Golf Instruction’s History
Various authorities have credited any number of peoples- Celts, Romans, Huns or a band of leisure-loving Visigoths- with the invention of golf in its earliest form. But the story of golf instruction begins rightly in the medieval era (no later than 1353), when golfers adopted the principle of allowing each team to hit a second uninterrupted shot. Previously, teams of players would alternate hitting a ball back and forth across a field.
Golf Instruction in Medieval Times
Golf Instruction, strategy, and technique went no further than devising the most efficient means of bashing a ball over the heads of the opposition, preferably in the direction of the goal line, or at least into some abyss from which the other team could not extract itself. With the adoption of the second shot, and with the principle of each team playing its own ball, this primeval game became golf and at the same time acquired a strategy, something that its medieval rival, football, did not until the invention of the scrimmage in the 19th century.
Golf Instruction’s Popularity
Golf and golf instruction rapidly acquired such popularity that it utterly eclipsed the sport of archery which was vital to Scotland s preparation for national defense. The playing of golf in Scotland was made a criminal offense punishable by hanging. No idle threat that, for at least one poor golfer did pay this sorry price for his round- but ultimately a peace with England was achieved and the Scots devoted their renowned intensity to the study of what would become their national game.
Golf instruction was the necessary ingredient that established the United States Golf Teachers Federation (USGTF) in 1989. The USGTF has had an enormous impact on the golf teaching industry since its inception by establishing a national and international standard in the training and certification of golf teaching professionals. They are the largest organization of strictly golf teaching professionals in the world. In addition, they continue to not only help promote the game of golf, but also add to its growth and popularity.
Looking back over the entire grand parade of gurus and teachers, if one were to assign a grade to golf instruction as a whole, six centuries into it, one would pencil in M for much improved. It s well worth noting that even in this day of gurus and their technical wizardry, fewer than half the world s players can regularly break 100. It s also fitting to mention that when James Durham recorded a 94 at the Old Course in 1767, he set a course record that lasted 86 years! Golf instruction has indeed come a long way, and its future has never looked better.