Golf’s Evolution: From Elitist Pastime to International Sport

The first sports that spring to mind when discussing sports are typically games like tennis or soccer, which are incredibly popular worldwide. Golf is one of several other very well-liked and fascinating sports available on the market, though. Today we will discuss about Golf’s Evolution.

Golf is a very enigmatic sport that is still occasionally perceived as exclusive due to its past and culture, but few people are aware that it has become, along with basketball, tennis, and soccer, one of the most popular international sports over the years. We recommend learning about the history of golf and examining how this kind of sport has developed. 

1# Golf’s History

Before delving further into the sport itself, we recommend familiarizing ourselves with the history and context of the game. But first, we can recommend you visit 22Bet Kenya if you enjoy betting on this sport. It may surprise you to learn that golf dates back to the fifteenth century. In comparison to soccer, for instance, this indicates that the discipline is relatively new. However, that is not the most fascinating aspect of the sport’s history, so let us look into some other information.

In essence, the game of golf was born in Scotland, not far from Edinburgh, the capital of the monarchy. When the game originally came out, its objective and regulations were rather straightforward: players would use a bent stick or club to try to hit a pebble over sand dunes and around tracks. King James II quickly outlawed the game, though, since people were playing it in churchyards and streets rather than honing their archery techniques for their required military training.

The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers first codified the Thirteen Articles in 1744 for their tournament at Edinburgh’s Leith Links. At that point, the game started to take on more structure and began to resemble a sport for the first time since it was outlawed. The earliest known visual proof of golf is an artwork depicting St. Andrews from the 1740s, showing two caddies and four golfers in the picture. St. Andrews is regarded as the birthplace of golf because of this.

As time went by, Scottish soldiers, immigrants, and expatriates spread golf throughout the British Isles during the 18th century. Still, it was not until the 19th century that the game started to gain international recognition.

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2# What Makes Golf an Elitist Activity?

You may wonder why golf is regarded as an elitist sport when, as you have undoubtedly observed, there is nothing elitist about the game’s past. Perhaps due to its aristocratic beginnings, golf has a lot of connotations. Let us look into the various factors that contribute to this misconception about golf.

The game is practically synonymous in popular culture with a particular social and economic status that is frequently higher than that of the typical middle class. The general idea of a golfer is that they are a person with plenty of free time and the resources to purchase expensive clubs and equipment. However, nowadays, anyone can pick up the game if the right tools and opportunities are available.  

Exclusive country clubs that are inaccessible to everyone without the appropriate social standing and skin tone evoke images of golf history; the game’s perceived exclusivity is probably one of the primary reasons for this. According to research, 20% of players are now non-white, and that percentage will only go up, but the game is still largely associated with upper-middle-class white men.

Golf’s perceived elitism likely results from another contributing factor – its accessibility. Unlike sports such as basketball or soccer, golf cannot be played on public property and requires a designated area for players. It is evident that attending a golf club comes with a cost, a cost that not everybody can afford.

In light of all of that, and considering how golf is viewed in popular culture, people now see playing the game as a symbol of prosperity and success. “A round of golf” is a colloquial term for a semi-formal business meeting between two wealthy white men, as we typically see in movies or television. 

#3 How Did Golf Spread Throughout the World?

Golf’s global expansion can be attributed in large part to the 19th century and the industrial revolution. The development of the Scottish railway system made it possible for English travelers to travel by rail to Scotland for vacations, which allowed them to go on golf excursions, which is actually the only explanation for the popularity of the sport during that era.

American golf became very popular around the 1770s, largely thanks to the British and Scottish communities there. These communities, primarily based in New York City, participated in the game actively, leading to a rise in the game’s prevalence and popularity in the early versions. As time passed, golf became popular worldwide thanks in large part to US contributions to the sport’s growth and attraction of new participants.


In conclusion, even though golf’s history is likely aristocratic, it remains a sport in the same league as other sports. The current perception of this sport is mostly due to the impact of popular culture and other elements like accessibility. However, many people in the modern world can afford to play golf, not to mention the existence of an activity called mini golf. Even though it is still regarded as an elite activity, golf has become a global sport and one of the most well-known sports in the world.