Information is provided about golf tournaments and of interest for the golf club. Information is provided regarding sign up for our 6th invitational golf tournament.

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History of Golf

Controversy exists as to the origin of golf. The possible origins include a game called paganica from Rome, which ironically was played by emperors. The Latin word paganus means villager or commoner. There is a city called Paganica in Italy and a golf course in Wisconsin that bears that name. So don't necessarily be offended when someone refers to golf as a pagan sport; the irreverent nature of golfers language serves only to create a double entendre.
Other possiblities as to the origins of golf include a Chinese game called ch'ui wan with it origins about 300 BC, a Celtic game called "shinty" and a game called "khi" in Laos. But the ties to Scotland are unmistakable. History is replete with stories of shepherds who in the boredom of tending their flocks, hit rocks with their staffs. The shepherds in Germany claimed their grazing territorial rights by the distance they could hit the rock, the first long drive contests. The word 'golf' may be derived from the Dutch word "colf" or club and may have come from the game chole that involves hitting a ball to gate or wall sometimes long distances away. A sketch in a stain glass window, of a man probably playing chole, is the taken as the first evidence of golf in England.
From that point forward, golf was essentially developed in Scotland. One of the most interesting features is that in the 1400's golf was banned in Scotland because it distracted the population from archery; the archers were in short supply to fight the wars with the English .
It was not until the 1500's that golf was played at St. Andrews, considered the home of golf. Mary, Queen of Scots, made history when she played after the death of her husband Lord Darnley in 1567 without waiting for the proper period of bereavement. The first known female golfer was castigated publically and later beheaded (presumably unrelated). Some say that Mary had French cadets carry her clubs, hence the term caddy. Golf was banned in some cities on Sundays as attendance at sermons waned, but King James VI of Scotland ordained that the populace could play golf on Sundays. Interestingly, golf was banned in Albany, New York in 1659 as well, apparently golfers had taken to the streets (only Tiger can get away with that today).
It was not until 1834 that William IV designated the St. Andrews Golf Club as the "Royal and Ancient". Long hitters will love to learn that a feathery ball was hit 361 yards in 1836 by "Slammin Samuel Messieux", so there may be more to it than just equipment!

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