Golf has been around much longer than we think, however, not always in the form that we know it today. The modern version that we are familiar with goes way back to 15th century Scotland. That being said, the ancient origins of the game are somewhat unclear. Certain historians believe that this game could be traced back to Roman times, more specifically Paganica games, in which a bent stick was used to hit an improvised ball. Naturally, as the Romans conquered most of Europe, Paganica has spread and evolved.
There is another theory that suggests that golf has roots in a Chinese game called Chuiwan. The game was invented between the eighth and fourteenth century and was played by the Ming Dynasty. This is believed to be based on a piece of art from 1368 that represents a person swinging a club at a ball with a goal of placing it into a hole.
In addition to that, there was a certain game called Cambuca, which originated in England, and Chambot with roots in France. Both of these games have similarities and some basic things in common with the modern golf.
As we said earlier, the modern form of this game was created in Scotland. In 1457, the game was banned, as it represented a distraction during archery classes. This was actually the first documented record of the game. Around half a century later, James IV decides to end the ban on the game, since he started playing it himself. The original golf course had 22 holes initially, but that was soon reduced to 18, as it stayed to this day.
The rules we have in today’s golf are going all the way back to 1744 when some of them were established. When it comes to the United States, golf was first introduced in 1888.
As we mentioned earlier, a golf course usually consists of 18 holes, sometimes nine, which the player must hit in a specific order and a given number of them. The order in which the holes must be hit is controlled by the course design. The small stance on which the ball stands before you hit it is called the tee. You want to try and hit it as far as possible. This isn’t a short game, since the nine-hole play can take up to two hours, and the amount of time that is spent on an 18-hole course is around four hours.
Usually, there are several golfers in the group, and once every one of them has hit the ball, one that manages to get the ball to land farthest, will have the advantage and hit again. Again, they will be followed by everyone else from the group. This activity is repeated, and once everyone is on the green area, their goal is to put the ball into the hole. The green area is where the grass is very short so that the ball can roll and go into the hole, without going into the air. Once again, after every player has done this, they move on to the next one.
When a player makes a swing, that’s called a “stroke” in the golf slang. There is only a certain amount of strokes that a player can try for, which is called a “par.” Of course, if a player manages to hit a hole in less than a par, he will get the “birdie.” However, if he exceeds the par by one stroke, that’s called a “bogey.” A par is usually around three and five number of times.
There are two most common ways of playing, and those are known as Match play and Stroke play.
In this form of golf, two teams, or two individual golfers must try and hit the holes one by one. Whoever needed the lesser number of strokes will win that particular hole. However, if it happens that two players have the same score, then the holes are “drawn.” In this form, players can “surrender the hole” if the reasonable amount of strokes were made and there is no other way for that player to hit a hole.
In this type of play, the player that has the lowest amount of strokes wins again, however, the total number is what matters at the end. Unlike in Match Play, in this form of golf, players must follow strict rules and have no option of surrender. They need to win a hole, no matter how many attempts that might take.
Is Golf the Right Sport for You?
Now that we’ve gone through a short history and the rules of golf, you still might be wondering if that is the best hobby for you, or is it hard to learn. In the beginning, you can start off by getting golf lessons in your local golf club and asking some more experienced players for golf tips.
The game of golf is perfect for people who want to participate in something that’s reasonably competitive, not really physically hard, and what allows them to socialize. That being said, the trickier part is that you actually have to have at least a little bit of talent and a lot of effort needs to be put into it.
The almost passive side of this game might make you think that it can’t possibly be that hard, but it’s actually a challenge to have fun and stay focused when all you do is walk around a green field and calmly push the ball towards the hole. If you happen to be one of those people who find this exciting, then go ahead and try it out.
On top of that, knowing that changing your body rotation by just an inch can turn things for the worse makes it that more difficult. That’s why golf is a highly popular game, but only so many players are world-wide famous and actually good at it. That being said, this shouldn’t stop you from playing it recreationally and even improving your game and competing within your local golf community. What’s interesting is that golf doesn’t really have a standard course (the terrain is never the same) which makes this game interesting and even harder than you thought.
We hope we gave you a little bit of insight into the beautiful game of golf. Overall, you should take several things into consideration: from studying the rules of the game and the availability of classes near you to the cost of golf shoes.