Interesting Facts about Golf

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Golf is a relatively different sport compared to other ball games and is quite popular in several countries including Ireland, the UK, the US, and Canada. According to the statistics, the United States has the most number of golf courses globally.

Golf is a ball game played on a dedicated course comprising about eighteen holes. The players have to strike a small ball with the help of golf clubs from various starting points into the holes on the course. This game has many different levels, and people of various ages can participate. The game’s main aim is to put the golf ball successfully into the dedicated holes across the course with the least number of swings from the golf clubs.

Here are the top 20 interesting facts about golf:

1. Scottish People Invented Golf 

Scottish People Invented Golf

Scottish natives invented golf in 1457. This game instantly became popular as people began to play it everywhere – on the streets, on grounds, in business or public properties, etc. [1]

Although most of the credit for the popularity of this game goes to people playing on the streets, some golfers made golf courses especially for playing this game.

2. Golf was considered a Rebellious Sport in the Beginning

Golf was considered a Rebellious Sport in the Beginning

We all surely conjure up a sophisticated and posh image when someone mentions golf. It is primarily because golf is perpetually associated with a high-end club and posh people surrounding and playing with each other.

In contradiction, golf was initially considered rebellious by the Scottish government. Golfers used to play this sport on the streets or use other business properties for this game. Also, the government believed that the popularity of this street game interfered with military training. Golf was banned in Scotland for about two decades (1457-1744). [2]

3. Women Were Included In the Games In 1811

Women Were Included In the Games In 1811

The very first championship of golf involving women golfers was played in 1811 in Musselburgh, Scotland. [10]

4. Before Being Made of Wood, the Golf Balls Were Made of Feathers 

Before Being Made of Wood, the Golf Balls Were Made of Feathers

Nowadays, golf balls are made of wood and are polished and crafted from the outside very neatly. In the initial days of this game, the golf balls were made of boiled goose feathers wrapped around a leather ball. Feathers helped the balls fly much further than any other material. [3]

5. Tiger Woods is the Wealthiest Golfer in the World 

Tiger Woods is the Wealthiest Golfer in the World

According to PGA’s Tour list of wealthiest golfers globally, Tiger Woods is worth more than $800 million. He is followed by Arnold Palmer ($700 million), Greg Norman ($500 million), and Phil Mickelson ($400 million). All of these numbers are for the year 2022. [4]

6. Tiger Woods was introduced to Golf as Early as Six Months Old 

Tiger Woods was introduced to Golf as Early as Six Months Old

Tiger Woods is one of the best golfers in the world. He has given some stunning performances since he was very young. Apart from being the wealthiest golfer, Woods is a fantastic player. His father introduced him to golf when he was only six months old and started training when he was two years old. [12]

Tiger Woods practiced religiously and shot his first-ever hole-in-one at only eight years. [12]

7. The Odds of Making a Hole in One in Golf Are Significantly Less for Novices

The Odds of Making a Hole in One in Golf Are Significantly Less for Novices

For any novice, the odds of hitting a hole in one are almost about 12,500 to 1. On the other hand, for professional players, the odds are usually around 2,500 to 1.  [5] [13]

8. Golf Tees were Initially Made of Mounds of Sand 

Golf Tees were Initially Made of Mounds of Sand

In golf, the ball is shot by placing it a little higher above the ground, usually done with the help of a small stand that helps the ball to remain in an elevated position. Before striking, the golf ball is placed on the golf tee.

Interestingly, before the invention of golf tees, players made their tees by taking mounds of sand and shaping them so the ball could be mounted on top. It was only in the 1920s that the golf tees were introduced and popularized. [14]

9. The Longest Putt Ever was a Staggering 395 Feet 

The Longest Putt Ever is of Staggering 395 Feet

According to ESPN, the longest putt ever holed by any golfer is about 395 feet. Brett Stanford hit it at the Eden Course in St. Andrews, Scotland. The crew who attempted this feat broke the previous record set by Fergus Muir, who shot the longest putt of about 375 feet. [6]

10. Tiger Woods Has Won About 82 PGA Championships

Tiger Woods Has Won About 81 PGA Championships

Tiger Woods has been practicing practically his whole life since his toddler years. All his hard work paid off as he has won about 82 tournaments. Woods is now tied with Sam Snead, another top golfer who has also won 82 tournaments. However, since Woods is an exceptional golfer and an incredible player, he will probably surpass this number soon enough.

11. Golf Caddies Originated In France 

Golf Caddies Originated In France

Golf caddies could refer to the bag for a golfer’s clubs, or a helper who carries the bag and hands the clubs to the golfer as needed. This tradition goes back to Mary, Queen of Scots and her love for golf. The King of France at the time learned about this hobby of the Queen and commissioned the first golf course (out of Scotland) to be made for her benefit. He also commissioned cadets from a military school to guard the Queen whenever she played on that course. When Mary returned to Scotland, she took the practice of caddying with her.

The term ‘caddie’ came from the word ‘cadet’. The latter is pronounced as ‘ca-day’ in French; in Scotland, the pronunciation became ‘caddie’ and the name stuck. [15]

12. The Highest Golf Course is Yak Course in India 

The Highest Golf Course is Yak Course in India

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the highest golf course is located at about 13,025 feet (3,970m) from the sea level. It is built on a military base in East Sikkim, India, and spans an area of about 6026 yards. [7]

13. There is a High Elevation Northerly 18-Hole Golf Course in Norway

There is a High Elevation Northerly 18-Hole Golf Course in Norway

Named the Tromso Golf Park situated at Breivikeidet, it is the most northerly golf course. It is about 5745m and is surrounded by a beautiful landscape of trees and ice-capped mountains. This golf course has a rating of 71.2 and a slope of about 131. It is open during May and October. [16]

14. Celine Dion Loves to Golf and Took Her Love of the Game to the Next Level in The 1990s

Celine Dion Loves to Golf and Took Her Love of the Game to the Next Level in The 1990s

Famous singer Celine Dion is a massive fan of golf. She took her love of the game quite further when she stepped up and purchased the Club de Golf Le Mirage in 1990. She is included among some select celebrities who own various golfing facilities, such as Clint Eastwood, Justin Timberlake, and Willie Nelson. [18]

15. The Golf Open Championship is the Oldest Tournament 

The Golf Open Championship is the Oldest Tournament

The Open Golf Championship started in 1860. It has been changed over time, as reflected in its 149 different editions. Initially, this championship was held every year at Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland. However, as the game’s popularity increased, the venue for this championship changed to other coastal courses in the UK.

The Open Championship is the final and most significant tournament, held every year in the mid of July. It is open to all types of golfers, novices, or professionals. [17]

16. Golf is the Only Sport that Has Been Played on the Moon 

Golf is the Only Sport that Has Been Played on the Moon

An essential part of the crew onboard the Apollo 14 mission to the moon, Alan Shepard, played golf on the moon and made history. Golf became the only sport that has been played on the moon.

Shepard used the special Moon Club made with 6-iron weighing about 16.5 ounces to play golf on the moon. He hit two golf balls with the club. [8]

17. Walking across an Eighteen-Hole Golf Course is Equivalent to Walking Four Miles

Walking across an Eighteen-Hole Golf Course is Equivalent to Walking Four Miles

Golf courses are of different areas, and usually, golfers prefer using a golfing cart to move around the course. However, if someone chooses to walk across all the eighteen holes on the 18-hole golf course, they would be walking around four miles. [19]

18. Even Though Right-Handed, Phil Mickelson Uses His Left Hand to Swing the Golf Club 

Even Though Right-Handed, Phil Mickelson Uses His Left Hand to Swing the Golf Club

Most golfers use the right hand to swing the golf club as their dominant hand is the right one. Phil Mickelson is a unique golfer who is right-handed in his real life but uses his left hand to play golf. His father inspired him at a very little age. His father played golf with his left hand. So, even though he is right-handed generally in his life, he plays golf with his left hand. [9]

19. China Banned the Construction of Golf Courses In 2004

China Banned the Construction of Golf Courses In 2004

China is the only country that banned the construction of golf courses in 2004 due to rising environmental concerns. However, this has not halted the construction of new courses altogether. Surprisingly, the number of golf courses has tripled since the ban.

The Communist Revolution in 1949 banned golf as a game as it was considered elitist. [20]

20. Modern-day Golf Balls Are Made of Urethane 

Modern-day Golf Balls Are Made of Urethane

Currently, the golf balls are mass-manufactured using urethane. These balls have about 300 to 500 dimples with an average depth of about 0.010 inches. [21]

Rounding it up

It does not matter if golf was played in the streets during its initial days or on the courses. Today, modern-day golf is one of the most elitist games, which comes with a social tag that reflects wealth and influence. People aspire to become professional golfers as they look to the stunning performances and records of praiseworthy players, such as Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.

References 

  1. These are 10 of the most important dates in the history of golf in Scotland. (2021, August 20). Www.scotsman.com. https://www.scotsman.com/sport/golf/scottish-golf-10-important-dates-in-the-history-of-the-sport-in-the-country-that-gifted-it-to-the-world-3354196
  2. Reeves, E. (2020, March 16). Golf Was Once Banned in Scotland, And You’ll Never Guess Why. Sportscasting | Pure Sports. https://www.sportscasting.com/golf-was-once-banned-in-scotland-and-youll-never-guess-why/
  3. History Of The Golf Ball. (n.d.). Found Golf Balls. https://www.foundgolfballs.com/pages/history-of-the-golf-ball
  4. Lo, R. C. (2022, July 13). Richest Golfers Of All Time. Deemples Golf. https://deemples.com/top-10-richest-golfers/
  5. Odds of a Hole-in One, Albatross, Condor and Golf’s Other Unlikely Shots. (n.d.). Www.pga.com. https://www.pga.com/story/odds-of-a-hole-in-one-albatross-condor-and-golfs-unlikely-shots
  6. Instant Awesome: Aussie trick-shooters make 395-foot putt to break Guinness World Record. (2017, February 23). ESPN. https://www.espn.in/espn/story/_/page/instantawesome-longestgolfputt-170223/aussie-trick-shooters-make-395-foot-putt-break-guinness-world-record
  7. Glenmuir. (n.d.). The world’s highest golf courses – The Glenmuir Journal. Www.glenmuir.com. Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://www.glenmuir.com/pages/golf-apparel-news/the-world-s-highest-golf-courses
  8. How astronaut Alan Shepard brought golf to space 51 years ago with his celebrated “Moon shot.” (n.d.). GolfDigest.com. https://www.golfdigest.com/story/alan-sheperd-apollo-14-moon-shot-50th-anniversary-history
  9. This is why right-handed Phil Mickelson swings lefty (should you do the same?). (n.d.). Golf. Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://golf.com/instruction/phil-mickelson-right-handed-swings-lefty/
  10. When was the first documented women’s golf tournament held? (2016, January 7). Grateful American® Foundation. https://gratefulamericanfoundation.com/10474/
  11. TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE THE FUTURE SHINE BRIGHT! (n.d.). Tigerwoods.com. https://tigerwoods.com/biography/#:~:text=He%20grew%20up%20in%20Cypress
  12. amolivia. (2022, October 17). Tiger Woods’ sweet and bitter story about getting his first hole that will never age: “You idiot, your golf bag over the tee” –. https://amolivia.com/2022/10/17/tiger-woods-sweet-and-bitter-story-about-getting-his-first-hole-that-will-never-age-you-idiot-your-golf-bag-over-the-tee/
  13. Ahno. (n.d.). What Are The Odds Of Making A Hole In One? Www.ahno.com. Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://www.ahno.com/americanhno-blog/odds-of-making-a-hole-in-one#:~:text=The%20odds%20of%20making%20a%20hole%20in%20one%20are%2012%2C500
  14. Grant, G. (2018, July 3). Dr. George Grant and Evolution of the Golf Tee. USGA. https://www.usga.org/content/usga/home-page/articles/2018/07/dr–george-grant-and-evolution-of-the-golf-tee-.html#:~:text=Prior%20to%20the%20invention%20of
  15. origin of the word caddy. (n.d.). History Myths Debunked. Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://historymyths.wordpress.com/tag/origin-of-the-word-caddy/
  16. Brett, B. (2018, May 8). The most northerly and southerly golf courses in the world. Golf Today. https://golftoday.co.uk/the-most-northerly-and-southerly-golf-courses-in-the-world/
  17. dc19118. (2017, July 17). History of the Open Championship. Highview Golf Course. https://www.highviewgolf.ca/post/2017/07/17/history-of-the-open-championship
  18. Celine Dion Birthday Special: From A Private Jet To A Golf Course & Shoes Worth Millions, A Look At The Singer’s Most Expensive Purchases. (2021, March 30). Koimoi. https://www.koimoi.com/hollywood-news/celine-dion-birthday-special-from-a-private-jet-to-a-golf-course-shoes-worth-millions-a-look-at-the-singers-most-expensive-purchases/
  19. This is how many calories you burn playing golf (walking vs. riding). (n.d.). Golf. Retrieved October 21, 2022, from https://golf.com/instruction/fitness/how-many-calories-you-burn-playing-golf-walking-riding/#:~:text=Walking%2018%20holes%20equals%20about
  20. China Bans Golf, Unbans It…Then Bans It Again. (2017, January 31). Golf Advisor. https://www.golfpass.com/travel-advisor/articles/china-bans-golf-unbans-it-then-bans-it-again
  21. Golf, D. (2022, May 30). Golf Balls: Why Golf Balls Have Dimples. Deemples Golf. https://deemples.com/blog/golf-balls-why-golf-balls-have-dimples#:~:text=How%20Many%20Dimples%20in%20a

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