The Origin Of Golf . . A Brief Review

Part 3 (Continued from the History of Golf)

The origin of golf as a game according to some historians began in China. The Chinese played a game with ball and club very similar to golf.

The term "Golf" seems to have its origin in the Middle Dutch term "Colve" or "Colf" relating to a stick game called "Kloven".

It has been suggested that golf is related to a Celtic game call "Hurley". However, according to some historians, the origin of golf can be traced back to the early thirteen hundreds in the Netherlands where a game similar to golf was being played with a "ball and stick".

However, again looking at the origin of golf, some historians also believe that the game of putting a small ball in a hole in the ground using golf clubs, was also played in 17th-century Netherlands and that this predates the game in Scotland. There are also reports of much earlier accounts of a golf-type game existing within continental Europe.

It seems that the first documented games of golf played in North America were in Charleston, South Carolina. The South Carolina Golf Club located in Charleston, according to the Charleston newspaper "The Gazette", began playing golf in the year 1786.

There is a lot written about the origin of golf with many historians having spent years developing time-lines on the game.

We would like to just outline the more important facts concerning the game in the form of a timeline which we started with:

Part 1 - The History of Golf

Part 2 - Golf History

Part 3 - Origin of Golf as follows:

The Origin of Golf includes playing at an 'Early Age'

THE ORIGIN OF GOLF 1900 - 1930



J.H. Taylor secures the first of five British Open victories. J.H. Taylor, Harry Vardon, and James Braid will come to be known as the "Great Triumvirate". Combined, the three champions gather 16 British Open championships.

During this year, the game of golf is included in the Olympics for the first time. Twenty two men and women golfers are included in the Summer Games in Paris.

Sometime during this year, the use of persimmon for manufacturing golf club heads has become popular. Another material being considered is Aluminum.

Harry Vardon wins the United States Open. During the rounds played in this tournament, he played with the "Vardon Flyer" golf ball.

A patent is issued to the Goodrich Rubber Company for a machine that winds rubber threads around the core of a Haskell golf ball.

Production on a high scale begins for the "Haskell" golf ball. The "Gutta Percha" balls begin to fade out in popularity.

Lancelot Servos wins the long drive competition in Tampa, Florida with a drive of 230 yards.


According to the origin of golf, Walter Travis was the first player to win a major golf tournament using the "Haskell" wound, rubber-core golf ball, and goes on to win the United States Amateur championship.

North Carolina Pinehurst Resort opens the first nine holes of what would become known later as Pinehurst Number Two.


Golf club irons are now being produced with grooves on the club faces. This is a first in golf history.

Sandy Herd, playing with the new "Haskell" golf ball, wins both the Hoylake England Open and the British Open.


Oakmont Country Club opens this year close to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

During this year according to the origin of golf, the first golf course in Japan is built in Kobe, Japan. The course is built by British residents and it is a 9-hole course.

Balata rubber is now being utilized by the Spalding Company for the covering on the "Haskell" golf ball. The material is more durable than the previously-used "Gutta-Percha" rubber.


The British Open format changes to 18 holes on each of the first two days and 36 on the third day.

During this year, the British Amateur winner Walter Travis is the first United States citizen to win this tournament.

John H. Oke is the winner of the Canadian Open Tournament which is played for the first time.

Willie Anderson becomes the first back-to-back winner and the first three-time United States Open winner in the history of golf.

Golf is dropped from the Olympic program following the Games this year. Golf was included only twice in the Olympics up until this event. Seventy-seven golfers took part in the Olympic golf tournament at the Summer Games in St. Louis, all but two were American.


James Braid wins the British Open, the first of five times he will win this tournament.

At this time, the "Dympl" golf ball is patented by William Taylor and is introduced to the general golfing community.

In Harry Vardon's book, "The Complete Golfer", the Vardon Grip is explained.

The only golfer to-date to win three straight U.S. Open titles, Willie Anderson, also wins the tournament a total of four times.


At this time in Golf History Ireland's Links at Bullybunion open for the first time in County Kerry, Ireland.

Robert Trent Jones Sr., golf course architect is born during this year.


The only Frenchman ever, Arnaud Massyin wins the British Open Tournament. He is the first player from outside the British Isles to win the British Open.


One of the greatest pioneers of the game of golf, Old Tom Morris, dies during this year in history.


The R&A's Rules Committee stipulates standards and rulings on golf equipment.

David Hunter posts a record 68 score, the first sub-70 round in United States Open history.

According to the history of golf, Dorothy Campbell is the first woman to win both the United States and British Women's Amateur titles.


Steel-shafted golf clubs developed by Arthur Knight 20 years earlier, are being advertised and sold to the golfing world. The hickory shaft will remain the predominant shaft for another 25 years.

The United States Golf Association differs from an earlier "R&A Equipment Ruling" by maintaining center-shafted putters legal when R&A declared them illegal.

The Origin Of Golf probably include information on some type of Putter


During this year in the origin of golf, the Canadian Professional Golfers Association is founded.

Harold Hilton, a foreign-born player wins both the United States and British Amateur Championships in the same year.

Within this time period in the origin of golf, The R&A has once again rejected steel-shafted clubs as being legal.

The United States Golf Association has specified yardages for determining Par as follows: Par-3, up to 225 yards; Par-4, 225-425 yards; Par-5; 426-600 yards; Par-6, 601 yards and up.

John McDermott at only 19 years, 10 months and 12 days old is the youngest American-born player to win the U.S. Open.


Owning a record not yet equaled, John Ball wins his eighth British Amateur championship.


Defeating favorites Ted Ray and Harry Vardon in a sudden-death play-off, Francis Ouimet, age 20, becomes the first amateur to win the United States Open.

The United States and France play the first professional international match at La Boulie Golf Club, France.


The Japanese golf boom is initiated with the formation of The Tokyo Club at Komozawa, Japan.

According to the origin of golf, with an unbroken record to this day the great Harry Vardon wins his sixth Open Championship. Tom Watson and Peter Thomson has since won five Open Championships each.


During the First World War, the Open Championship and the PGA Championship have been discontinued for the remainder of the conflict.

Jim Barnes is the first champion crowned in the PGA Championship. The Professional Golf Association of America is founded by an eighty two charter membership vote.

A ruling banning Francis Ouimet as a qualified tournament amateur golf player is reversed. Apparently his involvement with a sporting goods business prompted the ban.


Responsibility for control over the British Open Championship and the British Amateur Championship remains with the R & A.

Del Monte Golf Links have their inaugural opening in Pebble Beach, California.


The first driving range in the United States is opened in Pinehurst, North Carolina during this year of the origin of golf.

The "Green Section" within the United States Golf Association is founded to conduct research on turf grass designated for the game of golf.

The golf tournament scheduled for the 1920 Summer Olympics in Antwerp has been canceled.

The oldest continually-published golf magazine, the "PGA Magazine" is first published in the United States.


The R & A initiates a ruling limiting the spherical size and the specific weight of the golf ball to be used in "Official" golf tournaments.

Some type of  ball was included in the Origin of Golf.


The infamous golfer Walter Hagen becomes the first Professional Golfer to open a golf equipment company under his own name. He also becomes the first native-born American golfer to win The Open Championship.

During this time during the origin of golf, the Walker Cup Match is instituted. George Herbert Walker the "Walker Cup" founder was the grandfather of George H. W. Bush, the 41st President, and great grandfather to George W. Bush, the 43rd President of the United States.

During this year, the Pine Valley Golf Club begins in New Jersey.


A.W. Tillinghast, golf course architect, sees the fruit of his labors come to fruition when the Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York opens for play.


During this year in the origin of golf, the Olympic Club in San Francisco sponsors its inaugural event.

Steel-shafted golf clubs are legalized by the USGA. The R & A still does not recognize the change in shafts until the year 1929 under the Rules of Golf.

Woman golfer Joyce Wethered has won her record fifth consecutive English Ladies' Championship.


Agricultural designers in Dallas, Texas develop the first fairway irrigation system.

Excessive deep-grooving on the clubface of golf club irons is banned by both the R & A and the USGA.


The British Amateur Tournament is won by Jess Sweetser, a native-born American.

The third-oldest surviving Professional Golf Association Tour event, the Los Angeles Open, is inaugurated.

During this year in history, the British Open is won by Bobby Jones.


U.S. Department of Agriculture develops "Bent Grass" for Putting Greens.

The Ryder Cup Matches are played beginning this year between the United States and Britain.


The Open Championship is won by Walter Hagen for the fourth time.

Palm Beach, Florida has a new golf club, the Seminole Golf Club opening this year. This was a Donald Ross design.


During this time in the origin of golf a new golf course in Long Island, New York is opened to the golfing world, the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club.

The R & A elects the Duke of York as its new captain. He later becomes King George VI.

Bobby Jones captures the Grand Slam of golf, winning the U.S. and British Amateurs and the U.S. and British Opens in the same year. He then retires from competition at age twenty eight, to practice law full-time.

Bobby Jones, at a later time founded the Augusta National Golf Club.

I am sure the Origin of Golf included many 'Miracles'

We will continue this Origin of Golf Timeline at a later date. Stay Tuned!

Thanks again for Visiting Us!


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