It’s always good to have some pop culture information up your sleeve if you want to impress people at gatherings with your rare trivia knowledge. Even having one golf story to tell can bring you from looking like an amateur to a connoisseur.
Here are a few tidbits about the history of golf to get you started:
- The U.S. holds the record for most World Cup victories with 24. Arnold Palmer and Jack Niklaus are the most successful Americans with 6 wins, and 4 together. Arnold Palmer also won 95 professional tournaments!
- The most famous left-handed golfer is actually right-handed! As a child, Phil Mickelson mirrored his father’s game and never looked back. He is known for never using right-handed clubs in his entire career.
- Golf is one of only two sports to have been played on THE MOON. Back in February of 1971, Apollo 14 member Alan Shepard hit a ball with a six-iron, but he had to swing with only one hand due to his pressure suit. The only other sport ever played up there (at least by a human) was the javelin throw around the same time. The ball and javelin are still there! It was later in 2006 when Russian astronaut Mijail Tiurin became the first person to drive a golf ball into space.
- The highest golf course in the entire world sits 14,335 feet above sea level at its lowest point at the Tactu Golf Club in Morococha, Peru.
- Among the many celebrities who have played golf through the years, at least one – Samuel Jackson – has a special clause in all of his movie contracts that allows him to play golf twice a week while filming. That is when he’s not busy taking care of all those snakes on a plane.
- There wasn’t always a thing called ‘tees’ in golf. Golfers used to play off of hand-built sand piles until tees were invented and became more widely used in the 1920s.
- Tiger Woods must be the Mozart of golfers because at 6 years old, he had already made his first hole-in-one! Since then, he’s hit another seventeen. He’s also the only professional golfer to win four majors in a row. However, Tiger isn’t the youngest person to ever shoot a hole-in-one. 5-year old Littleton, Colorado’s Coby Orr holds that title from 1975.
- Most people generally credit Annika Sorenstam as being golf’s female trailblazer. However, Babe Zaharias is the first and only female golfer to make the cut at a PGA TOUR event in 1945, shooting 76 and 81 during the first two rounds of the Los Angeles Open.
- Augusta National Golf Club, which is one of the most famous courses in the world, closed for three years at the height of World War II. Golf was replaced by cattle and turkey on its grounds to help support the war effort. The grass was literally greener!
- People are also generally under the misconception that St. Andrew’s in Scotland is the oldest golf course in the world. However, according to the Guinness Book of Records, the oldest is Musselburgh Links, which most likely originated in 1672. But evidence suggests that Mary Queen of Scots may have played there as early as 1567!