A Brief Introduction to the World of Golf

Golf is a grand old game, depending on how you look at it. There are those of course (no pun intended) who claim that “Golf is nothing more than a good walk spoiled” – pah! Heresy I say.

Remember when Golf was by and large understood to be a summer sport? Now those were the days. You used to get all excited come March / April time when the US Masters from Augusta was televised, then it was not long before the Open Championship from usually some wind swept piece of sand and gorse somewhere in Scotland. After that it was headlong into the US Open and the US PGA.

Before you knew it the season was over and you were busy packing your clubs away and counting the days until the next season started.

Not any longer however!

We now have this slightly strange situation whereby the PGA European Tour which stands for the Professional Golfers Association now has events in the far East and elsewhere worldwide so that golfing is now a fair weather sport just anywhere in the world (outside of the USA as far as the PGA European Tour are concerned) as long as the sun is shining and the weather is OK!

This latter fact is interesting in that it now a case of Golf being a truly worldwide and universal sport (wasn’t even Neil Armstrong famously filmed playing a form of golf on the moon?) that can be played by almost anyone.

There are golf courses in nearly every community in the United States and the world over. The majority all offer tee times that are available to pre book when you make reservations but by and large golf is a game that you must by and large plan ahead. Most things in golf are achievable but nearly all of them are achievable if you plan ahead well in time.

How golf got its start is a fascinating topic that all golfers want to know more about, and the game has a history rich in culture and lore.

Scotland has long been believed to be where golfing originated. Golf was played at what is now as the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (R & A), and this led to a law being put in place by the then King, King James in 1457. The kings soldiers were spending too much time on the game and not enough time on archery practice and therefore made the game illegal. Early accounts of the game are also seen in depictions inside England’s Gloucester Cathedral dating back to 1340.

The word “golf” is based on the Dutch word “kolf,” which refers to a “bat, smash or fasten,” and hence may give credence to the idea that golf began in the Netherlands. Apparently there was a game where you place an ball in a hole in the ice, and this was called “ice kolf,” which might be seen as how the land-based form of the game developed i.e. less seasonal. More lately, a German scholar has found early depictions of the game of “Kolven,” which was a game about putting a ball into a hole, and this supposedly helps to set the sport’s origins in the Netherlands.

At the end of the day, none of this is important, what is important is the fact that more and more people are playing the game and that only has to be good for the sport.