Golf is a sport that has been around for centuries and is enjoyed worldwide by amateurs and professionals alike. Golf’s popularity stems from its accessibility, says Taylor Moore Arkansas golfer for the Razorbacks. While it is certainly a physically demanding sport, it is also seen as relaxing and even “zen” by many players. And it’s possible for people of all abilities to play. It’s one of the few sports that may have more retired people than young people playing on a daily basis.
The more seasoned golfers likely understand the techniques and strategies that go into golf. And if they regularly watch golf tournaments, they’ve likely also absorbed at least a little about the history of the game of golf. But, as with any sport played by kings and the common people alike, there is a quirky history of surprising and interesting facts surrounding the sport of golf.
Here are a few favorites from Taylor Moore:
Golf Was Forbidden
Golf is seen by most as a relaxing pastime rather than a rebellion. But at a certain point in history, playing golf was considered a crime! Between 1457 and 1744, golf was banned three separate times in Scotland, says Taylor Moore Arkansas golfer.
The reason? Because the government believed that playing golf was distracting soldiers from their much more important military training!
Women’s Golf Took 400 Years to Be Recognized
Like all sports, gold has a dark history of leaving out women players. It was considered unseemly for women to participate in sports and other recreational activities. And the clothes they wore at the time greatly hindered women’s ability to play effectively. But they didn’t let that stop them, says Taylor Moore Arkansas golfer!
The first round of officially recognized women’s golf was played in 1867 in Musselburgh, Scotland where the first all-female golf club was formed. Now, remember, this is just the first “official” round of women’s golf. Women had been playing alongside their male counterparts and together for centuries.
Feathers and Leather
The first golf balls were very different from the ones used on courses today, says Taylor Moore Arkansas golfer. Rather than dense rubber, early golf balls were made of leather-wrapped in feathers.
The feathers would be soaked in water and then wrapped around hardened, cured leather balls. The feathers may have been meant to help with aerodynamics, but were likely just a decorative addition to the balls. This construction is also a testament to who was playing golf originally–the wealthy and royal. Who else could afford such frivolous sporting accessories?