Take a peek at some of our favorite golf-related tidbits:
1. Golf did not originate in Scotland.
While modern-day golf has its origins in Scotland, it can be traced all the way back to Julius Caesar’s reign in 100 BC. Although the game they played differed from our modern version, the basic ideas remained the same. Rather than using a rubber or plastic ball, golfers used leather stuffed with feathers and clubs manufactured from tree branches at the time.
According to some reports, golf was also played in China during the Song Dynasty, which lasted from the late 10th to the late 13th century.
2. Scotland’s King James II made golf illegal.
Who would ever consider prohibiting the game on the green? The answer is the country’s monarch, who is credited with inventing modern-day golf.
Both golf and football were outlawed by King James II in 1457. Military training was mandatory for boys over the age of twelve at the time. Scotland suffered continuing aggression from its English neighbors, necessitating the continued use of military talents by able-bodied young men. Boys, on the other hand, tended to work on their swings rather of honing their archery–not the most practical skill for facing an opponent! The prohibition on golf and football was abolished once a peace deal with England was concluded some decades later.
3. The game was popularized by the British.
The British began playing golf seriously in the 17th century. Given the British Empire’s vast global reach at the time, it’s no surprise that Great Britain had such a significant impact on golf’s spread.
4. Chicago was home to the first 18-hole golf course in North America.
The Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Illinois, was the first 18-hole golf course in the United States. Although golf appears to have been a long-standing American pastime, this course didn’t exist until 1893. Prior to this time, however, there existed courses with fewer than 18 holes.
5. Golf is one of just two sports practiced on the Moon.
The term ‘played’ is a subjective phrase when it comes to partaking in sports on the moon. On February 6th, 1971, Alan Shepard, the commander of Apollo 14, swung his driver and launched two golf balls into space.
6. A 515-yard drive holds the record for the longest drive in history.
When it comes to out-of-this-world drives, Michael Hoke Austin hit a golf ball 515 yards on a course in Las Vegas in 1974. To put this in context, 515 yards is the length of four football fields! To this day, his record is unbroken.