Golf Facts

Golf Facts

Golf is a precision club and ball sport in which competing players, called golfers, use various clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a course using as few strokes (or swings) as possible. The oldest course is over 400 years old and the game may have been created as early as 2,000 years ago! See the fact file below for more.

  • Early shepherds may have used their curved staffs to hit stones in a simple game of “golf” as early as 2,000 years ago. It is believed that the game of golf began in Scotland nearly 500 years ago. James II of Scotland, in an Act of Parliament dated March 6, 1457, had golf and football banned, because these sports were interfering with archery practice which was needed to defend the Scottish realm.
  • Various forms of games resembling golf were played as early as the fourteenth century by sportsmen in Holland, Belgium and France as well as in Scotland. But it was Scottish Baron, James VI, who brought the game to England when he succeeded to the English throne in 1603. At that time golf was played on rough ground without greens. Crude holes were cut into the ground where the surface was flat.
  • The first authentic record of a club maker was in 1603 when William Mayne was appointed to the court of James I of England. He was appointed to make golf clubs for the king.
  • The earliest balls were hand stitched leather that were stuffed with boiled feathers. Modern balls have more durable synthetic covers. There are 336 dimples on a regulation golf ball. The dimples on the outside of a golf ball help the ball fly farther and more accurately,
  • The driver swing speed of an average lady golfer is 62 mph; 96 mph for an average LPGA professional; 84mph for an average male golfer; 108 mph for an average PGA Tour player; 130 mph for Tiger Woods; and 148-152 mph for a national long drive champion.
  • It is estimated there are approximately 32,000 golf courses world-wide, which means that golf is an international favorite.
  • Currently, Tiger Woods has won more professional major golf championships than any other player. The second highest of any male player is Jack Nicklaus.
  • The first golf tournament was held at the Prestwick Golf Course in Scotland in 1860. Today, this contest is called the British Open.
  • The first golf contest for women was held in 1895 on Long Island, New York, although women had been playing for some time. Professional women golfers formed the Ladies Professional Golf Association (L.P.G.A.) after World War II.
  • The first golf course was probably St. Andrews in Scotland, which is more than 400 years old.