A Brief History of Golf

Golf is one of the most popular pastimes in the UK with over four million people playing the game every year. With over 2,700 courses dotted around the country there are plenty of places to perfect your swing! Most people recognises the home of golf to be Scotland, but is that really the case?

It is widely agreed that the term Golfis borrowed from the Dutch as an alteration for the word colf or clove meaning stick or bat. Golf as we know it today was first played on the east coast of Scotland in the 1400’s, but more and more evidence is suggesting that it was first played centuries before by other countries…

The Chinese Dynasties – 618AD – 1297AD

A drawing from the 14th century in China showing the emperor playing Chuiwan

Chinese scholars have found evidence that suggests that Golf was fist played in some form by the Chinese over a thousand years ago! Throughout the Tang dynasty (618-907) and was known as the game of Buda and was the favourite past time of the ordinary people. It was then renamed to Chuiwan (chui meaning hitting and wan meaning small ball) during the Song dynasty when the rules where first written in a book and people are pictured playing several hundred years before the first appeared in Europe. It is now believed by many scholars that it was the Mongolian travellers in the later middle ages that took Chuiwan with them on their trade mission to Europe during the Yuan dynasty period.

The Dutch – 14th century

A painting from Holland in the 14th century showcasing locals playing “Koff”.

Many researchers believe that Golf as we know it today has its origins in a game played by the Dutch on frozen lakes called “Koff” around 1297. Players would aim to use their curved clubs to hit a small ball from point A to point B in the least amount of stokes. At the time, the Duct hand Scotts where very close trading partners and it is even suggested that the first balls used to play in Scotland where brought across by Dutch traders even though the Scotts where playing on parkland opposed to ice.

The Modern Game

Despite the arguments above regarding the origins of Golf, the Scottish are definitely the inventors of the game we know and love today. Being the home of modern golf, St Andrews in Fife is the most distinguished and recognised course in the world and still plays hosts to some of the best tournaments in the world. There are now over 2,700 clubs across the UK welcoming over 4.5 million players from all walks of life and ages and the sport is growing in popularity among younger players thanks to professionals such as Tiger Woods and Rory Mcllory making headlines by winning titles and setting world records!

Why is golf so popular today?

  • No two games are ever the same. Every time you go out to play it is a different course and different conditions. Variety is the spice of life.
  • There is no such thing as a perfect round. It is the most challenging game I have played with a great round one day and an absolute disaster the next. This alone is one of the main reasons why golf is so popular – the continual drive to improve.
  • It can be played by all ages, both sexes and all shapes and sizes. Golf is unique in that it has a handicap system that levels the playing field. It is me and my handicap versus the other guy and his handicap. On this basis I can theoretically beat the best player in the world.

Getting into golf is far easier then it may first appear thanks to the sheer number of locations to start perfecting that swing! A lesson is definitely the best way to get a head start in the sport as the course professional will have years of experience to teach you the correct technique before you pick up any bad habits. If you would like to make a start on your wing, or help perfect it after a few years of playing then a Golf experience at a Marriott hotel with championship course is a great way to learn.

Marriott Golf lessons available on Experience Days:

Play Golf Like a Pro With Marriott
Now £98
This experience is perfect for any golfer who is looking to improve their swing including a revolutionary system for perfecting the technique. The experience includes a 45 minute session with the a PGA professional at the driving range using the Explanar system before putting the practice to the test with a round on the championship course. They will then enjoy a tasty lunch back in the club house before returning to the driving range for some final practice.

Championship Round Of Golf
Now £48
With at least one championship course at each Marriott location, they have become renowned for their great facilities and are the perfect place. This great experience will allow the lucky recipient to choose one of the 6 great nationwide locations to enjoy 18 holes on a truly fantastic course. While there, they will be able to make full use of the practice facilities as well as club house and bar set in beautiful locations with manicured courses and spotless clubhouses.

Learn To Play Golf With Marriott
Now £79
This is the perfect experience for a beginner player looking to get their foot in the door while playing on a championship level course. The 30 minute golf lesson from the PGA professional will teach them all the basics to start enjoying the game, and with free equipment hire, range tokens and a light lunch, this is an all-in-one lesson guaranteed to get the basics mastered. The Marriott golf professionals ensure that skills are taught in the correct order making sure that their students get the most from their lessons

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