The Original Rules of Golf
Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
More than 25 million people in the United States alone play golf each year. A game born on the stark, wind-swept landscape of Scotland in the fifteenth century, golf has grown over the centuries into a global phenomenon. It is a sport not only enjoyed by professionals and the spectators of international tournaments, but one enthusiastically enjoyed by amateurs everywhere who socialize with friends and colleagues on their local courses. Yet despite golf’s widespread popularity, few of us truly know its rules, which have grown more complicated and confounding as the game has grown in popularity. Extremely simple by comparison, the very first rules of the game are presented here in a charming, collectible format.
The first known rules of golf were drawn up in 1744 in Edinburgh for the world’s first open golf competition, hosted by the Gentleman Golfers of Edinburgh, who later became the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. Local golf clubs then adapted the Edinburgh rules for their own use—until 1897 when the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews assumed oversight of the rules, and published the first national set of golf rules. The original Edinburgh and St. Andrews rules are both reprinted here alongside delightful images of the game throughout the centuries. In addition, well-known golf writer Dale Concannon provides a thorough introduction that examines the history of the rules of golf from their first codification in Edinburgh to the present day.
A must-have for anyone who delights in the spirit of the game, The Original Rules of Golf will find fans among golfers and armchair spectators everywhere.