Golf made a slow progress, but it gradually developed such respect that it was made exclusive. Golf clubs were established in many places and a group called Gentlemen of Honor was formed.

Honorable Company

It later transformed into Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, the oldest golf club ever created. This club made the first rules for golfing from which St. Andrews Golfers drew its own code for the game in 1754. Other clubs and groups which came up from Scotland apart from the Honorable Company were the Royal and Ancient Club of St. Andrews, the Edinburgh Burgess Golfing Society in 1773, Musselburgh in 1774, the Bruntsfield Links Golf Club in 1787 and the Glasgow Club in 1787. About 35 clubs already existed in the UK alone by 1850. Golf clubs not of the UK were started in France in 1856 by some Scottish soldiers.

Brandt Snedeker hits a shot from the rough on the ninth hole during the final round of the Pebble Beach National. (Photo: Harry How)

Types of Golf Balls

Many believed that modern golf began in the 19th century. Earlier, golf balls were made of feathers and leather, but Adam Patterson introduced a ball made from rubber which was known as “guttie” at the time. This type of ball was not expensive to make compared to the previous ball made of feathers. The rubber ball was smooth in appearance when it was first made and could travel further than the feather ball. Patterns were later introduced on the rubber ball by many emerging companies. Another substance, molds, replaced the rubber used for making golf balls and it was cheaper than its predecessors. Companies such as Dunlop made mass production of golf balls and balls produced manually came to an end. Golf clubs are now made of iron covered with wood and leather to cut friction with the palms.

Gold Ball Makers

Two great golf ball makers emerged, and both were golf players as well. Their names were Allan Robertson and Tom Morris and both men worked together in the same shop. A disagreement brought their partnership to an end. Both men had different opinion about golf balls. Robertson favored the feather ball while Morris supported using rubber to make balls. Roberts went on to have a successful career in golf and broke a score of 80 with shots of 79 using a feather ball at the Old Course in St Andrews. Morris went into his own business at a place which overlooks the 18th hole of St. Andrews. The business still exists today.

How Golf Became Expected

For a long time in the first half of the century, golf was not formally accepted. It was a mixture of both amateurs and professionals and the games were conducted by betting. The betting was between players and spectators and the best players made up to 7 to 17 shillings which are about twenty pounds to fifty pounds or thirty-one dollars to seventy-seven dollars. But things changed for the better during the Open Championship of 1860. The player who emerged the first champion in this tournament was Willie Park. In 1873, the games began to go around between Preswick, St. Andrews, and Musselburgh. The award of money to winners began in during the Open Championship in 1864.