Welcome to You Ask Andy

Raymond Schroder, age 12, of Savannah, Ga., for his question:

WHERE WAS GOLF INVENTED?

Golf developed in Scotland about 1100 from a Roman game called paganica.

Paganica was played by Romans when they occupied parts of England and Scotland from about 100 B.C. until about A.D. 400. The game was played in the open countryside with a bent stick and a leather ball stuffed with feathers.

A first written report of golf dates back to 1457. The parliament of King James II of Scotland that year banned "futeball and golfe" because their national popularity seemed to threaten the practice of archery. Archery was needed for defense.

Scotland's ban on golf ended in 1502 when the country signed a treaty of "perpetual peace" with England.

The world's first golf course was established in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1744. The club known today as the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews was founded in 1754. It ranks as the world's oldest golf club in continuous existence.

St. Andrews became the leader in developing golf's regulations and traditions. It decided, for example, that the standard length of a round of golf should be 18 holes.

Leather covered balls stuffed with feathers were used by golfers until 1948. The ball was called the feathery. That same year a solid gutta percha ball was introduced. Gutta percha is a rubberlike material obtained chiefly from certain trees of the Malay Peninsula.

A Cleveland golfer named Coburn Haskell invented the liquid filled ball in 1899.

Golf became popular around the world in the late 1800s. Popularity spread from Scotland and England to Canada and the United States.

The oldest club in continuous operation in North America is the Royal Montreal Golf Club which was organized in 1873. The first permanent club in the United States, the St. Andrews Golf Club, was established in Yonkers, N.Y., in 1888.

The Amateur Golf Association of the United States was founded in 1894. Today it is known as the United States Golf Association (USGA).

Professional golfers founded the PGA in 1916. Walter Hagen was the golfer most responsible for establishing professional golf as a major sport. Hagen and Bobby Jones, an amateur, dominated the sport during the 1920s.

From about 1900 through the 1920s, British amateur players dominated women's golf. Joyce Wethered was the top golfer during this period. She is considered by many to have been the greatest woman golfer in history.

By the 1930s, the United States had taken over the leadership of women's golf with such top U.S. amateur golfers as Babe Didrikson, Patty Berg and Betty Jameson.

 

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