Golf is a sport with a long and storied history. It's a game that has been enjoyed by people all over the world for centuries. And, while you may think you know everything there is to know about golf, chances are you'll be surprised by some of the lesser-known facts about this fascinating game.
So, without further ado, here are 10 surprising golf facts that you probably haven't heard before!
- The word "golf" likely derives from the Dutch word "kolf," which means "club."
- Alternative theories about the origins of the word "golf" include the Scottish word "gouf," meaning "to strike or cuff," and the Middle English word "golve," meaning "glove."
- The first recorded game of golf took place in Scotland in 1457.
- The earliest known golf clubs were made of wood and date back to the 15th century.
- Golf balls were originally made of leather and stuffed with feathers.
- The way we make golf balls today dates back to 1848 when avid golfer Dr. Adam Paterson first injected rubber into a mold to create a more durable ball.
- The game of golf has been banned three times in its history. In 1457, King James II of Scotland outlawed golf because he believed it interfered with the training of his country's archers. In 1502, King James IV lifted the ban after realizing that many of his nobility were playing the game behind his back! And finally, in 1617, King James I of England banned golf (along with bowling) because he felt it was taking away from time spent practicing archery—a skill that was necessary for warfare at the time.
- There are thought to be more than 34,000 golf courses around the world.
- The longest recorded drive in a professional golf tournament was 515 yards (that's just under 1/4 of a mile!) by Mike Austin at the 1974 United States Senior Open at Oakmont Country Club in Pennsylvania.
- The oldest continuously running professional tournament is The Open Championship—better known as The British Open—which was first played in 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland.
Who knew there was so much to learn about golf?
This list barely scratches the surface when it comes to interesting facts about this popular sport! Hopefully, you found these facts as surprising and intriguing as we did. If so, be sure to share this article with your fellow golfer friends—we're sure they'll get a kick out of it too!
We wonder how long it’ll be before Go Low makes it into the list of fascinating facts about Golf?
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