The History Of Golf In America Part One
It all started long ago in 1743 which was one year before the formation of the Company of Gentleman Golfers; there is an actual shipping record of 96 golf clubs and 432 golf balls delivered from Leith Scotland to a Mr. D. Deas in Charleston, South Carolina. This shipping order size obviously suggests that the shipment was destined for a group of golfers. Then again Mr. David Deas may have been an eccentric. It is also believed that another golf club or society was organized in Savanna Georgia around the same time period.
It took until 1888 for the first permanent golf club to form. The location was in Yonkers New York. The St. Andrew’s Golf Club was formed by a Mr. Johnny Reid and a crew of golfers who came to have the nickname of the “Apple Tree Gang”. Reid and his friends were exceptional devotees of the game of golf. Initially all that was available was 3 hole golf course that began and ended near the landmark of a large apple tree.
Many consider that Reid is the father of American golf while others would insist that Charles Blair Macdonald – a gold enthusiast, writer and golf course architect deserves the honors.
Macdonald, whom The “Golf Journal” termed the “True Pioneer of American Golf”, was the driving force behind the creation of the pivotal Chicago Golf Club, the first 18 hole golf course in the United States of America. This was in 1892 that Macdonald, the golf pioneer, was able to lay the groundwork by convincing and persuading 30 Chicago business associates to pitch in the princely sum at the time of $ 10 apiece so that a nine hole golf could be constructed and developed. This golf site was to destined to become the prestigious and historic Downers Grove Golf Course. Later the next year an additional 9 holes were added to complete the first 18 hole golf course in America.
Macdonald, who had studied in Scotland at the St. Andrews University, is also credited with development of golf course architecture in the United States. Best known of his works is the National Golf Links course on Long Island, Along with that Macdonald left his mark by both assisting in and in creation of the USGA – the United States Golf Association.
The USGA emerged in the wake of a dispute between the St. Andrew’s Golf Club and the Newport Rhode Island Golfing Clubs. In the summertime of 1894 each hosted an invitational golfing tournament, amazingly enough without the apparent knowledge of the other club . Each golf club declared the winner of their tournament to be the “National Amateur American Golf Champion”. Humorously enough a sore loser , in the person of McDonald himself , ignited the debacle and then suggested to clear the air that an official golf tournament be organized and arranged by an official golf organization . Of course this golf tournament administrative group would be be in charge of the the event.
What followed was a meeting of the delegates from Newport Golf Club, St. Andrews, the Chicago Golf Club, Shinnecock Hills Country Club and the Country Club in Brookline Massachusetts. These delegations founded the Amateur Golf Association of the United States which later to become known as the USGA . The foundation of the USGA were laid on December 22, 1894.
Thus golf was on its way to become the mainstream prestigious recreational sport of America.