Golf has seen an incredible rise in popularity over the past few
decades, and that popularity continues to grow. From the days when
golf was consider the pastime of a select few old folks who walked the
greens in their checked pants, the sport today has a tremendous
following. It can largely be attributed to players like Tiger Woods -
charismatic players who captured the attention of everyone, including
those who have never picked up a golf club. Added to this is
Hollywood's take with movies that have portrayed golfers as the
heroes they are.
While the following has changed significantly, so has the industry.
There are resorts, vacation packages and even housing developments
built around incredible golf courses. Finding a great place to golf has
never been easier with the number of courses growing annually and
those managing the courses set to make the most of the property
available. There's no way to really tell what prompted the rising
popularity of the sport. But if you look at the number of young people
walking the greens with parents and grandparents, and the number of
schools with a golf program for its students, you'll see that it's most
likely a trend that will continue for the foreseeable future.
The History of Golf
Arguably golf's interesting origin began five centuries in the past. It is
a historical fact that due to the interference of golf with much more
serious combat drills James II of Scotland banned golf in an act of
Parliament on March 6 in the year 1457. There is general agreement
among historians and golf fans alike that the Scots were the first
golfers who became somewhat addicted to the sport. However the
persons responsible for the invention of golf is open to debate. And
debate will ensue if you breech the subject with the right persons.
shaped stones into
rabbit holes with
Making a competitive game of the boredom seemed inevitable. After
all women's lib was not yet even considered so that means the
shepherds were men. Lets face another fact of history, men tend to be
more of a competitive nature. Various forms of golf were played as
early as the fourteenth century. These games were played in Holland,
Belgium, France as well as in Scotland, thus the debate of golf's origin
is rightly fueled.
There is another historical fact that Scottish Baron, James VI, was the
man who delivered the game we know today as golf to the English. For
many years the game was played on severely rugged terrain, where
no proper upkeep was required. In most accounts golf was played with
crudely cut holes in the ground where the earth was reasonably flat.
It was a group of Edinburgh golfers who first formed an organized
club. In 1744 the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers was
established. At this time in history the first thirteen laws of golf were
drawn up for an annual competition. This first competition consisted of
players from any part of Great Britain or Ireland.
One of the earliest golf clubs that were formed outside golf's debatable
native home of Scotland was the Royal Blackheath Golf Club of
England. Blackheath came into existence in 1766 and the Old
Manchester Golf Club was founded on the Kersal Moor in 1818.
By the late 1800's the Royal Montreal Club and the Quebec Golf Club
were to become the first in North America. It wasn't until 1888 that
golf resurfaced in the United States with more fervor than each prior
surfacing. Even then it was a Scotsman, John Reid, who first built a
three-hole course in Yonkers New York. St. Andrews Club of Yonkers
was built in a thirty-acre site near to the original three-hole course.
From the hesitant and fitful start golf grew rapidly as the new national
pastime in America. Modern for its time the golf club, Shinnecock Hills
was founded in 1891 and in the nine years left in that century more
than one thousand prestigious golf clubs opened in North America.
The historical value of golf is as interesting as any part of our heritage.
Following the path that golf took to get from a shepherds field to the
amazing golf courses that dot our culture today it is no wonder golf
remains a popular pastime in all parts of the world.
A Good Golf Bag is a Beautiful Thing
Few things are more important to a golfer than a good golf bag. First
off, golf bags come in many styles and a wide variety of colors. You
can choose a bag for style, features or pick a color to match your
Some have legs that fold out when they are placed on the ground and
stand upright so the golfer doesn't have to bend down and pick it up.
That's a nice feature in golf bags, especially if the golfer tends to walk
the course, as many do. There is plenty of bending to be done when a
golfer is trying to remove an obstacle from around his or her ball, or to
get the ball out of the cup, so any way to avoid bending over is more
All golf bags have compartments where the golf clubs are to be placed.
Each golfer has his or her own way of doing this and putting clubs
where he or she wants them. Some golfers, though, are lazy and just
stick their clubs in the compartments, grabbing whichever one they
want when a particular club is needed. But, some golf bags have tubes
to protect the club grips. These are nice to have. With the tubes, a
golfer can get his or her clubs out easier. The clubs are never tangled
up, and the grips last a lot longer.
Another important factor in choosing a golf bag is the number of
pockets it has. Frankly, there's no such thing as too many pockets in a
golf bag. First, one of the pockets will be used to hold the golf bag's
hood. The hood is used to keep the clubs and bag from getting
drenched when it rains. Another pocket will be used to keep extra
towels (believe it or not,
extra towels are important
in the summer to keep the
sweat off the brow and out
of the eyes, along with
keeping the hands relatively
dry. Then, there is the
pocket used for keeping the
extra golf tees and possibly
the divot tool. Finally, a
pocket is needed for the
golf balls themselves, and it
doesn't hurt to have a pocket to carry another dozen balls in, just in
Some courses are so difficult it is easy to lose a lot of balls during 18-
holes of play. This makes having an extra box of balls around a good
thing, but there has to be somewhere in the golf bag to keep them,
which means another pocket.
Imagine trying to play golf without a bag. The golfer would be
constantly stooping over picking up clubs, tees, balls, towels and the
divot tool. Then he or she would have to walk to the ball, drop all of
the clubs and stuff, select a club, hit the ball, and start the process all
over again. It would be a major pain in the neck, and would make it
nearly impossible to finish playing a round of golf. So, golf bags are an
essential part of the game of golf.
Are Golf Lessons For You?
If you've been thinking about taking up golf, or if you're a golfer in
search of a better game, you may have considered golf lessons. But
are golf lessons really beneficial? And how do you find a pro who will
offer good advice?
There are some who swear that lessons are vital and others who say
that practice is the only thing that will improve your golf game. The
truth seems to lie somewhere in the middle. But before you drop your
coach or sign up for lessons, consider what it is that you hope golf
lessons will accomplish. Outlining your goals may help you decide
whether you truly need lessons or simply more time on the course.
If you play with others who play exceptionally well, you may want to
find someone to give you some help with your game. Whether that's a
paid coach or merely a friend who plays well is strictly a personal
choice. Getting some pointers and tips may be a good way to ensure
that you don't totally embarrass yourself in front of other players.
If you're serious about the game, you've probably been involved long
enough that you don't need advice on whether to get a coach. But if
you've only recently discovered the joy of golfing, you may find
yourself looking for a way to improve your game. Golf lessons could
very well be the answer.
Some people say that lessons give them a set time to practice and an
opportunity to completely focus on the game. You'll typically be less
interrupted than if you were playing on your own, stopping to chat
with friends along the way. But others say the simple fact of having
someone scrutinizing every move and offering constant advice is more
distracting than helpful. Decide whether you're one of those who
accept direction and works well in that situation. That's a major clue as
to whether golf lessons are a good idea.
Remember that a golf coach's job is to teach you to golf correctly. That
means that there are some habits that he (or she) will be trying to
ingrain and others they'll be trying to break. While golfing correctly is
a terrific goal, many golfers have some bad habits that they tout as
benefiting their game. Changing your grip, adjusting your stance or
even using different equipment may be among the "must do" list from
your coach. You may resist those changes. You have two options. You
can do your best to follow the instructions, or you can explain that you
aren't planning to change that particular habit. If you don't plan to
change, you may need to reexamine your decision to take lessons.
Without following directions, lessons may become a waste of time and
effort on both parts, and money on yours.
Golf lessons are great for some people. It's a personal decision
whether you are one of those who will benefit from a coach - formal or
informal. But remember that the most important thing to improve your
golf game is simply practice.
Are Golf Shoes Really Necessary?
While some kind of footwear
is required on most golf
courses, are golf shoes
really necessary? This is a
question to be answered by
each individual golfer as it is
his or her feet we are talking about.
Some courses require soft spikes only so the course doesn't get
chewed up with the walking around people have to do when playing,
especially if the people are walking the entire course. And, most club
houses will only allow soft spikes to be worn inside, to protect the
Let us be honest with one another, the vast majority of golf shoes are
not attractive footwear. But, golf shoes are far from being the ugliest
footwear in sports. That honor, dubious though it may be, belongs
entirely to bowling shoes. Who, in their right mind, would want to wear
red and green shoes, especially that type of shoes? At least golf shoes
are designed in a more practical, and somewhat more attractive,
manner. But, are they really needed in order for a person to play golf?
No, they are not. The footwear a golfer chooses to wear can be
practically anything from moccasins to a good athletic shoe. A golfer's
footwork is more important than his or her choice in footwear.
But, the shoe a golfer wears should be comfortable on his or her feet.
There is nothing worse for a golfer than an uncomfortable shoe. If the
toes are pinched, or the back rides up on the heel, the golfer will be
miserable and will not be able to concentrate on playing golf, which is
why he or she is on the golf course in the first place.
So, comfort comes first. After comfort, traction is important. This is
because the golfer can't have their feet turning after they have struck
the ball. If this happens, the ball will careen wildly, most likely winding