HomeSportLearning golf—Part 13, game of golf—its origin

Learning golf—Part 13, game of golf—its origin

“So you claim to know it Alias! Ah! Are you sure?” Pamela asked Alias. “Oh yes, I know it well Eunice, it is Scotland!” replied Alias. “Hey you! why Scotland? Oh! I did not know that you were ignorant about the origin of this lovely sport,” said Pamela.

“Pamela, don’t you know that Scotland is called the ‘Home of Golf’?” Alias asked.  “Never mind that, is that where the game originated?. I do not agree with you Alias. I have heard other versions,” Pamela disputed. “What versions?”

Let me intervene otherwise these two will go on and on.

For those that have been playing for long you may have heard of the origin of golf from different sources.

For those who started golf through the Learning Golf series when we started the journey or joined us along the way, you are now about to know how this sport may have originated.

After I have finished narrating what I have collected on the origins, we should then be able to assist Alias and Pamela in their prolonged disagreement.
Some of the comments I am going to cover may not be agreed upon by other people.

However, I am only putting my views after going through different sources.

From my readings, golf may have not originated in Scotland as many people may be thinking, knowing, or have been made to believe. But am I correct in saying this? On what I have come across, there are so many countries around the globe who also lay the claim.

Let me share with you some of the countries which claimed that golf started in their countries.

I am not sure if they still stand by their claims.

There must be many more out there in different parts of the world.

For the purpose of us having an idea as to the origin of this club/stick to ball sport, the few I have chosen will suffice.

I am listing below the countries and the names which were given to the sport. France — chambot. England — goff/cambuca where a wooden ball was used. China — Chuiwan — “chui” means striking and “wan” means a small ball. Some evidence reveals that this game could have been played as far back as 1368 and further introduced into Europe in the Midddle Ages.

Belgiun — Chole. Persia — chaugan. Italy— pangea/paganica — which involved hitting stuffed leather ball with bent sticks and this is said to have spread throughout Europe.

Netherlands — Kolven/kolf may have been played as early as 1296. “Kolf” means stick or bat. This game was so interesting that it was played on any terrain, including highways , churchyards and on frozen lakes.

To ensure that the ball would be struck properly the ball was elevated on created pile of sand or soil which was called “tuitje” from which it can be claimed to be where the word tee originates from. The ball was struck with a wooden club/bat to successive predetermined targets.
This game is said to have been then introduced in Scotland in 1421.

Scotland — The “Home of Golf”— golfe/gowf.  But why so, out of all the other countries highlighted above?  Let me now come to Scotland and outline its claim.

One of the claims is that the game originated in eastern Scotland from shepherds. The Scots claim that it was through them that the sport was popularised.

The first written record was in 1457 when the Scottish Parliament under King George 11 banned it as well as soccer because people were neglecting military training (archery) in favour of spending the day in the fields playing these sports.

The ban was not easy to enforce as many people ignored it. The ban was lifted in 1502 under the Treaty of Glasgow when King James 1V also took up the sport.

No country or historian has been able to convincingly prove the originality of this sport. But the game as we know it today shifts in favour of Scotland.
In Scotland’s favour, it should be noted that all the other claims highlighted above lacked one vital thing, the “hole”. The hole is the very crucial

ingredient which is unique to the game of golf. There is no dispute to the fact that the Scots popularised the sport to the level where it has reached. In conclusion, we should pay tribute to the Scots for the extra effort they put to this sport to be what it is today.

For any feedback/comments and any assistance you may need, contact the writer, Tavenganiswa Mabikacheche at The Centre for Training and Research Services on email:  or mobile no. 263712200922 /263772319612                                       

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