NewsFebruary 22, 2016

Happy 128th birthday, American golf!

While the origins of golf are disputed, the first known exhibition of the sport in America is not. On Feb. 22, 1888, a businessman named John Reid, who hailed from Scotland, took three friends out to a field in Yonkers, N.Y., and played golf on three makeshift holes. Reid's friends were hooked; by November of that year, the St. Andrew's Golf Club was officially formed.

The club would continue to produce a series of firsts regarding the country's nascent interest in the game. It was a founding member of the USGA, it boasted the first clubhouse, and the first Olympic gold medalist in golf -- Charles Sands -- came from St. Andrew's.

St. Andrew's Golf Club

While golf is a game identified as a product of Scotland, the U.S. has certainly had an influence on the sport. Sure, the world recognizes Bobby Jones, Augusta National and Jack Nicklaus as American offerings, but the contributions go deeper than that, such as:

  • Mulligans. America is a land of second chances. What better symbolizes this sentiment than a breakfast ball?
  • Driving ranges and miniature golf. Both founded at Pinehurst
  • The Wanamaker Trophy. One of the coolest pieces of hardware in sports
  • "Caddyshack." You can be on a golf course in Alabama, Australia or Aberdeen; chances are, you're going to hear a line from the famous golf film during your round
  • John Daly's mullet. And outfits. And go-for-broke mentality. And outbursts ... Basically, John Daly


  • Golf carts
  • Cart girls
  • The Medicus
  • Long-drive contests
  • Dan Jenkins, the greatest golf writer of all-time
  • The 16th at the Phoenix Open, which went from golf's eyesore to inspiration
  • Shell's Wonderful World of Golf
  • Golden Tee, a game arguably better than the sport itself
  • Metal woods, introduced by TaylorMade
  • Night golf
  • Donald Trump
Getty Images

Actually, our bad on that last one.

Anyway, happy birthday, American golf. You don't look a day over 127.


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