History of Golf
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The history of Golf goes back to the era of reigning Kingdom in the Scotland during 15th century. It was believed to be originated from a local game in which players would hit a pebble around a natural landscape of sand dunes by using a stick known to be the primitive club. As a detour, the origins of Golf can further be traced back to the ancient Roman game called Paganica around 100 BC, in which participants used a bent stick to hit a stuffed leather ball. During the period of 960 – 1279 AD, games similar to golf – called chuíw án — played with several clubs and a ball are being played in China during the Song Dynasty.
Some of the historians have written that the game was influenced by Kolven and Chole from Holland and Belgium respectively and then was subsequently introduced to Scotland in 1421. Also, there were numerous games being played using sticks and balls at that time but they were lacking the crucial aspect which is unique to golf – Hole. Therefore, amidst so many confusions and arguments regarding the origins of the game might have been, we can safely conclude that Scotland was the place that gave birth to the game we know as golf today (Ceron-Anaya, 2010).
After this humble beginning of golf, Scotland had to defend itself against the English invasion during the mid-15th century. However, the people of the country were so enthusiastically and excitedly playing and enjoying the game of golf and soccer that they neglected military training. So, the Scottish Parliament of King James 2 decreed to ban both the games in 1457. Only in 1502 with the Treaty of Glasgow was the ban lifted. The status as well as popularity of golf then rapidly spread throughout the 16th century because of its royal endorsement. It was King Charles 1 who popularized the game in England and Mary Queen of Scots, a French, introduced it to France as she studied there. Mary, often played, her clubs carried by students she called “cadets.” It is believed this is the origin of the word “caddie.” James I appointed both official golf club and golf ball makers in the 1600s, while also lifting the ban on Sunday golf. James II organized the first international match, between England and Scotland (Pearson, 2004).
In England as well as Scotland, the sport didn’t belong to any particular class, but to all classes. The courses in those days were not as they are seen in today’s golf. The premier golf course of the time was Leith near Edinburgh. Indeed King Charles I was on the course when given the news of the Irish rebellion of 1641. Leith proudly takes the credit to have become the scene of the first international golf match in 1682 when Duke of York and George Patterson who were playing for Scotland defeated two Englishmen.
During the 17th century England, nothing much was formally arranged with regards to the number of holes. However, there were formal golf courses that existed at that time such as: clubs at Gosford, Blackheath (a seven-hole course near London) and St. Andrew’s. Widely known even at that time, these courses were frequently attended by the upper class and nobility. 1608 was founding year of Blackheath, while St. Andrews Royal and Ancient Club came into existence in 1754. Yet St. Andrews claims to be the cradle of the golf. The common people, on the other hand, played on open land as the early illustrations of the sport show men playing among herds of sheep. The game in this region had been nurtured for over five hundred years and from here, it has been raised to the great game played and loved by millions throughout the world today.
The Early Equipment
Even in the early days the greatest obstacle faced by the lower class regarding the play was the price of the golf ball. The balls at that time were made up of feather and leather and it was extremely difficult to make them, therefore, only four or five were being produced per man. During 1600s their cost was relatively higher, however, they became slightly after reaching the mid-18th century, but it was still difficult to possess by the lower classes ("A History of Golf since 1497 part 4", 2016).
The early golf clubs, on the other hand, were made up of the materials that were somewhat similar to today’s clubs – wood and iron. However, the most significant difference between the old clubs and the modern ones was the way they were used. Initially, the use of iron was only in the cases of getting out difficult spots such as ditches, ruts and other hazards. Iron clubs were hardly ever used for approaches, while wood clubs were used almost exclusively in most parts of the play. Even today, while iron clubs (or wedges) are still used for getting out the difficult spots, they are also used for approaches, a modification that did not happen until mid-1800s. The heads of the clubs were made from either beech wood or fruit trees like apple. Sometimes from forged iron.
Establishment of Golf Clubs
The gradual development and progress in terms of the popularity of the game, golf slowly developed the aura of exclusivity surrounding it. The reason for this can be attributed to the establishment of golf Clubs (not the equipment). In the year 1744, a distinct group of golf connoisseurs, who called themselves “Gentlemen of Honor”, formed the Company of Gentleman Golfers (presently known as the “Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers”) is believed to be oldest golf Club in the world. The Honorable Company also drafted a set of rules and guidelines as to how the game of the golf be played. Therefore, when the Society of St. Andrews Golfers came up with the St. Andrews code in 1754, they drew heavily from the Honorable Company’s rules ("About Golf - History - International Golf Federation (IGF)", 2014).
Apart from the Honorable Company as well as Royal and Ancient Club of St. Andrews, the Edinburgh Burges Golfing Society (1773), Musselburgh (1774), the Bruntsfield Links Golf Club (1787) and the Glasgow Club (1787) were then subsequently formed in Scotland. These early Clubs were actually exceptions, but by the 1850s, United Kingdom had around 35 clubs. After that, it was Pau, France (1856), where first Club was formed outside UK. However, it was in real sense started by Scottish soldiers who had passed through and returned later to dwell and build a course.
In the year 1851, the Prestwick Golf Club was formed. After that, there was a first major national championship played in 1860, which paved the way for British Open, with Willie Park as winner. Around that time, the legend of Old Tom Morris was born when he won the event in 1862, 1864 and 1867. He was then succeeded by his own son, Young Tom Morris, who went on to become the first great champion winning the event a record four consecutive times starting from 1869. Apart from some of the very few sponsored occasions such as British Open, most of the Golf professionals used to make a living from competitions by betting against their opponents. During the same time the professionals also earned by providing coaching and training, ball and club making and caddying (Vamplew, W. 2004).. During the first half of the nineteenth century, golf was in many ways was an informal game and there was hardly any difference between the amateurs and professionals. Even the best professionals at that time used to make only about 7 to 17 shillings per week (which today would be about £20 to £50, or $31 to $77).
The modern game of golf as considered by many, took its form during the nineteenth century. This change can primarily be attributed to the modernization of the equipment. In 1848, Adam Patterson was credited to have developed the first gutta percha ball called “guttie” that was made up of rubber like sap of Gutta tree, a native to the tropics. It was cheaper to make guttie as compared to the earlier ones as well as easier to repair and rapidly turned into standard of golf. At the start, the gutta percha balls were much smoother than featheries which traveled less distance. However, during 1880s, the manufacturers started using patterns on the surface of the balls to replicate the effect of the old featheries. In the later part of the century, during 1890s, a number of companies started using models and patterns to create the balls. So that they could become even more affordable and usable. The changes in golf balls also necessitated changes in golf clubs.
The Great Triumvirate
The era of 1890-1914 is still known for the impression left on the game of golf by John Henry Taylor, Harry Vardon and James Braid. They became popular as the Great Triumvirate and together they shared sixteen Open Championships among them and therefore left an indelible mark on the game of golf. Harry Vardon belonged to Channel Island of Jersey, while Henry Taylor was from Devon in England.
Taylor won the first of his five Open Championships in 1894 at St. George’s (now Royal St. George’s), while Vardon, on the other hand, pipped Taylor in a play off in 1896 to land the first of a record six titles. Similarly, James Braid won his first in 1901 and joined Vardon and Taylor as an indomitable force at that time. Unlike Vardon and Taylor, Braid never made the transatlantic crossing to enjoy the spoils of the newly emerged golfing scene in the USA, however, he won French Open (Janeway, 1988).
What had begun as a trickle of Scots, the sport of golf found United States as a hub by the turn of the nineteenth century, where anyone who had a knack of swinging a club on Scots Links was able to find a lucrative opportunity as professional. The early US Open Championships used to be won by the Scotland born players, who in turn as teachers and mentors, produced players who really transformed the game. One such notable player was Willie Anderson from North Berwick in Scotland, who won the US Open four times including a present day record of three in a row from 1903 to 1905.
Between the Great Wars and the Emergence of World Game
The First World War wrecked Scottish golf. Each town war remembrance verifies the numbers who fell in France and few clubs were without a dedication to some rising star, who played out in order to keep going match on the fields of Flanders. Some incredible players survived yet the result of dread gutted their diversion. Those that came through unscathed were very few in number, decided never to see the like again and regularly chose to play in America - golf's guaranteed land.
There was one eminent special case in the phenomenal George Duncan. Born close to Aberdeen, George served his time as a woodworker before dismissing his occupation and the offer of expert footballer with Aberdeen FC to become the expert at Stonehaven, before moving to the lucrative South and praise. He won the primary post-war Open at Deal in 1920 when Sandy Herd a 51 years old became runner-up. Duncan likewise played in the Ryder Cups of '27 and '29, captaining the side in 1931. Scottish golfers were painfully tried by the rush of original Americans that came back to beat the Championships after the War. These players changed the amusement of the game, bringing an energy and way of life that instigated some uneasiness in the home based players.
US golf got to be pre-prominent and however the Americans might not have been totally in charge of winning the war, they won the clash of post-war golf. One could contend that not having encountered the social and financial upheaval of Europe or the long obstruction of play, they were endlessly better prepared for the resumption of golfing oppositions. Similarly, the sheer numbers that were currently playing golf in the US made pre-eminences measurably inescapable. Whatever might have been the reason, in any case, American golfers surely went to the fore, after the War years ("Wide World of Golf: A Research Note on the Interdependence of Sport, Culture and Economy", 2006).
The US mastery of the Open Championship itself did not happen after the war just as it had in the pre-war time of Hagan and Jones. Skeptics contend that the Americans did not play as by doing that would have rendered to loss of income at home yet history recounts an alternate story. In spite of the fact that Sam Snead won the primary post-war Open at St Andrews in 1946 and Ben Hogan was triumphant in his lone visit to Carnoustie in 1953; every alternate significant figure in US golf had gone back and forth with outstandingly less achievement. English players were predominant in the prompt post-war years, with Cotton, Burton, Faulkner and Daly (Irish) all triumphant.
Golf in South Korea
Amid the Japanese colonial time in Korea, no golf was ever played there. Even after the freedom of Korea and before the Fifth Republic, there were less than 25 golf courses in all of South Korea. Golf was not a game that held much enthusiasm for Koreans. By the mid-1980s, however, with quick economic improvements, some South Korean chaebols perceived the gigantic benefit potential in developing golf courses.
In the previous decades, to keep up political security and advance economic development, South Korea has channeled significant resources towards commercialized sports, including golf. A considerable source regarding backing for building golf courses has originated from government leaders and from economic and social motivations also. In the past 4 years the government has permitted to construct 135 new courses (An & Sage, 1992). The official government has revealed that these new golf courses being built are meant for all. But these golf courses significantly need participation, which is to a great degree costly. In spite of the colossal power and resources of the dominant groups in Korea, there are elements of resistance. The golf boom has been seriously questioned in light of the fact that it reduces a lot of area from agrarian and industrial productivity.
South Korea is Asia's fourth greatest economy and in numerous regards it's viewed as a developed economy following years of quick development. It became a member of the the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in 1996. Korea, as we know, is a country of dedicated individuals who have for a considerable length of time strived to get their economy into the top position in the world. Therefore, golf is being seen as leisurely sport by both men and women of South Korea.
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