Wait—I hope you didn't think that I mean that golf clubs made of wood and metal were running around drafting bylaws and arranging meetings! Of course I mean that five local golf groups from Chicago, Illinois, to Newport, Rhode Island, got together to form a national golf group.
Amateur golf is the kind average people play, as opposed to profession golfers who play tournaments for money prizes. When the U.S. Golf Association was first formed on this date in 1894 (under the name “Amateur Golf Association of the United States”), they firmed up a set of golf rules for the entire country and decided who, when, and where to hold the first national golf championship.
The organization has certainly grown. Starting with just five local golf clubs, the USGA now includes more than 9,700 clubs!
Do you have time to watch or play golf today? Maybe you can “play golf” on a video game console or computer. Miniature golf counts, of course!
- Pro golfers get a lot of money from winning tournaments, these days. For example, last year the winner of The Players tournament won 1.7 million dollars! Wow!
- In 2008, Tiger Woods made about $12 million playing golf and another $110 million in endorsements. (That means he recommended products by using and advertising them.) Of course, Woods's earnings have slipped since then, but these outdated figures show what a star golfer can earn.
- There are almost 18,000 golf courses in the United States. There are almost a thousand golf courses just in my state (California) alone! And it is estimated that there are only about 35,000 golf courses in the entire world, so you can see that there are way, way more in the U.S. than in any other country!
- The name golf probably comes from words meaning “club” in medieval Dutch—words such as “golve” and “gouf.” These words were passed to Scotland, where golf was invented still during the Middle Ages. If you ever hear that the word golf started as an acronym that means “gentlemen only; ladies forbidden,” you can say firmly that that is untrue and, in fact, only an internet rumor.