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What are Golf’s Original Rules

The game of golf is thought to have originated in Scotland, and the first recorded mention of golf was in 1457. However, the game’s popularity spread quickly, and by the early 1600s, there were many different versions of the game being played around Europe. 

In 1744, the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith decided to standardize the game’s rules, and they published a document entitled “The Original 13 Rules of Golf”. 

The rules were based on the 17th-century Dutch version of the game, and they outlined the basic playing regulations and etiquette for golfers.

The original 13 rules of golf

So, here are the original core rules of golf:

  • The ball may be played in any direction with one or two clubs.
  • A player must not lift, move, or place the ball except to play it.
  • If a player carries another ball in their pocket, they are assessed a penalty stroke.
  • If a player hits the ball into a water hazard, they are allowed to take a penalty stroke and play the ball from where it last crossed the hazard.
  • A player is allowed to improve their lie within six feet of the hole, as long as they do not move the ball more than an inch.
  • Once a ball has been struck, it is considered to be in play, and the player may not move it except by taking a stroke.
  • A player may not strike the ball with a club in their hand.
  • If a player’s ball hits another player or their caddie, they are penalized for one stroke.
  • Players must take care not to damage the greens.
  • If a player’s ball is lost, they are allowed to take a penalty stroke and play the ball from where it last crossed the hazard.
  • The winner of the hole is the player with the lowest score.
  • If balls are touching one another, you can lift the first ball.
  • If the ball is stopped by a horse, dog, or a person, it will be played from the location where it stopped.

A Brief History Of Golf

Evidence shows that a game resembling modern golf was played in the Netherlands as early as the 12th century.

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The game then spread to other parts of Europe, including Scotland, which is thought to have originated. Golf was first mentioned in writing in 1457 in the Act of Parliament in Scotland. 

However, it wasn’t until the 17th century that the game began to be played in its modern form.

The first golf course in the United States was built in Staten Island, New York, in 1784. The sport quickly gained popularity in the country, and by the early 19th century, there were more than 100 golf courses in America. 

Golf became particularly popular among the country’s wealthy elite, and many of the early golf courses were built on land owned by wealthy businessmen.

And it’s still popular in the Big Apple, where you can find great courses. So doing some indoor golf in Manhattan is just as viable as going to Douglestaon for an outdoor game.

The first professional golfer was born in Scotland in 1759. In 1851, the first golf tournament was held in Scotland, and the first international golf tournament took place in Canada in 1894. The first women’s golf championship was taken in the United States in 1895.

Golf began to be popularized as a sport for people of all ages and abilities in the early 20th century. The first golf instruction book was published in 1916, and the first golf magazine was launched in 1923. 

The first women’s amateur championship was held in 1933, and the first men’s professional championship was maintained in 1936. Golf became an Olympic sport for the first time at the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.

The modern game of golf is played on a course that consists of 18 holes. A player takes a set number of strokes to play each hole, and the goal is to complete the course with the fewest possible strokes. Golf is a challenging but rewarding sport that people of all ages and abilities can enjoy. 

Fun Facts About Golf

Golf is a centuries-old game that has been enjoyed by royalty and commoners alike. Here are some fun facts about this popular pastime:

  • The word “golf” is thought to derive from the Dutch word “kolf,” meaning club.
  • The oldest golf course in the world is the Musselburgh Links, which has been in use since at least 1672.
  • Golf was banned in Scotland for nearly four centuries! It was seen as a distraction from archery practice, necessary for military training. The ban was finally lifted in 1744.
  • The first recorded mention of the game of golf in America occurred in 1779. General George Washington noted in his diary that he played a round of golf while staying at Mount Vernon.
  • The first 18-hole golf course in the United States was designed by Scotsman Charles Blair Macdonald and built-in 1893 on Chicago’s South Side.


And there you have it, folks, the original rules of golf and a little bit of history. We hope you enjoyed this article half as much as you enjoy playing on the green!

Author bio

Travis Dillard is a business consultant and an organizational psychologist based in Arlington, Texas. Passionate about marketing, social networks, and business in general. In his spare time, he writes a lot about new business strategies and digital marketing for DigitalStrategyOne.