A brief history of golf

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A Brief History of Golf

Golf is one of the most popular and beloved games in the world today. Usually played on large courts in the outdoors, the game is an excellent way to get some exercise, as well as relax mentally. For this reason, many health professionals recommend the game as a primary form of exercise to elderly people, as well as young children.

Golf is also hugely popular among bettors. This fact may surprise some. However, it isn’t all that strange, when taking into consideration the fact that golf is an all-year-round game. What this means is that there is a golf game being played at any point during the year. Unsurprisingly, websites like the ones found on betstation.com cover these games extensively. Which, of course, only serves to increase the game’s popularity.

But, how did the game come about? What is golf’s origin point? In this article, we will go over a brief history of the sport, to give you some idea of where it came from and how it got to be where it is.

The Early Years

The origins of golf are hotly debated. Supposedly, a game similar to golf has been played in the Netherlands since the 1200s. Loenen aan de Vecht could potentially be the origin for golf. However, some historians believe the stories are apocryphal, and not to be taken seriously.

Whether the game played at the Dutch village could accurately be described as golf or not, one thing is certain: the name of the game is derived from the Dutch language. In 1261, a Dutch manuscript uses the word kolf which could be translated to club. This is the first written example of the word being used, and is likely where the name of the sport comes from.

Throughout Dutch history, references to stick-and-ball games are quite numerous. In 1360, for example, a council in Brussels banned a game they called “kolf” for some reason, saying that “whoever plays the game shall pay 20 shillings or have his jacket confiscated.” Similar references have been made to this game called “kolf.” However, no official rules about the game remain. We can’t know whether this is the game as we know it today.

Golf in Scotland

Most historians agree that golf, as we know it today, originated in the Scottish Highlands, during the Middle Ages. There is certainly no denying that stick-and-ball games have existed for centuries. However, the game played over 18 holes originates in Scotland, at least according to most historians.

The game was first documented in the 1400s, when King James II of Scotland prohibited playing a sport called gwolf, as it served as a distraction from military training. After James II’s passing, the law seemed to have been largely ignored, until the game was once more banned by James IV for being “unprofitable.” Notably, Mary, Queen of Scots was a prominent golfer, which caused quite a lot of scandals during her lifetime.

For most of its existence, golf was, indeed, unprofitable and unpopular. It wasn’t until the 19th century that the English adopted golf, and the game caught on throughout the colonies. Today, golf is incredibly popular, played in the USA, England, Scotland, Ireland, Japan, and most of Europe.

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