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45 Facts For the Average Golfer

45 Facts For the Average Golfer

As golfers, we often get so caught up in perfecting our game that we don’t leave time to simply enjoy the game. While it is critical to have fun on the course, it is equally important to enjoy learning about the game off the course.

For this reason, I have compiled a list of facts that the average golfer should know. To clarify, “average golfer” really means the normal golfer. We are the golfers that have good days and bad. We recognize room for improvement in our game. We are also the golfers who don’t have to play Pro V1s because we think we are the next big tour player.

History of Golf Facts

  • Roman emperors played a golf-like game called paganica, hitting a soft feather-filled ball with a bent stick.
  • J.R.R. Tolkien actually explains golf in his novel The Hobbit by writing “The Hobbit Bullroarer charged the ranks of the goblins of Mount Gram in the Battle of the Green Fields, and knocked their king Golfimbul’s head clean off with a wooden club. It sailed a hundred yards through the air and went down a rabbit hole, and in this way, the battle was won m and the game of Golf was invented at the same moment.
  • Most people agree that the Scots invented the game of Golf as we play it today.
  • The name golf apparently derives from the medieval Dutch kolf, meaning “club”.
  • Golf’s first formal club, the Company of Gentleman Golfers, was organized in 1744 in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Golf Equipment Facts

  • Most golf balls have between 330 and 500 dimples.
  • The earliest golf balls were made of leather and stuffed with feathers.
  • In the 1800s, golfers used a ball made from gutta-percha, A rubber-like substance from Malaysian trees.
  • Early wooden club shafts were made from hazel, ash, and hickory.
  • Early golf clubs looked more like hockey sticks than their current shape.

Golf Courses Facts

  • Early golf courses got the name “links” from Scotland, where arable land was linked with the sea.
  • The modern 18-hole course dates back to 1754 at Scotland’s infamous St. Andrews Golf Club. The course used to have 22 holes prior to the renovation.
  • The oldest golf club outside the British Isles is in India.
  • The United States’ oldest public golf course is New York City’s Van Cortlandt Golf Course, which opened in 1895.
  • The Emirates Golf Club in Dubai has to use 750,000 gallons of water per day to maintain the course.
  • Satsuki Golf Course in Japan has a 900-yard par-7 hole.
  • Chocolay Downs Golf Course in Michigan has a 1,000-yard par-6.
  • U.S. Astronaut Alan Shepard Jr. is the first and only human to golf on the moon.
  • Awesome names of golf holes:
    • Devil’s Cauldron
    • Eden
    • Woe-Be-Tide
  • Pine Valley Golf Course in New Jersey has the world’s largest sandtrap. It is called “Hell’s Half-Acre”.

Golf Terminology Facts

  • The term birdie might have come from the slang term bird, which means “very good”.
  • The term rabbit is another way to say “a novice player”.
  • The term bogey might have come from a British song titled “I’m the Bogey Man, catch me if you can.''.
  • Yelling “Fore!” is said to be rooted in the short form of a military command. “Fore!” is the shortened version of the military command “Beware Before!”. This was shouted in the 1700s when cannonballs were fired over the head of friendlies towards enemies.
  • Another name for putting green is golf’s “dance floor”.
  • Other names for the fringe are the “apron”, the “collar”, or “frog hair”.

Rules of Golf Facts

  • Rules from the original rules of golf in 1744:
    • You are not to remove Stones, Bones, or any Break Club, for sake of playing your ball.
    • At Holing, you are to play your ball honestly for the hole, and not play upon your adversary’s ball, not lying in your way to the hole.
    • If a ball is stopped by any person, horse, dog, or anything else, the stopped ball must be played where it lies.
  • The first British Open was held in Prestwick, Scotland in 1860.
  • The first U.S. Open Championship was held in Newport, Rhode Island in 1895.
  • In 1894, five golf clubs first formed the United States Golf Association.

Golf and Politics Facts

  • In Presidential elections, golfers usually defeat non-golfers.
  • Less than a handful of Presidents in the 20th century didn’t play golf.
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower had a putting green installed at the White House.
  • Eisenhower, Nixon, and Ford have hit hole-in-ones.
  • John F. Kennedy is widely regarded as the best golfer of the Presidents.
  • According to North Korea, Kim Jong-Il made five hole-in-ones in a row during his first round of golf ever.

Holes In One Facts

  • The earliest recorded hole in one is from “Young Tom” Morris in 1868 from a distance of 145 yards.
  • The longest known hole in one is recorded at 444 yards in 1965. The oldest player to hit a hole in one was a 101-year-old man.
  • Tiger Woods recorded his first hole in one when he was six years old.
  • The odds of an amateur golfer hitting a hole in one on a par-3 are 12,500:1.

Miscellaneous Golf Facts

  • At the 1934 U.S. Open, Bobby Cruickshank skipped a ball off a stream and watched it roll on the green. He threw his club into the air in celebration, which fell and hit him on his head, knocking him unconscious.
  • J.D Tucker withdrew from the 1898 U.S. Open due to finishing his second round with a score of 100. But that wasn’t quite as bad as his first-round score of 157.
  • The first televised golf event was the Tam O’Shanter Classic in Chicago in 1953.
  • A 1998 report to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons described a new medical issue: “Tiger Woods Syndrome”. Tiger Woods Syndrome came from frequent cranial injuries that kids suffered from their friends trying to imitate Tiger and accidentally smacking their friends in the process.
  • One tradition claims that caddying began with Mary, Queen of Scots, who refused to carry her clubs.
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