While the physical attributes of golf today, its rules and regulations, course length, clubs, balls, and so on, are not a million miles away from the game as it was in the immediate post-war years, the other aspects of the professional game have changed out of all recognition.
TAKE a cold, wet winter’s morning and a handful of miserable Americans, and the challenge is this: can you raise their spirits, raise the level of their game and keep your sanity intact? It’s not an enviable task, but for a caddie, it’s all in a day’s work.
THE decades around the turn of the 20th century saw the rapid expansion in the building of golf courses and founding of clubs continue apace and with it the further internationalisation of the game.
IF IT ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Unfortunately it was very, very broke - my golf game, that is. So I took it down to the Scottish National Golf Centre at Drumoig to get it fixed. And actually it turned out that my golf game was even more broke than I thought it was. Playing off 18, hitting the fairways with what I thought was impressive regularity, I had been happy enough to just muddle along.
In the first part of his history of the ‘stick and ball’ game, Iain Crawford traces its origins in colf, gowff and numerous other variations in both Scotland and the Netherlands, through to the first instituted club at Leith Links, the triumph of gutties over featheries, the inaugural Open in 1860, and on to the turn of the 20th century.
It’s no surprise, given Scotland’s connection with golf, that so many of the world’s great championship courses are here.