Golf: Gentleman Only, Ladies Forbidden
While golf is actually a Scottish word derived from the Dutch word kulf, the acronym of gentleman only, ladies forbidden holds true to the history of the sport. Golf is a game that was once played by nobles and military men, then executives and politicians. Now golf is very popular with many people, including women.
Golf as we know it originated in Scotland during the fourteen hundreds. The game was likely based on a Dutch stick and ball game that is somewhat like hockey. The biggest difference between the Dutch game and the Scottish game of golf was that golf is played on a field instead of ice. There is a lot of evidence that the balls the Scottish used in their golf games were obtained through trade with the Dutch.
One of the more interesting facts about golf is that the game was banned in the mid to late fourteen hundreds by the Scottish king and parliament. The military men and officers were spending more time playing golf than training in archery. To encourage his men to spend more time in training, golf and soccer were both deemed illegal sports. There are sure to be many companies and executives who wish that they could outlaw golf to keep employees in the office and off of the golf course.
As with other sports, only men played golf from the beginning. However, golf seemed to become a gentleman’s sport when it moved from Scotland to England. There, noblemen and kings often played golf starting around sixteen hundred. During the games, politics, laws, and other important matters would be discussed.
This still holds true today. Companies are merged, not in board rooms, but on the golf course. Politicians are made and broken, campaign funds are generated, and deals are made. For most politicians and executives, the golf course has become the ideal meeting place for determining the futures of demise of companies, people, and ideas. Many important events have occurred or been discussed on golf courses, including the news of the Irish rebellion in the late sixteen hundreds.
Although more women are playing golf today, the fact remains that this game is primarily a gentleman’s game. Popularity in golf as a sport in high schools and colleges has grown in the last several years. This is due to the fact that many realize the necessity of learning the sport for their future careers. Doctors, politicians, lawyers, executives, and financial managers must know how to play golf in order to meet with and win certain clients.
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