There are many types of enjoyable exercise, but one that comes to the top of the list is the game of golf. There are golf courses in nearly every community in the United States and beyond, and all offer tee times that are available when you make golf course reservations. How golf got its start is a fascinating topic that all golfers want to know more about, and the game has a history rich in culture and lore.
There is much lively discussion over the origins of the game of golf. Many different cultures have laid claims to being the first one to have invented the game. For instance, an eleventh century Chinese book talks about a game that sounds like golf. In the Netherlandsâ€™ city of Loenen aan de Vecht the game was said to be mentioned as having been played in 1297. Some scholars believe that the Vikings invented the game of golf in the middle of the thirteenth century. Scotland has long been believed to be the location where golfing was invented as well. Golf was played at the famous Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, and this led to a law being put in place by King James the Second in 1457. The kingâ€™s soldiers were spending too much time playing the game and not practicing their archery, so he outlawed the game at St. Andrews. Early accounts of the game are also seen in depictions inside Englandâ€™s Gloucester Cathedral dating back to 1340.
The word â€œgolfâ€ is based on the Dutch word â€œkolf,â€ which refers to a â€œbat, club or stick,â€ and thus may lend credence to the idea that golf began in the Netherlands. Apparently there was a game where you place an object in a hole in the ice, and this was called â€œice kolf,â€ which might be seen as how the land-based form of the game started. More recently, a German scholar has found early depictions of the game of â€œKolven,â€ which was a game about putting a ball into a hole, and this supposedly helps to set the sportâ€™s origins in the Netherlands.
A couple of the oldest golf courses are St. Andrews and the Old Links at Musselburgh, both in Scotland. It is believed that Mary, Queen of Scots, played golf at Musselburgh in 1567. The Old Links had only seven holes originally, but eventually it grew to nine. St. Andrews started out with eleven holes that were played twice, for a total of twenty-two. In time, some of the links were shortened and combined, so that it played out at eighteen holes.
This ancient game can still be enjoyed worldwide today, and its history simply adds to its popularity.