Golf history overall has been traced as far back to the mid 14th century and the Scottish and English still debate today where the sport originated. However, the game of golf as we know it today is believed to have originated in Scotland.
Golf became more organized as a sport in 18th century Scotland. In the early 1700’s, the world’s oldest golf club – the Royal Burgess Golfing Society in Edinburgh, Scotland was formed. Other golf clubs sprung forth which dictated the development of a formal set of rules and regulations. In the mid 18th century,
rapidly unfolded as the sport spread to other towns and countries.
With respect to US golf history, the golf game is believed to have spread to the United States in the late 19th century. Scotsman John Reid first built a three-hole course in Yonkers, New York near his home and later formed the St. Andrews Club of Yonkers nearby. Golf soon became a national pastime in the United States and by the start of the 20th century, more than 1000 golf clubs had opened in North America.
The governing body of US golf, the United States Golf Association (USGA) was formed in 1894. The PGA of America was founded in 1916 and represented the growing number of American professional golfers. The first PGA Championship was held in 1916 and won by Jim Barnes.
Augusta National was opened in the early ’30s. In 1934, the Augusta National Invitational (what is now known as “The Masters”) was launched and first won by Horton Smith, a major milestone in
US golf history
A major milestone in US golf history occurred in the ‘40’s when the four major golf championships were firmly established and TV coverage began with the US Open. In the 50’s through the 70’s, a host of golf pros grew into household names as the PGA Tour began to flourish. American professional golfers dominated this era, led by such players as Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. In the 80’s non-US golfers such as Seve Ballestoros, Bernhard Langer, Nick Faldo and Greg Norman started to seriously challenge US golfers.
By the end of the 20th century, the game of golf grew to unprecedented popularity in golf history with the rise of US stars Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson. With this rise came tremendous advancements in golf technology producing some of the longest drives in golf history, which in turn, dictated that many golf courses increase their yardages.
The last few years have seen a decline in the number of new golfers, but the game still remains hugely popular in the US. The fastest growth in golf is currently occurring in Asia led by China, Korea, Taiwan and India ushering in a new era in golf history.