The Game of Golf

Nothing in life can be as rewarding, yet at the same time as frustrating, as the game of golf! It is a wicked sport that draws one of the largest followings of loving fans of any sport in the world, but at the same time creates so much anger and hate. It’s the game that we all play because we love it. It’s the game that we all play because we want to beat it. Yet it’s a game that can never be beaten, can never be conquered, and we love/hate it for those reasons!

Welcome to Chip For Par. We are here to discuss this game that we are all addicted to. We will cover every aspect of the sport. From balls to clubs, video games to clothing. We will do our best to discover and explore every aspect in the world of golfing. We will review modern technology such as GPS range finders, and we will chat about the professionals of long ago such as Tom Arnold. If there is a topic in this game that deserves a discussion, we will share it as best as we can.

Why was this site created, who are we, and what is the meaning behind the name? Good questions! This site was created because we love this game. If we could get away with it, we would be on the course every day, playing the links with all we’ve got. We are a small group of enthusiasts that have a passion for the sport, a flair for writing, and a bit of a knack for creating sites. Tom Stills, George Pearl, Jim Hebert, and Johnathan Wycotte are the brains behind Chip For Par. As far as the name of the site (“Chip For Par”), it’s a bit of a joke.

One day George was laughing at Jim because Jim needed to get a par on the 18th hole in order to set his course record. Jim’s drive was great, his second shot got him within short chipping range, and his third shot moved the ball a whole two feet from the hole. Jim was cursing at his bad luck, while George yelled out, “Hey Jim! Don’t be a wussy! All you have to do now is chip it in for a par!” And Jim did just that-his 40 yard chip shot dropped the ball five feet onto the green, where it slowly rolled another twenty or so feet directly in to the hole. It was a beautiful shot. It was one for the books. Every since that day we all call Jim “Chip 4 Par”, or just “Chip”.

From one group of official golf enthusiasts to you, our fellow lover of the game of golf, we thank you for visiting and truly hope that you enjoy your time here. Feel free to click on the links found throughout for the hundreds of articles that we have written. We’re really glad to have you, and we hope that you reach out to us if you have any scoops that we can share it.

 

The History of Golf”

Unless you have a few years to read it, we can’t explain the full history of the sport here. We will do what we can though to give you a brief analysis of the game, and hopefully share a few facts that you can use to impress your friends with out on the course.

The origins of golf are uncertain. The first known recording of a similar game was in the year 1297 (the Middle Ages) when some Dutch were playing a similar game with a wooden stick and a leather ball. They picked the winner by whoever could knock the ball in a certain area, and that target zone was several hundred yards away (sounds familiar, right?).

A similar, yet slightly more modern version of the game was played in the 17th century in the Netherlands. In this version, much like the modern sport, the goal was to knock a small ball in a hole. Other similar versions were played, and recorded, throughout Europe in these early years. In 1389, the first field or course was created in Europe to play “colf” outside of the city walls. It was mandatory that the citizens play on the designated course, located outside of the city, to protect the non-playing citizens from getting hit by the ball.

Despite these much older recordings of a similar game being played the modern game of golf (as we know it today) is almost universally accepted as being invented in Scotland. As a spokesman for the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews explained, similar games played with sticks and various types of balls have likely been played for thousands of years, but “golf as we know it today, played over eighteen holes, clearly originated in Scotland.” The first mentioning of the modern version of the game came from Scotland in the year 1457. King James II issued a proclamation declaring that “gowf” was forbidden to be played in Scotland. He thought that it was a distraction from the sport of archery, which was useful for the preparation of his military.

It is generally accepted that the oldest continuously played course in the world is located in Scotland. That historical course known as Musselburgh, or “The Old Links”, is an awe inspiring site that golfers today hope to play before they die. The first recording of the old course comes from 1567 when Queen Mary (the Queen of Scots) played it. Another recording comes from 3-2-1672, when a lawyer by the name of Sir John Foulis played on the course and wrote about it.

The oldest known instructions for playing comes from 1-20-1687. Thomas Kincaid, a medical student who played near Edinburgh University, created the first handicapping system. The oldest known set of rules for the sport were written in 1744. The rules were written for The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, a club that played at Leith Links. The rules were titled, “Articles and Laws in Playing at Golf”, and they are now being preserved at Scotland’s National Library.

Over the centuries that followed, the game of golf spread throughout the British Empire. By 1779, the game spread to the American colonies. The early evidence of this was found in an ad in the Royal Gazette of New York City, where clubs and balls were offered for sale. The first club was established in the Americas in Charleston, South Carolina in 1787.

While the sport was spreading in the late 18th century, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that it became well established. In 1887 the Foxburg Country Club opened in western Pennsylvania. It is considered to be the oldest golf course in the United States to be in continuous use. It has never been shut down since its opening day in 1887. By 1894, delegates from clubs all over the United States gathered in New York City for a meeting. That was the formation of the USGA. By the year 1910, there were at least 267 clubs in the US.

By the year 1932, there were at least 1,100 clubs throughout the US that were associated with the USGA, By 1980, there were at least 5,900 clubs tied to the USGA. Finally, by 2013, there were at least 10,600 clubs.

What started with humble beginnings, a stick and a leather ball played in a remote region in Europe, spread throughout the world over centuries to become what is perhaps the greatest game ever played, with some of the most sophisticated equipment and designs ever invented- the game of golf.