The origin of golf is a fascinating story of ups and downs that paved its way over the years. We can trace back its roots to ancient times, while modern golf history started during the early 15th century. For hundreds of years, one thing is for sure that golf is a game played with essential equipment called the golf club. The significance of golf clubs has evolved over the years: from the wooden versions up to the titanium-built clubs we see today. Golf clubs have a fascinating history since it is known to have a giant leap in its advancement. In this article, we are going to look into the past and other exciting facts about golf clubs.
What is a Golf Club?
Before learning the history of golf clubs, we are going to look first into the characteristics of this incredible equipment. For starters, a golf club is the main equipment used to play golf. It comes with a shaft with a grip, along with a clubhead, which players use to hit the golf ball.
Golf clubs come in various designs and materials depending on how the player is going to use them. The most fundamental types of golf clubs are wood, iron, wedge, hybrid, and putter; each of them has its specific usage. Some golf clubs work best in long-distance shots, while others are more appropriate for close range.
In a golf game, players are only allowed to carry up to a maximum of fourteen clubs. Players utilize their fourteen golf clubs to hit the ball into the hole with the least number of strokes. This is why picking the right golf club is vital when playing golf; without the golf club’s proper use, the player may have a difficult time hitting and controlling the ball.
Origins of the Golf Club
Now that we already have a brief knowledge of what is a golf club let us now look into its history. Playing golf is a game that requires a club or a stick; that is why we can trace the origins of the earliest golf clubs hundreds of years ago, during the foundation of the game itself. The earliest recorded history of golf was in 15th century Scotland. However, we can extend it further to ancient times, wherein various nations have their share in the game’s development.
During the 15th century, people used to create their own versions of the golf club, unlike the mass-produced version that we have today. The early methods of creating golf clubs were challenging, mainly because of the lack of technology before. Golfers manually carve their golf clubs depending on their preferences, resulting in inconsistent products.
Interestingly, the inconsistency gradually came to an end after King James IV of Scotland came to hire a bow-maker in Perth to create a set of golf clubs exclusively for him. The bow-maker named William Mayne proceed in completing the set of golf clubs for King James IV. The set of clubs became the earliest reference for other club-makers to have more consistency. This set of golf clubs includes longnoses, fairway clubs, spoons, niblicks, and putting cleeks; each of these golf clubs has its unique purpose in the field.
During the early 17th century, iron golf clubs were introduced to golf players. Both wooden and iron clubs have their respective differences: wooden clubs were more common for the “featherie” golf ball, but it is more expensive than its iron counterpart. On the other hand, iron golf clubs prove to be more durable than wooden clubs; they are also easy to use, even on featherie balls. Whether using wooden or iron golf clubs, the sport became known as a game for the rich. Considering all the equipment needed when playing golf, it is no doubt that wealthy people are the most common players of the sport.
Over the years, further developments in golf clubs were made. In 1826, the use of hickory for shafts became a standard for many golf clubs, but its price shows that it is not a good choice for creating golf clubs. Another material was introduced in 1900, called the persimmon. The persimmon wood proves to be a more suitable material for creating golf clubs, especially the shaft.
The advancement of golf clubs skyrocketed during the 20th century, wherein several designs, materials, and features were being introduced in the market. Creating golf clubs sparked the interests of many experts, wherein they are devoted to researching more ways to create a more durable and less expensive golf club.
Today, many golf club brands are available in the market, showcasing their unique style. Modern golf clubs come in different materials, such as steel, wood, titanium, and graphite. Depending on the features and brand, golf clubs also vary in cost and efficiency in the game. Check out this infographic from IlluminatingFacts.com about the equipment used to play golf.