Baldwinsville It is not possible to verify the exact dates of the beginnings of this wonderful game we call golf, but it is possible and fun, I might add, to present the best existing historical evidence as we know it. Since this is the first article in this series, I say we begin from the beginning. So here goes...
A golf-like game is reportedly to have taken place in 1297, in the Netherlands, in a city called Loenen aan de Vecht. The Dutch at the time played this game with a stick and a leather ball. The winner of the game was the one who took the fewest strokes hitting the leather ball into the hole, which was several hundred yards away.
According to Wikipedia, in 2005, there was new evidence that a game similar to golf called CHUIWAN was played in China and that there are records from the Song Dynasty (960-1297) that included drawings of the game. It was played with 10 clubs including a "cuanbang" (driver)....a "pubang" (two-wood) and a "shaobang" (three-wood). The Chinese claim their archives contain records to a Southern Tang official who asked his daughter to dig holes as a target. The next thing you know, they will claim that the official’s daughter was the first female golf course superintendent in history.
So, while most people know of golf’s European roots, the Chinese have had an impact on the game both in the very beginning and in the present, as now most golf clubs are manufactured in China, along with so many other products that we use daily.
The modern game of golf is generally credited to be a Scottish invention. The first documented evidence of golf in Scotland shows up in a 1457 Act of the Scottish Parliament , an edict issued by a "tough dude" named King James II of Scotland prohibiting the playing of the game called "GOWF" because it was a distraction from archery practice for his military. Archery skills, as you know, were the main line of defense during the 1400s.
I used to be an archer, but I enjoyed playing "GOWF" more. The king didn't realize that playing "GOWF" would have made his military better disciplined, patient, mentally tougher and certainly better family men.
Quote of the Week:
"In a recent survey, 80 percent of amateur golfers admitted cheating (rules, non conforming clubs, moving the ball, mulligans etc.); the other 20 percent lied."
Poet Bruce Lansky
Until next time, have a great week.
Local golf ambassador Perry Noun is the host of the radio show, Tee Time With the ProNoun.