04 Dec

9 Facts About Golf You Should Know

Golf has been played for centuries and in that time has certainly built up a collection of interesting facts. The sport we know today is said to have been invented during the 15th century, possibly the year 1457, in Scotland. Originally, players hit a pebble with some sort of club around a natural course of sand dunes. Now, golf has evolved into a game defined by a whole slew of courses, equipment, and terminology.

If you love golf, here are a few facts about the sport you should know.

1. The Nation that Invented Golf Banned It Three Times

Golf was so popular in Scotland that the country had to ban it so that its population would focus on preparing for an English invasion. While the ban was not truly successful as people continued to play anyway, it was reaffirmed in 1470 and 1491 before finally being officially lifted in 1502 with the Treaty of Glasgow.

2. The Guinness World Record for the Longest Recorded Drive in Tournament History Was 515 Yards

Michael Hoke Austin, a pro-golfer and kinesiology expert with a specialty in long drives, received credit for the longest drive while playing the U.S. National Seniors Tournament in 1974. The moment occurred at the Winterwood Golf Course at the Par-4 455-yard 14th Hole that’s now called the Desert Rose Golf Course in Las Vegas. Reportedly, Chandler Harper, Hoke’s teammate, commented, “This is impossible, but there is a ball over here.”

3. The Las Vegas Shadow Creek Golf Course is the Most Expensive Public Course in the USA

Designed by Tom Fazio, this course is routinely ranked by Golf Digest as one of “America’s 100 Greatest Public Courses.” It’s also a hub for celebrity sightings. For an 18-hole round, expect to pay $500. While there are plenty of other expensive courses, this one tops the list — even above the infamous Pebble Beach Golf Links.

4. A Golf Ball Travels Farther on Hot Days

In colder temperatures, a golf ball and golf club don’t experience the same efficient transfer of energy as in warmer temperatures. Colder air is also denser than warm air, which means the golf ball experiences more drag and friction. Moreover, when the golfer’s muscles are warmer, they perform better as well. While the change in distance is not huge, a golf ball tends to travel about 10 more yards in warmer weather.

5. The First 18-Hole Course Was on a Sheep Farm

Charles Blair MacDonald discovered the Scottish game of golf while attending the University of St. Andrews. When he returned to the United States, he constructed a 9-hole course on a stock farm in Downer’s Grove in 1892. This course eventually was expanded to 18 holes, and it is part of the Chicago Golf Club, which is one of the five founding clubs of the United States Golf Association in 1894.

6. 125,000 Golf Balls Are Lost to the Water Every Year at TPC Sawgrass

Losing a golf ball to the water in a golf course is annoying, but it’s a common problem for most golfers. In fact, the famous #17 Island Green Hole at TPC Sawgrass seems to have a magnet for collecting golf balls! In a year, more than 125,000 golf balls are lost in the water near #17 Island Green Hole.

7. Golf Balls Were Originally Made of Wood or Feathers.

Some of the first golf balls were made out of wood, such as beech or box trees. Wooden golf balls were in use from the 14th century to the 17th century, but they frequently needed to be replaced. Another type of golf ball was a leather pouch stuffed with feathers—obviously, these balls flew further. Now, balls are created from rubber and plastic, and the ideal golf ball has between 380 and 460 dimples.

8. 600 Rounds of Golf Played in a Year is the World Record.

Throughout the year 2010, Richard Lewis, a Dallas amateur golfer, played a lot of golf. In fact, he played 600 rounds, setting the new world record for most rounds of golf played in a year. He played as many as 54 holes in a day, and he’s even shot an 86.

9. Golf Was Played on the Moon.

The moon has hosted only two sports on its surface, and golf is one of them! In 1967, Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr., took golf to a whole new level with a one-handed swing on the moon’s surface. He used a six-iron, and the low-gravity atmosphere made the golf ball really fly.

The longevity of golf means that there are so many facts about golfing you should know, including that it’s a great workout. Golfers who walk between holes will walk roughly 4 miles, which burns around 2,000 calories. So when you’re out golfing with your buddies, take a moment to share one of these facts!

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