As one of the oldest sports, golf has been played by millions of people all over the world.
Most likely, you know all the rules of the game and the greatest players who have ever played it.
If you’ve just finished practicing on the driving range, take a break and read some of these interesting facts you probably didn’t know yet.
1) The first 18-hole course in the US was on a sheep farm.
In Downer’s Grove, Illinois in 1893, businessman Charles Blair McDonald constructed America’s first-ever 18-hole golf course on a sheep farm. Up until today, the Downer’s Grove Golf Course remains intact, but has been downsized to nine holes.
2) Golf was played outside planet Earth.
On February 6, 1967, US astronaut Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. played golf on the moon. Using a six iron, he made a one-handed swing to send the ball flying through the low-gravity atmosphere of the moon.
This makes golf one of the only two sports played on the moon.
If you’re wondering what the other sport was, it’s javelin.
3) The longest drive ever recorded was 515 yards.
In 1974, English-American professional golfer Michael Hoke Austin made history by making the longest drive in a professional golf tournament.
At the age of 64, he joined the U.S. National Seniors Open championship which was held in Las Vegas, Nevada. He used his steel-shafted persimmon wood driver to hit a balata-covered ball at a speed of 27-mph. Unconsciously, he cemented his name as one of the greatest golf swingers of all time.
4) Billy Casper continued honing his game at the height of the Korean War.
William “Billy” Earl Casper, Jr. turned professional during the Korean War in 1954. While serving in the US Navy, he was sent to the athletic unit in San Diego, California. Like a blessing in disguise, he got the chance to develop his game there and make his shots sharper.
5) Samuel Jackson plays golf to take a break in between film shoots.
Aside from being known as one of the most popular actors of all time, Samuel L. Jackson is also regarded as an avid golfer. If you’re still not convinced, the “Django Unchained” star only has a contractual clause that allows him to play golf twice a week whenever he makes some films.
6) Why birdie?
Birdie, which refers to a score of one stroke under par, comes from AB Smith. In 1898, Smith played with two other people who both agreed to pay him twice the money should he win with one under par. Smith was said to have uttered the words “that was a bird shot” when his second shot went just a few inches from the hole. He went on to win one under par after duly holing his putt. Thereafter, they referred to Smith’s score as a birdie.
7) What’s in the Green Jacket?
In 1937, the members of the Augusta National Golf Club chose to wear green jackets during the tournament. They thought it would be way easier for their fans to spot them should they have some questions.
Now, the Green Jacket is regarded as an iconic award to the winner of the Masters Golf Tournament.
8) The words “fans” and “spectators” are prohibited.
The officials of the Masters Golf Tournament are widely known for firing game announcers who fail to follow club decorum. Uttering the words “fans” or “spectators” is strictly prohibited. Instead, announcers should refer to these groups of people as “patrons” or “gallery.”
Some of the well-known announcers that have been kicked off the air include Gary McCord and Jack Whitaker.
9) The highest golf course ever recorded once sat more than 14,000 feet above sea level.
The Tuctu Golf Club in Morococha, Peru was once considered the highest golf course in the world. It was 14,335 feet above sea level or over four kilometers up.
Golfers on the course often suffer nose bleeds due to the effects of oxygen deprivation and altitude sickness.
In 1993, the course was closed.
10) Kassandra Komma achieved two holes-in-one.
The odds of scoring two holes-in-one in a nine-hole game is a whopping less than 1 in 64,000,000.
On May 1, 2013, Oakland University junior Kassandra Komma made headlines in the golfing world as she managed to shoot 69 and cement the historic and incredible feat.