Facts about golf

We found 18 facts about golf

One of the oldest sports games in the world

Golf is not just a sport, it is a true lifestyle. It is a game that combines elegance, precision, and endless passion. At first glance, it may seem like a simple task, but nothing can be further from the truth.

Those who practice the sport know full well that golf is much more than physical skill. It’s a challenge of mind and body, a battle against one’s limitations on beautiful golf courses.

While it might seem that the game of golf is an invention of the wealthy elite of recent years, it turns out that it is one of the oldest sports games in the world, which has its origins as early as the 15th century in Scotland.

The history of golf is a journey through the centuries, during which the game has evolved, gained popularity, and contributed to the formation of a community of enthusiasts around the world.

Golf is a sport that involves hitting a golf ball with a golf club and trying to place it in a hole in the golf course with as few strokes as possible.

The game is played on an open grassy area - a specially designed golf course, which consists of 9 or 18 holes. The goal of the game is to traverse the entire course, placing the ball in each hole using as few strokes as possible.

A golf ball is a round ball with a diameter of no less than 42.67 millimeters and no heavier than 45.93 grams.

Modern golf balls are constructed from raw materials such as resin or rubber. Their outer shells are made of different types of plastic, the most popular of which are surlyn, ionomer, urethane, and balata.

Golf balls must pass special tests to be approved by the R&A (the collective name for a group of companies that collectively play a significant role in the game of golf-the R&A is headquartered in St. Andrews, Scotland), and the USGA (United States Golf Association-the US national association of golf courses, clubs and facilities and the governing body of golf in the US and Mexico).

The ball must have the basic characteristics of a spherically symmetrical ball, which generally means that the ball itself must be spherical and must have a symmetrical arrangement of dimples on its surface.

Golf balls fall into two categories: recreational balls and advanced balls.

Recreational balls are designed for the casual golfer, who usually has a low swing speed of 130 km/h or less and easily loses balls on the golf course. They are two-layer balls and their cover is harder than the core. They have lower prices than advanced balls.

Advanced balls consist of several layers (three or more) and have a soft cover and hardened core. These balls require a higher swing speed and thus more physical strength to compress properly at impact.

Then there are training balls, for practice, similar to recreational balls. These are designed to be inexpensive, and durable and provide a shorter flight distance, while still retaining the basic characteristics of a “real” golf ball. They typically have a harder core than recreational balls and a stronger, more durable cover.

When playing golf, the ball is hit by special golf clubs.

Each golf club consists of a shaft with a lance at the top end and a club head at the bottom. They are traditionally divided into three basic types:

  • Woods - these are the clubs with which you hit the ball the farthest. They are the lightest, and longest, have an enlarged head, and the face (the plane hitting the ball) inclined at a slight angle. Two or three wood-type clubs are usually used during the game. The best players hit with these clubs at a distance of up to 300 meters
  • Iron-there can be up to 10 of these in a golfer’s bag. All these clubs differ slightly in length - a ball hit with the same force, but with different clubs, flies to different distances. The lower the club number, the further the ball flies. They are hit at a distance of 100-200 meters
  • Hybrid-they combine the features of wood and iron sticks.

In a tournament, a player can play with a maximum of 14 sticks.

A golf course is an area of several to several dozen hectares, covered with trimmed grass.

It contains 9 or 18 holes, which are sequentially numbered and spaced accordingly. Each hole has a certain number of required strokes, known as PAR, which is 3.4 or 5. Each hole is assigned a number, known as the Stroke Index (from 1 to 18), which determines the difference in difficulty of play between players.

A course containing 9 holes is referred to as a small course, while one with 18 holes is a full-sized course. A standard golf course consists of several different parts, which are characterized by different levels of grass trimming. There is an area of “wild grass,” grass of medium length, grass that is between 0.5 and 2 centimeters long (fairway-the main playing course), an area of grass half as long as 0.5-2 centimeters (fringe), an area of grass less than 5 millimeters long, where the flag and hole are located (green) and a starting area at the beginning of each hole, known as the tee.

A fun interpretation of the existence of 18 holes on a golf course is that a bottle of whiskey contains 18 shots - exactly one per hole.

One of the accessories used by golfers on the golf course is tee pins.

They provide a base for the ball when hitting it from the tee area (the starting point of each hole). These tees are called Brush-T tees. They allow the ball to be hit at a greater distance while reducing the energy used by the player.

An essential piece of equipment for any golfer is a pitch-fork.

This is a small fork that is used to immediately repair all damage caused by the player on the area of the golf course called the (there is a flag and a hole).

It is the responsibility of every player on the golf course.

Golf is a sport with a long tradition.

There have been ball and stick games since ancient times. According to some historians, during the Roman Empire, there was a game called paganica (first recorded in 30 BC), which involved hitting a leather ball with a bent stick. It is possible that this game spread throughout Europe and evolved into its modern form.

Other researchers claim that the origins of golf can be traced to China, where between the 7th and 14th centuries a game called Chuiwan was popular, where “chui” means hitting and “wan” means small ball. A scroll from the Ming Dynasty period (1368-1644) has survived that depicts a member of the Chinese imperial court hitting a small ball with something resembling a golf club to place it in a hole. A suggestion has been made that the game was brought to Europe in the Middle Ages.

Cambuca was played in medieval England, chambot in France, and kolven in the Netherlands. Each of these games used a ball and sticks.

Modern golf originated in Scotland.

Legend has it that it was invented by Scottish sheep shepherds who, during long grazing trips to mountain pastures, turned their shepherd’s clubs over and began driving pebbles with them into existing hollows in the terrain.

The first written mention of golf dates back to 1457.

It was a ban on golf issued by King James II of Scots as an undesirable springboard for learning archery. The ban was lifted in 1502 by James IV, who became a golfer himself.

The first records of golf clubs date back to 1503-1504.

The Old Course at St. Andrews in Scotland is considered to be the oldest golf course.

This place is considered the “home of golf,” as the sport was practiced there as early as the early 15th century. Golf was becoming increasingly popular in Scotland until James II banned the game because he thought young men were playing too much golf instead of practicing archery. The ban was upheld by James III and remained in effect until 1502 when James IV became a golfer himself.

In 1552, Archbishop John Hamilton granted residents of St. Andrews the right to play on golf courses. In 1754, 22 noblemen, professors, and landowners founded the St. Andrews Golfer’s Society (it became the forerunner of The R&A).

When the Society went bankrupt in 1797, the St. Andrews City Council allowed rabbits to be raised on the golf course. Legal battles over the right to the courses between golfers and rabbit farmers lasted for twenty years and ended in 1821. The local landowner and golfer James Cheape of Strathtyrum bought the land and saved the golf course.

In 1764, a standard 18-hole golf course was established in St. Andrews, having been modified from 22 holes to 18.

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Musselburgh Links in Scotland are considered the oldest golf course in the world.

However, the record was recently moved to St. Andrews. There is documented evidence that golf was played at Musselburgh Links in 1672. It is also claimed that near these golf courses, at Seton, Mary I Stuart played golf in 1567.

Originally Musselburgh Links consisted of seven holes, with an eighth added in 1838 and a ninth in 1870. The course has left a lasting legacy in the rules of the game. A golf hole diameter of four and a quarter inches (108 mm) is the width of the tool used to cut holes at Musselburgh.

In 1893, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews (one of the oldest golf clubs in the world) adopted the measurement as a mandatory requirement on all courses.

The oldest surviving rules of golf were developed in 1744 for the Company of Gentlemen Golfers, later renamed The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.

The oldest existing golf tournament in the world and the first major golf tournament is The Open Championship, which was first played on 17th October 1860, at Prestwick Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland, with Scottish golfers winning the earliest major tournaments.

Two Scotsmen from Dunfermline, John Reid and Robert Lockhart, first demonstrated the game of golf in the United States in 1888, and John Reid founded the first golf club in America, Saint Andrew’s Golf Club in Yonkers, New York, the same year.

Golf is a sport that can be played all over the world.

There are more than 34.000 golf courses in more than 200 countries around the world. The average player spends about four hours on the golf course during one round.

The largest number of golf courses is in the United States - 15.000, mainly in Florida.

The first American woman to become an Olympic champion in golf was Margaret Ives Abbott.

She won first place in the women’s golf competition at the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris. She won the tournament with a score of 47 strokes, receiving a porcelain bowl as a prize. Golf was an Olympic sport from 1900 to 1904, and as decided by the IOC in Copenhagen in 2009, it was again on the program of the Summer Olympics, starting with the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

One of the greatest achievements in golf is hitting the ball into the hole in one shot.

Such a hit is called a hole-in-one, and it is estimated that such a chance is 1 in 12.000 strokes.

Golf has even been played on the moon.

This was done by astronaut Alan Shepard in 1971 during the Apollo 14 mission. He placed a golf ball on the lunar ground and hit it with a quickly crafted golf club (made from a smuggled club head and a collapsible telescopic instrument used for lunar sampling). The first ball landed in the crater, the second flew, he thought, many kilometers away. However, as he later estimated, it was more like 200 meters.

The average golf ball has 336 dimples (indentations), which optimize aerodynamics and help the ball fly further.

The dimples on the ball appeared when golfers noticed that older balls with scratches and damage on the surface flew farther than new, smooth ones. Initially, they started creating various indentations on them themselves, which improved their aerodynamics. The dimples could also help drain water from the surface of the ball, which is especially important in wet grass.

The first mention of a factory producing golf balls dates back to 1554. They were produced by shoemakers and saddlers.

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