scotland

Was the first golf club actually in England rather than Scotland? You might be suprised by the answer, or is it really true?.

How did golf spread to the rest of the world?.  

One of the First photographs of golf being played in the United States

at Yonkers, New York

Golf arrives in the United States

Golf in the United States started somewhat later than the rest of the world. But when and where? How did this become such a major impact?

The first caddies

What is the origin of the term caddie? When and where did caddies first appear in the history of golf?

The first professionals

Who were the first professional golfers? What was their role and how did they make a living? What sort of characters were they? What impact did these early professionals have on the history of golf.


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Old and Young Tom Morris

Old Tom witnessed all of the changes in golf ball and equipment

The History of golf equipment

The age of the feathery ball

The first golf balls were probably made of wood, until the feathery ball found favour.

But how was a feathery ball made, when did it arrive, and how did it influence golf club design?

How the Gutty revolutionised golf

What is a gutty ball? Are you aware of the major impact that it had on the history of golf; and are you aware how it revolutionised golf and golf club design?

And how the Haskell propelled the game forwards even more rapidly

The Haskell was the first rubber constructed golf ball, but when and how did this come about? 

How did this further revolutionise the game?

How did this influence teh game as we know it today. What lasting impact did it make on the history of golf?

Golf timeline

This golf timeline provides a simple map of all the major dates and events in the history of golf.

Here is a simple list fo all of the significant events in the histroy of golf, from its earlest years to modern times..

References and recommended reading

There are many books and sources on golf history, some of which have been used here. You will find a useful list here should you wish to delve deeper.

Many of the books are now out of print, but sources are provided for obtaining copies.

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