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Golf history and its equipment development

A golf-like game is recorded as taking place on 26 February 1297, in the Netherlands, in a city called Loenen aan de Vecht, where the Dutch played a game with a stick and leather ball. The winner was whoever hit the ball the most number of times into a target several hundreds of meters away. Some scholars argue that this game of putting a small ball in a hole in the ground using golf clubs was also played in 17th-century Netherlands and that this predates the game in Scotland. There are also other reports of earlier accounts of a golf-like game from continental Europe.
Equipment development
The evolution of golf can be explained by the development of the equipment used to play the game. Some of the most notable advancements in the game of golf have come from the development of the golf ball. The golf ball took on many different forms before the 1930s when the United States Golf Association (USGA) set standards for weight and size.[8] These standards were later followed by a USGA regulation stating that the initial velocity of any golf ball cannot exceed 250 feet per second. Since this time, the golf ball has continued to develop and impact the way the game is played.
Another notable factor in the evolution of golf has been the development of golf clubs. The earliest golf clubs were made of wood that was readily available in the area. Over the years, Hickory developed into the standard wood used for shafts and American Persimmon became the choice of wood for the club head due to its hardness and strength. As the golf ball developed and became more durable with the introduction of the “gutty” around 1850, the club head was also allowed to develop and a variety of iron headed clubs entered the game. The introduction of steel shafts began in the late 1890s but their adoption by the governing bodies of golf was slow. In the early 1970s, shaft technology shifted again with the use of graphite for its lightweight and strength characteristics. The first metal “wood” was developed in the early 1980s and metal eventually completely replaced wood due to its strength and versatility. The latest golf club technology employs the use of graphite shafts and lightweight titanium heads which allows the club head to be made much larger than previously possible. The strength of these modern materials also allows the face of the club to be much thinner which increases the spring-like effect of the club face on the ball, theoretically increasing the distance the ball travels. The USGA has recently limited the spring-like effect, also known as the Coefficient of Restitution (COR) to .83 and the maximum club head size to 460cc in an attempt to maintain the challenge of the game.[

 

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