A Brief History of Golf – Perceptive Golfing

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A Brief History of Golf

Posted on January 12 2023

a golfer playing a golf game

There are over 66.6 million people who play golf. The low-impact game is gaining popularity worldwide, but it's not a new game. In fact, golf originated in Rome.

Here’s what the journey and evolution of golf have been like throughout the course of history:

Golf in The Roman Republic 100 BCE

Before Rome became an empire, it was a republic. It was during this time that modern golf was developed, but it was called “paganica.” From what we’ve learned, the ancient game used curved sticks rather than our fancy golf clubs to hit a leather ball toward a target.

Though the game was similar to what we play now, it did spark an interest in people that helped it become a classic sport.

From the Song Dynasty, 1000 CE

The Romans were not the only players who influenced the sport that survived and retained its popularity thousands of years later. It is believed that the Song Dynasty in China had a similar game to golf called “chiuw an.” The game used multiple clubs and one ball. However, we don’t know whether the game from the Song Dynasty or the Roman version influenced modern golf. It’s safe to say it was a culmination of both that led to the creation of modern golf.

Scotland and Golf

Modern golf’s origins are associated with the Scots. It started off as a game where players attempted to hit a pebble over sand dunes using a stick. On March 6, 1457, King James II banned soccer and golf for being a significant distraction that made men neglect their military training.

The Scots also spread the game to the British Isles in the 18th century. By the 19th century, this game was an international sensation that spread to France, Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Singapore.

a man holding a golf club

Golf and America

Golf was enjoyed in America back in the 18th century too. However, it didn’t become a go-to sport here until the early 19th century.

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