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Month: July 2018

History of Golf and Golf Balls

Golf ball is integral part of the game, i think that’s one of the few things all golfers can agree on. The whole game revolves around two key pieces of equipment – golf club and the ball. Everything else – the techniques and hacks to improve your golf game – are just different ways to hit golf ball better. I’m sure the first people to play golf didn’t care about any of that. They only had golf club and ball to worry about. While a lot of people put a lot of effort into choosing the right golf club, the importance of choosing quality golf balls is underrated. In truth, bad golf balls can negatively affect your game as much as good ones improve it. Today, i wanted to discuss history of golf clubs and talk about how important they are. How they came to be and how they have changed over the years.

The origins of first golf balls are rather bleak. Legend goes that, first time someone played golf, he used his wooden stick to hit the rock, which ended up falling in a hole. The player liked this game and started hitting more and more rocks, thus creating the barebone sport of golf as we know it today. But you can probably guess that more than half of this story is likely to be a legend. There is no evidence to back up this story, but i can imagine that origins of the sport were something like that. As time passed and people started getting better, golf became more and more advanced as well. There is historical evidence of games that were similar to golf, by which i mean they were played by stick and stone. Specifically golf, is said to originate from Scotland. According to one version, it was Romans who played a game similar to golf as early as 1 century bc. It was them who spread the popularity of the game as far north as Scotland. From there, different variations of that game were created, and according to this version, golf is just one of the variations of that game.  There are problems with this version as well – for one, there is little evidence of the game, and that evidence suggests that it was more hockey-like rather than predecessor of golf.

Historians have tried to trace back origins of golf and found out that such game was played both in China and Netherlands. To me, this suggests that people were coming up with basic game of golf by themselves, rather than being taught by someone else. It’s pretty natural to find joy in hitting the golf ball and aiming it for the hole. French and British have also been hailed as inventors of golf, usually by themselves. That is based on medieval drawings and writings, but we can’t be sure. Overall, i think we have concluded that signs of early golf-like games can be found basically all over the world. In the countries that have no signs of such game, we can objectively assess that the evidence for it were probably lost. To me, playing golf seems as simple as hitting ball with your foot. You can’t really invent something like that, it’s in our instincts, i think.

That’s not the point of this article though. No matter who invented the game itself, in this article we are focusing on the golf ball. First things to be used as golf balls were probably simple round things like rocks. Later on, ball-makers started to make golf balls out of hardwood. First golf balls that came close to the current balls were made in medieval England. Nobility started to adopt the sport, so entire professions dedicated to making golf accessories started to appear. We have historical evidence of a golf ball maker in 17th century who struck a deal with the king of england for the exclusive right of making golf balls for him. At that game, golf balls were made of feathers, with layer on leather on the outside. Those balls remained extremely popular all over Europe until as late as 20th century. These balls, unlike hardwood balls or any other type used before, had the exact right amount of hardness required for golf. One big disadvantage that those balls had was that they couldn’t be used in rain, which is very common in Britain. Once the ball became wet, it was unusable and you had to wait for it to dry again. Other, much smaller disadvantage was that it was hard to make and therefore too expensive for most people. Lords and Kings could afford them, but not regular people. It is said that feather-made golf balls were sometimes more expensive than golf clubs. Because of this high cost, it was lucrative work and there were entire dynasties devoted to perfecting the art of making golf balls in England.

Bothered with all these complications, at the eve of 20th century, young golf enthusiast in Scotland invented a golf ball that could be easily and cheaply manufactured. It was called the Guttie. This one invention practically revolutionized whole golf industry at the time. Cheaper golf clubs meant more access to the game, and forming of working class meant that people were looking for affordable hobbies. This presented an opportunity for golf club manufacturers, who themselves innovated and found new ways to make golf clubs for cheaper cost. Long story short, this led to forming of golf industry, and from then on, they’ve been constantly innovating.

Modern golf ball was finally invented in the seventies. It was instant hit, it even helped increase golf’s popularity a little bit. Brands are still developing new and better ways to make golf balls. Srixon golf balls are my favorites right now. I look forward to what innovations the future holds and can’t wait to be there when they are unfolded.

How to create safe golf learning experience on the golf course

Most things indicate that golf, as a sport, is living dead. You will hear as much from golfers themselves, so there’s no reason to doubt that golf is dying. But is that really the truth? There are many golf stereotypes that sometimes fool even golfers themselves and become self-fulfilling prophecies, is there a chance that this is one? That’s what i was asking myself when i decided to write this post. I want to find truth in golf myths. Another major stereotype about golf is that it is only for rich white dudes. I’m mentioning that stereotype because it’s falsehood is directly related to stereotype that golf is decreasing in popularity. Spoiler alert – neither one of them are true. The reason for why these two stereotypes are connected is that the reason for golf not dying is the fact that rich white dudes aren’t the only ones playing it. The number of white males who play golf may be decreasing, but picture is evidently different when it comes to women. More and more women are starting to play golf every year, and the rise of golf’s popularity among women doesn’t seem to be stopping. Most of the players are young, too – seems to me that parents have realized that golf isn’t supposed to be played by only guys, but both genders. So they encourage their daughters to play golf, as much as they used to encourage boys. Which is a positive improvement, obviously.

Golf club brands are waking up to this revelation as well. There were only handful options for women looking to buy golf clubs back in the nineties, but now, market is flooded with excellent clubs sold by trusted brands like Callaway and TaylorMade. My favorite set of clubs so far, has been Kalea by taylormade. It’s a perfect women’s golf club set, no matter from which angle you look at it.

What’s the best part of this whole phenomenon though, is how involved girls are in golf events and championships. Female athletes have turned into celebrities of sorts, with both girls and boys lining up to join their fanbases. That really gives me hope that golf is becoming relevant again. It’s not unusual to see children of all genders on golf course, with cute kids’ golf clubs and wearing adorable golf clothes and shoes. That really warms my heart. Their shots are impeccable too – the distance that some of these girls are able to hit is impressive for their age. Overall, getting girls interested in golf has really been major factor in rejuvenating average golfer. We should also give golf courses credit where it’s due – they have done excellent job of making golf courses female-friendly. It’s extremely important for girls to feel welcome and not be harassed, of course. You might think that what i’m saying is obvious, but i’ve seen far too many instances of old white guys telling jokes about how women are incapable of playing golf and etc. Of course they don’t tell it to little girls, that would be strange, but still, it’s something worth keeping in mind.

The way girls learn is no different from boys, but you have to make sure that they have same and non-toxic environment to practice in. Competitiveness can sometimes get better of people, especially children, which results in some toxic behavior like bullying and making fun of each other. Not only girls, but people of all age need safe environment for learning. It’s hard enough to try something new, you don’t need someone making fun of you in the process. That has put off many young girls and boys from learning golf. So if you’re parent, there is lesson in this for you as well. Be patient with your kids, even if he or she doesn’t get it at first, don’t act annoyed or bored. If you’re really comitted to teaching them how to golf, make sure to do it properly, and if you can tell that you’re incapable of doing it the right way, you can always find them a teacher. Classes aren’t that expensive and few hours of training can really do wonders for a child. On the other hand, it’s important to remember that classes can only do so much. Most important part of learning any new sport or skill is to go out and actually do it. Trial and error are the best teachers for golf.

It’s also perfectly fine if you don’t care about your children’s skills and just prefer to let them have a good time. That’s great approach as well. Most golfers aren’t professionals and just play golf casually anyway, so it’s totally normal to not want to obsess over getting better at golf. That’s even better argument for being patient with your kids. Playing golf is beneficial in many other ways as well. For instance, walking on the golf course is considered to be one of the best cardio exercises. You enjoy nature and stay fit at the same time, it doesn’t get any better than that.

Some organizations take children friendliness to whole another level. There are facilities for these kids to play and practice together, instead of being introduced to golf with adults, who can be intimidating. I think that’s a great approach to take.

So, to sum it all up – the stereotype that golf is dying, and only consists of male players, is outdated. In fact, number of young girls who play golf and take part in various tournaments is increasing every year. So i’d say picture is quite different and frankly, opposite : golf is young and has bright future ahead, with both genders who are represented equally.

Why businessmen choose to play golf

There are many stereotypes about golf, most of which are false. Even worse for golfers is the fact that most of these stereotypes portray them as elitist and ignorant. People also like to think that golf is boring. Needless to say, those people have never played golf themselves. I think that’s the main reason for most of ignorance in this world – being out of touch with thing you’re ignorant about. Other silly stereotype is that golfers are all elitists who spend thousands of dollars on golf clubs just to show off. But in reality, it’s not just for showing off. Some of those clubs are genuinely capable of improving your game. This article explores the ins and outs of getting good irons for yourself. That stereotype probably has some ground – there are many wealthy people who prefer golf over any other sport. There are also many businesspeople who make deals on golf course. But even those guys aren’t as evil as one might imagine them to be. Of course, there are some crooks among them, but it’s only natural to have few bad apples. In general, most of the people i’ve met on golf course are kindest and most reasonable types. That’s why i wanted to write this post today – to dispel these stereotypes and bring clarity to this controversial subject.

 There must be a reason for why businessmen seem to enjoy golf so much, though. Golf is the go-to sport in corporate environment. Bosses play it with their employees to bond, and employees themselves use it to make connections and sell things. I’ve read somewhere that most golfing costs, including golf clubs and tee time, are paid by companies. That makes sense because golf course environment and the game itself allows for verbal exchange, while at the same time keeping things casual and people relaxed. The same can’t be said of other sports like football, or soccer as Americans call it. In those sports, you are on the lookout all the time. Game never stops, so you never have any time to take a breath and do anything else. The best thing about golf though, is that it can be played by people of any age. On most days, if you visit golf course, you’ll find all demographics there – some golfers are as young as six years old, playing golf with their parents, while others are seniors who are enjoying their life into the retirement. Tennis, or football, or most of the other sports for that matter, are too physically demanding for seniors or anyone who is not young adult to play. Golf is fun to play, because there rarely are winners and losers. With it’s handicap system, even beginner golfers are able to compete with experienced ones and sometimes even win. But winning isn’t regarded very highly, golfers i’ve met over the course of my lifetime are more interested in the process of playing itself. There are championships of course, which are more competitive. What makes golf not so great, in my opinion, are those people who insult themselves and their clients by losing to them on purpose. I’ve had this happen to me once, and it definitely didn’t encourage me to do business with a person. So if you’ve done it, or are doing such practice, i’d advise to cut it off. One more thing i love about golf is that it’s a smart game. You have to make decisions on the spot, and call me crazy, but i think that takes a lot of analytical power. So playing golf is practice for your mind, in a way. That might sound outlandish at first, but if you consider the idea, it’s not too far fetched.

There’s one more thing that this game is useful for. It’s to find out real character of a man or woman you’re playing against. That is especially important for business people. Sometimes deals can be made or broken depending on the character of the men involved. No one wants a partner who is irresponsible or never acknowledges mistakes. Being good at golf also equates to remaining calm in the face of challenge and solving your problem analytically. That correlates very closely with the skills you need to have in order to make it in business.

Another virtue of golf is that it’s oriented around honesty. The game can be easily won by moving your golf ball when no one’s looking, but that’s utterly despicable to most golfers. If you are caught genuinely doing this, your reputation will be tarnished and good luck finding decent partners to play golf again. Celebrity golfers know this, and that’s why they are especially hard on themselves. Whenever they move the golf ball on accident, they’ll never take advantage of the accident, even if it might cost them tons of money.

I don’t know whether it is correlation or causation, but some of the best business partners i’ve had in my life have been golfers. I didn’t meet all of them on golf course, but our friendships were certainly hardened by sharing the passion for the sport. It is also a fact that most successful businessmen do occasionally play golf. I guess that’s why the sport is stereotyped as dull and soulless, but from my perspective, it’s just different, that’s all. Golf is more analytical and mind-oriented sport compared to most, and it’s exactly why i love it so much.

I hope i made some sense and shed some lights on why businessmen enjoy playing golf so much. If you have similar experiences regarding building relationships on golf course, don’t hesitate to let us know in comments.