The History and Origins of Golf

The great history of Golf

The origin of golf is lost in the dawn of time. This game of princes (this sport, now), would no longer exist if the English Freemasons, passionate golfers, had not supported and developed it between 1750 and 1850. Since then, this sport full of traditions has been able to evolve through time without losing its core identity.

The courses, the rules, the equipment, the competitions are all delicate areas that have each evolved in their way, following a personal path during two centuries that mark the history of golf.

Where does golf come from? No one will ever know. According to the Latin poet of the 1st century, Martial, there existed at the time of the Roman Empire a popular game, the paganica, which was to be practiced with a leather ball filled with feathers and a curved stick.

The rules of the game were codified in 1764 by the club of St Andrews, the famous Royal and Ancient, which is in a way “” the Mecca of Golf “”.

The origins of Golf

Golf historians believe that the game developed simultaneously in Scotland and the Netherlands. The oldest archives record the practice of Kolf from the beginning of the 14th century in the Netherlands, and in England (Under the name of Cambuc).

The Middle Ages saw the appearance of balls and bats quite similar to golf: the “”Hurley”” in Ireland, the “”Shinty”” in Scotland, the “”Chole”” In Flanders, the “”Soule””, its French version and especially the “”Pall Mall”” which was born in Italy.

Golf takes its final form in France. We play with clubs that already look like golf Clubs. The swing is almost identical. The game consists of passing the ball through a hoop at the end of the playing area.

The game of the princes

In 1502, Jacques IV, King of Scotland, was a big fan of golf, buying clubs “”under the mantle””. He played golf with such passion that the following year he borrowed 42 Scottish shillings from his great-lord Treasurer to pay off a gambling debt!

On the other side of the border, Catherine of Aragon, the first of the six unfortunate wives of Henry VIII, King of England, refers to golf in a letter to Cardinal Wolsey in 1513. But this game took hold across the English Channel in 1603, when James VI of Scotland also became James I of England. This sovereign settled in London his court, his family and his “”clubs””. Golf then won its nobility.

The game is a big hit with the aristocracy. Ladies and gentlemen in court costumes swing in the heart of the city in defiance of broken doors and windows as well as wounded passers-by. The authorities are therefore taking steps to protect the public: wearing a red jacket for golfers in the first place, if necessary sending it to the country in the second place: golf, a game of princes and princesses-history of golf on Golf Passion.

Golf crafts

In the beginning, because of its high cost, golf was practiced exclusively by the nobility and the big bourgeoisie. Players then use feather balls, which can be worth three times the price of a club.

Their manufacture is an art, which requires patience and length of time. Chicken or goose feathers are boiled and packed in a cowhide envelope that is closed with a needle. Then the bullet is waterproofed with lead paint. A good craftsman only makes three balls a day, and players have to have 4 or 5 of them all the time. Very efficient, they are unfortunately fragile and are quickly lost in the tall grass.

As for the “”clubs””, they are made of wood, except one, made of iron, used in desperate situations (to get out of the sand, from a rut or from a way too stony). But he pulverizes a bullet too easily, three times more expensive than him! Also, the artisans set up their stalls at the start of the “”courses””. Unlucky players can get spare balls and “”clubs”” there.

Golf in the Kingdom of Orange

The Netherlands were masters in the manufacture of feather balls and sent them to Scotland for wooden clubs. Trade was frequent at this time between the two countries and continued until the 18th century.

Thanks to the Netherlands, golf is spreading all over the world. A great maritime power, this country has many colonies. The rich merchants took away their “”clubs”” during their travels. The game appeared in Italy, Germany and Nex York, 100 years before Scottish golf was mentioned. “”Clubs”” were even found in a galleon sunk in the early 17th century as it sailed to Indonesia.

Surprise disappearance

And then, suddenly, for no apparent reason, golf disappeared from the Netherlands in the 18th century. He also fell into disgrace in England. For the reigning sovereigns have no interest in him. Always eager to please, the nobility handed over its “”clubs””. As for the middle class, it still does not have the means to play this game.

The preponderance of Scotland

Golf then entered a long period of lethargy. Except in Scotland, where he will rise from the Ashes. Firstly, for economic reasons. The manufacture of “”clubs”” became one of the important resources of the country until the end of the 16th century. More or less talented amateurs make them.

As soon as the king and the nobility began to play, the trade in “”clubs”” grew. The first “”clubmakers”” were manufacturers of arches, more expert in the flexibility and elasticity of wood than carpenters.

However, the artisans ‘ ability alone could not have kept their prestige in golf. As the appearance of new players remained limited, for financial reasons, the game began to collapse again. Without Freemasonry in the 18th century, he would not have survived.