The Roots and History of Golf
The Origins of the Game of Kings
Golf is one sport that has lasted for many, many years. From players during the reign of Caesar in golf’s earliest stages to players like Phil Mickelson and Rory McIlroy of today. Golf has endured the test of time and has come through as an important sport in each part of the globe.
Golf dates back to the time of Julius Caesar. Although it was not the golf that is played today, it was a similar game. They played by striking a feather-stuffed ball with club-shaped tree branches. Golf was also traced back to the Song Dynasty in China during the years 960 to 1279. The games of these times were not exactly the golf that is known today; the roots of today’s game can be traced back to Scotland in 1457. The game was then outlawed by King James II of Scotland, as it detracted from the training for the military.
Golf became a pastime in Great Britain in the seventeenth century, and that was a familiar theme throughout the world. In 1860, the first British Open, a tournament that is still played today, had taken place. The popularity of the sport then began to spread throughout the entire world. The first permanent golf club in North America was founded in Montreal, Canada, in 1873 and was named “Canada’s Royal Montreal Club.” The US caught wind of this and decided to embrace the golf craze as well. The first 18-hole course in the United States was in The Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Illinois, in 1893.
The governing body of golf began as the United States Golf Association (USGA) in the year 1894. Then the current governing body of today, the Professional Golf Association of America, was founded in 1916. Both amateurs and professionals are allowed to play in open events like the US Open and the British Open, which are “open” to the public. However, there are certain events that amateurs are not allowed to play in, like the world golf championships—the Accenture Match Play Championship or the Arnold Palmer Invitational. These events are examples of professional events only.
Beginning in 1981, the name of the pro circuit was officially changed to the Tournament Players Association (TPA) Tour. The name was changed again to its current name of the Professional Golfers Association or the PGA tour. Tournament golf had become a well-established spectator sport in the United States by the 1920s and has been gaining popularity ever since. Golf is known around the globe and has gained popularity, as it is becoming more televised and marketed. Golf seems to be a sport that will go on to live forever.