? When was the first golf club founded in a) Great Britain? b) the U.S.?
•a) The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers was founded in 1744 on the Leith Links in Edinburgh, Scotland. A silver club was awarded to the winner of the club's annual tournament. Ten years later The Royal and Ancient Golf 'Club was "ormed in St. Andrews, Scotland. It has been in continuous existence ever since, b) The first permanent U.S. golf club is considered to be The St. Andrews Golf Club, founded in 1888 in Yonkers. One of the charter members, Robert Lockhart, had been arrested shortly before for hitting a golf ball about a sheep pasture in Central Park. The course had only six holes, but there were numerous apple trees on it, which tested the skill of the members and caused them to be called the "Apple Tree Gang."
? Golf was once known in the U.S. as a rich man's game. What incident did the most to dispel this image?
•In the 1913 U.S. Open, at Brookline, Mass., 20-year-old Francis Ouimet, a caddie on the course not long before, defeated British professionals Harry Vardon and Ted Ray in an 18-hole playoff for the championship. His victory received front-page notice in newspapers throughout the country, and, soon after, many thousands who had once thought of golf as an exclusive game began playing it.
April 16, 1962
? What are a) featheries? b) gutties?
•a) Prior to 1848 golf balls were made of three small pieces of leather, sewed together with twine. A small hole was made in the leather, and one top-hatful of boiled goose feathers was inserted with a stuffing tool. The ball was expensive to make and often burst when hit, scattering feathers all over the golf course. On wet days the ball became sodden and was virtually unmovable. b) In 1848 golf balls with a gutta-percha (resin or gum resembling rubber and obtained from Malaya) core replaced the featheries. They were cheaper to make, and more durable and accurate. When first made, they were smooth like billiard balls and would not travel more than 50 yards when hit. It was discovered that used gutties, covered with nicks from the club face, flew farther than new balls, and thereafter golfers nicked the new gutties with knives and hammers. By 1900 factories were producing balls with a dent pattern.
? When did the rubber-core golf ball come into popular use?
•The gutta-percha ball was used almost exclusively until 1902. Then Sandy Herd, using a rubber-core ball, won the British Open by one stroke over Harry Vardon. The new ball quickly gained international recognition and has been used ever since. The rubber-core ball had been invented a few years earlier by a Cleveland golfer, Coburn Haskell, and was produced by the B. F. Goodrich Rubber Co. It was approved for play and, in fact, used by Walter Travis in 1901 when he won the U.S. Amateur. But until the professionals realized its great advantage over the gutta-percha ball (longer distance), it didn't become popular.
? When did national tournaments for women begin?
•In 1893, at Lytham and St. Anne's, the first British Women's Amateur was held. There were 38 participants and the winner was Lady Margaret Scott. In 1895 the USGA held its first Women's Amateur at Meadow Brook Club in Hempstead, N.Y. The winner was Mrs. Charles S. Brown, who took 11 strokes on the first hole, 14 on another, but finished the 18 holes in 132 (out in 69, in in 63), well ahead of her rivals. Subsequent U.S. Women's Amateurs have been match play competitions, but Mrs. Anne Quast Decker, winner of the 1961 championship, played 112 holes in last year's tournament in nine under par.