Birth of the Modern Game
The modern game of golf is commonly regarded as having been created by the Scottish sometime during the 15th century. The first documented mention of the game appears in an Act written by the Scottish Parliament in 1457. King James II of Scotland prohibited the playing of “gowf” and “futball” because they were distractions from archery practice, which was necessary for the nation’s military defense. The ban was further extended in 1471 and 1491 since golf was considered an “unprofitable sport.”
Within two years of the ban being lifted in 1500, King James IV of Scotland took up the game himself. Mary, Queen of Scots, was even accused by her political enemies of playing golf after her second husband was murdered in 1567.
The 19th Century Boom
In the 1860s Scotland underwent a tourism boom thanks to royal enthusiasm and improved transportation. This period coincided with the development of the Gutty, a new type of golf ball that was easier to produce than what was used previously. In 1885 the London Scottish Golf Club was founded on Wimbledon Common; England’s 12 golf courses in 1880 ballooned to more than 1,000 by 1914. By the 1880s golf clubs had been established in Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, with others popping up in several European resorts for the benefit of British visitors.
Golf Travels to America
Many clubs were also established in the United States during the 1880s, and several of them still claim to be the first. The official United States Golf Association (USGA) was formed in 1984 after delegates from the Newport Country Club, Saint Andrew’s Golf Club, Yonkers, New York, The Country Club, Chicago Golf Club and Shinnecock Hills Golf Club met in New York City. There were 267 clubs by 1910.
Golf’s popularity exploded in the U.S. during the Roaring Twenties, even continuing after the Great Depression and World War II. Today, many residential golf course communities have been built for dedicated players.
Private Golfing in Peoria
Blackstone Country Club in Peoria, Arizona offers one of the best golf courses the Valley offers. Located in the private, gated community of Blackstone Country Club at Vistancia, members have access to the private Golf Digest award-winning, 7,089-yard, 18-hole, par-72 golf course designed by Jim Engh. Blackstone Country Club’s Hacienda-styled, 30,000 square-foot clubhouse features a wide range of amenities, including an extensive fitness center, a resort-style pool with private cabanas, children’s play area, tennis facilities, a wine bar and both casual and fine dining. A range of membership types are offered, including Equity and Non-Equity Golf, Equity Social, Junior Golf and Corporate Memberships. Contact Blackstone Country Club today for information about membership and more.