The Early History Of Golf In The US
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The Early History Of Golf In The US
The game of golf is one of the oldest of today�s modern sports. Its exact beginnings are not known; however, some historians trace golf back to the Stone Age while others claim it originated from the �idle antics of shepherd boys knocking small stones into holes in the ground with a crook while their flocks grazed nearby� (Peper 1). Researched back to the time of the Roman Empire, it is also believed the sports-oriented Romans played a forerunner of the game of golf called paganica. This sport involved the use of a bent stick and a ball stuffed with wool played in the open countryside.
Golf comes to the United Sates
The legendary beginnings of golf in the United States can be traced back to the mid-1600s. One of the first published references to golf in America was in 1659 referring to the ban on golf in the streets of Albany, New York. The next substantial reference to the game comes from Charleston, North Carolina in 1786. At that time, a local Charleston newspaper ran a story about the formation of the Harleston Green Golf Club. The Harleston Green remained in operation for approximately twenty-five years, closing about the time of the War of 1812. Around the same time period, approximately1795, another golf club opened in Savannah, Georgia. References to this golf club continued until 1811 again apparently closing just before the beginning of the war. The War of 1812 served to destroy the desire to play golf. It wasn�t until the late 1870s, well after the Civil War ended, that there was a resurgence of golf in the United States.
Golf fever springs up throughout the United States
Charles Macdonald was an early founder of American golf. He recalled playing golf in the Chicago area as early as 1875. Another promoter of golf, a young man named Andrew Bell from Burlington, Iowa, was initially exposed to golf when he went to Scotland to attend the University of Edinburgh. Upon his return to the United States in 1883, he laid out four informal golf holes on the family farm and played a few rounds with his friends. In 1884 Colonel Hamilton Gillispie, a former Scotsman who went into the lumber business in Florida, was known to hit golf balls in a field that is now the main street of Sarasota (History of Golf 7). Also in 1884, the Oakhurst Golf Club was formed in North Carolina now famous for it�s first hole from the Club�s Homestead course, celebrated today as the oldest golf hole in the United States.
St. Andrews Golf Club is founded
On February 22, 1888, John Reid invited four of his neighbors to his cow pasture across the road from his home in Yonkers, New York to witness a makeshift demonstration of golf. Reid, born in Scotland, had immigrated to the United States as a youth bringing with him an interest in the game of golf. Golf was by then a well-established and popular sport in his native land. Just a year before, Bob Lockhart, a friend of Reid�s, was planning a business a trip to Scotland. At Reid�s urging request, Lockhart brought back with him a few golf clubs and balls. Reid laid out three golf holes in his cow pasture and on February 22, 1888, Reid and his neighbor John Upham gave an exhibition on the Scottish game. The curious neighbors, watching the sport, were keenly interested to the point where they wished to participate. Within a few months, the men formed a group known as the Men of St. Andrew�s. As their interest in the game grew, golf clubs and balls began arriving from Scotland. By the end of the summer, the three original holes in the cow pasture had become inadequate. The Men of St. Andrew�s made their first move to a thirty-acre meadow owned by the local butcher. In November of that same year, during a dinner party at Reid�s house, the St. Andrew�s Golf Club was formally organized. Reid became the President with John Upham as the Secretary. Over the years, St. Andrew�s was moved two more times eventually ending up at its present site in Mt. Hope at Hastings-on-Hudson where, despite claims
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Golf, Mens major golf championships, United States Golf Association, Outline of golf, Chicago Golf Club
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