History of Golf in the United States

From its humble beginnings in Scotland to a well-renowned sport across the globe, Golf has come a long way. Over the decades, the game has been enjoyed by millions and has become a popular sport. People from a variety of social, economic and ethnic background enjoy this game, in complete contrast to the mass belief of the game being a luxury afforded only by the elite. In 1873, the first golf course in North America, Royal Montreal in Canada, was established. This was when the game started gaining popularity in the USA. In 1888, the New York St. Andrews Yonkers, the first golf course in the United States, was inaugurated.

Players would hit a pebble around a natural course of sand dunes, rabbit runs and tracks using a stick or primitive club.
Players would hit a pebble around a natural course of sand dunes, rabbit runs and tracks using a stick or primitive club.

St. Andrews became a fertile ground that gave way to all the important developments of the sport in the USA. The National organizations that would manage the game have their beginnings at St. Andrews, and so would the amateur and professional tournaments. It is rightfully the birthplace of Golf in America  Following the inauguration of St. Andrews in 1888 and The Chicago Golf Club in 1893, golf gained immense momentum in the American lifestyle. By 1894, a governing body was constituted to regulate the game. This regulatory body, Amateur Golf Association of the United States, would soon be renamed as the United States Golf Association (USGA). Theodore Havemeyer was appointed as its first President.

The spherical wood balls were smooth and thus not did not have good handling properties.
The spherical wood balls were smooth and thus not did not have good handling properties.

After the establishment of the USGA, 1895 saw the first US Open as well as US Amateur Championships. These events were held in Newport, Rhode Island, in which Horace Rawlins and Charles MacDonald emerged as winners of the tournaments. The first Amateur Championship for women was also held in the same year in Hempstead, New York at the Meadow Brook Club.

Meanwhile, Bertram Work and Coburn Haskell, two American manufacturers, come up with a golf ball with a balata covering and a rubber core. This 2-piece ball is much cheaper than the existing gutta- percha and replaced it completely.

540 million. That is the number of golf balls that are estimated to be sold each year in the United States alone.
540 million. That is the number of golf balls that are estimated to be sold each year in the United States alone.

In the 1900, Harry Vardon, a British golfer, won the US Open and became the first golfer to be an overseas winner, a novelty at the time. Apart from the regular tournaments, USGA approved the first handicap system in 1905. 1909 brought another milestone in the US Golf history, when Dorothy Campbell, an American citizen, became the first woman ever to win both the US Women’s Amateur and British Ladies Tournament in one year. Another red letter day came in 1910, when Francis Ouimet, an amateur golfer, beat two established names of British Golf in a US Open playoff.

In 1916, the foundations of the American Professional Golfers Association (PGA) are laid in New York. This would grow up to become the body that governed every aspect of golf in the US later on.

Lyle has overcome two bouts of acute myeloid leukemia. The Australian is in the second year of a medical extension granted to him due to his life-threatening illness.
Lyle has overcome two bouts of acute myeloid leukemia. The Australian is in the second year of a medical extension granted to him due to his life-threatening illness.

There are many new championships were launched as the sport grew bigger and more global. There was the Inaugural Walker Cup in 1922, Ryder Cup in 1927, The Curtis Cup for Women in 1932, Augusta National Invitational (later known as Masters) in 1934, World Ladies Amateur Team Championships in 1964, and numerous others.

Golf is a great game, a test of skill, strategy and strength, at the same time. It has a rich and long history in the US. Today, a number of legendary golf players, who have made the game what it is today, are celebrated across the country. When you sign up for one of the Time Warner Cable TV Packages you can watch all kinds of great golf excitement.