While it may seem like the game of golf has been around forever, it did have a beginning way back in 1497 Scotland. There, wooden sticks that looked a little more like hockey sticks were used to hit round rocks on a course that included dunes, tracks, and rabbit runs, all natural of course.
Before that time, there were other similar games played in Belgium and Holland, but they didn’t have any hole in the course, they were more like soccer or hockey, with a goal rather than a hole. As a side note, it’s also widely believed that if the Scotts had spent more time practicing for battle, and less time playing golf, they would have been able to resist the British invasion in the 15th century.
Since then, the game has changed, the equipment advanced, and billions of dollars have been spent on building golf courses for people to play the game on. Here are some other cool facts about the game.
King Charles Loved The Game and Brought it Mainstream
In the 16th century, golf had been around for a few hundred years and was growing in popularity each year. Of course, without the benefit of TV, advertising, and other forms of promotion it was hard to get the word around to the masses. However, King Charles the 1st had a love of the game, he endorsed it enthusiastically, and the word spread. Once Mary, Queen of Scots, who was French by birth, introduced the game to France, golf’s popularity began to spread.
In 1682 the very first international golf match was held near Edinburgh, England when two Scots beat two English noblemen. From then on, golf match plays grew in number throughout England, Ireland, and Scotland, plus a few on the mainland as well. The first golf club, whose goal it was to spread the word, was formed in 1744 and it was called the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith. It held annual competitions and began awarding prizes such as a handmade silver golf club to the winner.
The History Of Golf Carts Is Much More Recent
While they are referred to as carts, in most places, they are golf cars. They have been around since about the 1930s and were mostly used for those with disabilities or who couldn’t walk. Later on, about 1950, several manufacturers began making several different models and promoting them for use by everybody.
Now, these incredible little vehicles can be purchased to look like classic cars, trains, roadsters, and four-wheel-drives. Plus, many golf retirement communities allow these golf cars to be used on their roads, so they’ve been made road ready with lights, horns, windshields, and other safety items to make them legal.
Most club car golf carts are only able to achieve a top speed of about 15 miles per hour which keeps them slow enough to not need to have license plates and other requirements in most states.
If you’re a golfer, you probably care more about getting on the greens than the real history of golf. However, some interesting twists and turns made the game what it is today, a multi-billion dollar industry with many millions of enthusiasts.