Nowadays, golf is one of the most played sports, either for recreation or professionally. There are many tournaments available, and the salaries of the professional golfers are often comparable with the ones of MLS (Major League Soccer) players. The sport is enjoyed by both players and fans.
Anyone who played golf before, knows that it’s all about precision and concentration. But there is more to that – golf helps you to stay fit and allows you to be in the fresh air. The golf course is also a perfect place to start new friendships.
How it all started
The origins of the game are not clear. However, we can assume that the modern version of the game was born in Scotland around the 15th century. There is evidence in the form of Acts of the Parliament – in 1457, a game called gowf was banned, as the king was concerned that it would be a distraction from archery practise that was necessary to protect the country. There are two other mentions of this sport in Acts of the Parliament – in 1471 and 1490 – both of them with the purpose of banning the game.
However, by 1500 all the bans have been lifted and with time, thanks to the royal family who enjoyed a good game of gowf, the game started to get popular all around Europe. The first official rules were established in 1744, and twenty years later The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers changed them to the way we know today.
It doesn’t mean that games similar to golf didn’t exist before. They did, some even back in the times of the Roman Empire. But the difference between these other games and the Scottish golf is that their main objective was to hit a target like a tree or a door, while the Scots were the only ones whose goal was to put a ball into the hole.
Nowadays, the game is played everywhere and by everyone. Fans from all over the world can watch the tournaments online and support their favourite players. Also, golf has become a very profitable business. So many stores are selling golf clubs, golf balls and even golf clothing. And if you don’t have time to buy equipment traditionally, you can just order it from the golf shop online.
The ball, just as the game itself, has gone under a lot of changes since the 15th century. The first balls were made out of wood. However, since there is almost no evidence, historians tend to consider The Featherie from the 17th century as the first “real” golf ball. It was made out of leather and stuffed with goose feathers. It was expensive to make, so only a few could afford it, and it got damaged easily.
Since then, there had been three other types of balls invented, all of them cheaper and more durable – the golf ball as we know it today has been used since around the 1960s. There different types of balls, each of them helps you with different aspects of your game – some are meant to go further, while others generate more spin. But all of them have to fall under some standards – they cannot be smaller than 1,68”, and cannot weigh more than 1,62 ounces. Oh, and all of them have dimples.
Why golf balls have dimples?
The story behind that reaches the early days of Scottish golf. Players have discovered that the old, beaten up golf balls can go further than the new ones. Since then, they have intentionally started to damage new balls to improve their game. From 1905, the balls have been produced with dimples, the way we know them today.
Dimples are not only for “cosmetic” reasons, but they also serve a significant role – they create turbulence by acting as artificial turbulators. The turbulence reduces the drag, resulting in the ball going further than a smooth one. They also push the ball upward. Usually, there are anywhere between 350 and 500 dimples on one ball.
Golf, a sport that is enjoyed by almost anyone nowadays, was born in Scotland in the 15th century. Since then, both the game and the ball has gone under major changes. The ball as we know it today, with dimples, has been used since the 20th century.
Playing golf gives benefits like better mental and physical health or an opportunity to meet new people. In golf, it doesn’t matter if you are a man or a woman or how old you are. What matters is how you play.