The Beginning

It seems that every civilization in history has enjoyed a game with a club and a ball. When golf was born is difficult to pinpoint. The word “golf” may have originated from the old Scottish words “gowl,” “golve,” or “gouf” but the then the Dutch also like to claim ownership. Wherever it came from, one thing remains certain: every culture likes to think they came up with it.

Around the 1740s, golf began to take the shape of the modern game with the founding of many golf clubs. Club-makers and ball-makers came into being, and certain brands were so coveted that they were forged. Apparently imitation was the sincerest form of flattery even back then.

The first golf club was created in 1744 in Leith in close proximity to Glasgow. The members of the club called themselves “The Gentleman Golfers of Leith” and were the first to write the rules down. How gentlemanly they acted is questionable. But one thing is certain. People liked their rules. They are valid still today.

Ten years later, the “St. Andrew Society of Golfers” was formed, which, in 1834, took on its current name, the “Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrew”. This club accepted the rules of their gentlemanly golf friends from Leith. Or maybe they were just too lazy to write their own.