Golf is a sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. It's a great way to get some exercise and fresh air, and it can also be quite relaxing. For kids, golf can also be a great way to learn about focus and hand-eye coordination. Plus, it's just plain fun! Here are some interesting golf facts for kids that your kiddos are sure to enjoy.
Who knows, you might even learn something yourself!
Plus, learning about this historic sport will make it even more enjoyable for your little golfers. And, when you’re done with this list, be sure to check out the downloadable ebook, The History of Golf & Other Interesting Facts from Byron’s Games for even more golfing fun!
So grab your clubs and let’s get started!
Short History of Golf
Do you know the history of golf? Believe it or not, this really fun sport dates all the way back to the 15th century!
Of course, golf is played on an open field with a series of holes on the ground. The player’s objective is to play their ball into a hole using strokes with golf clubs, the main instruments used in this centuries-old sport. At the end of this game, the player with the lowest number of strokes to sink the ball in the hole wins.
While you probably already knew the basics of how the game of golf is played, you might not have known that this sport has its roots in ancient Rome and China.
Interestingly, ancient Romans used to play golf using a ball made of feathers and branches. The early Chinese had similar games that used a ball and a target. Also, the Dutch used to play a similar version of golf consisting of sticks used to hit a leather ball into a target.
While there are many traces of golf-like games throughout history, it was the Scots that really “putt” golf into the history books.
In fact, golf as we know it today has been traced all the way back to the mid-1400s in Scotland. From there, it spread throughout the world.
Fun Golf Facts for Kids
For many kids, golf may seem like a boring game for old people. But there are actually lots of interesting things about golf that can make it fun for kids to learn and play. Here are some of our favorite fun golf facts for kids that they may not know.
Whether you already have a little golfer in the making or you’re hoping to spark interest in a new sport, your kids will love learning these fascinating fun facts!
The Greatest Golfer of All Time
Did you know that Jack Nicklaus, nicknamed The Golden Bear, is pegged as the greatest golfer of all time? He won 117 pro tournaments, 18 major championships, and finished 73 PGA Tours. Compare that to another popular modern golfer, Tiger Woods, who has only won 15 major championships!
The Youngest Golfer on the PGA Tour
Believe it or not, Don Dunkelberger was only 11 years old when he became the youngest golfer to be invited to the PGA Tour during the 1937 Chicago open. Though he withdrew from the tournament after the opening round of 103, he’s still among the youngest to play the sport professionally.
The First Golf Balls
According to legend, the first golf balls were created when a bored shepherd hit a stone with his crook and the stone fell into a hole. Apparently, he wanted to repeat the success and decided to hit several more stones found around his sheep farm into the hole.
However, since there’s no recorded history of this, many historians have assumed that the earliest golf balls were actually wooden or leather balls. The origins of golf are still debated, but it’s widely accepted that the “featherie,” or a leather pouch stuffed with feathers, was one of the first actual golf balls used in this game.
The First Golf Course
While the early origins of this sport are highly debated, everyone can agree that the first documented game of golf was played on St. Andrews Old Course in Scotland in 1552. Since then, this course has become the standard-bearer for modern-day golf courses everywhere because of the 18-hole format.
The Nine-Hole Course
Did you know that about 1/4 of the golf courses in the U.S. are only 9-hole courses? Also known as the “executive course,” a 9-hole course can be played once for a short game or twice for a full round of golf. Typically, the number of holes is only 18 or 9. If you hear the term “19th hole,” it’s most likely referring to something off the actual course, such as a clubhouse, pub, restaurant, or bar near the golf course.
The Origin of the Name
Linguistically, the word golf came from the Dutch word “kolf” or “kolve.” This word actually means club. It then became “goff” or “gouff” in the 14th or early 15th century before becoming known as “golf” in the 16th century.
The First Hole-in-One
Here’s another interesting golf fact: The very first recorded hole-in-one was accomplished by Tom Morris in the 1868 British Open. Similarly, another fun fact is that the youngest golfer to record a hole-in-one was Jack Paine in 2001. Believe it or not, he was only 3 years old!
It’s Tee Time
Do you know what Tee Time means? This clever golf term simply means the time that you are supposed to start the game. This phrase got its name from the stand where the golf ball sits before it’s hit by the club, otherwise known as a golf tee.
On January 9, 1811, the first round of women were recorded playing golf at the Musselburgh Golf Club in Scotland. It was Mary, Queen of Scots, who was the first woman to regularly play golf. In fact, it was also Mary who coined the term “caddy” because she called her assistants cadets.
The Longest Golf Course
Have you heard of The Nullarbor Links? This golf course is the longest in the world at 850 miles long! This course is located along the southern coast of Australia, and a full round of golf here can take about five days to complete. Just imagine holding a golf tournament in this location!
America’s First 18-Hole Golf Course
Did you know that the United States proudly celebrated 130 years of the first American 18-hole golf course in 2022? Downer’s Grove Golf Course in Illinois was established in 1892 and has delighted amateur and professional golfers alike over the years!
The Longest Drive
The Long Drive is a game in golf where players compete to hit, or “drive,” a golf ball the farthest. Mike Austin holds the record for the longest drive according to the Guinness World Records. In 1974, Austin was able to hit a golf ball up to 471 meters or 515 yards in a tournament held at Winterwood Golf Course in Las Vegas.
Learn More About Golf with Byron’s Games!
Of course, there are so many more fun facts about this fascinating sport that we still haven’t covered! As one of the most popular outdoor sports in the world, it’s really no surprise that golf has endured through the centuries.
Whether or not you have a golfing family, your children ages 3+ will love learning more about golf with the downloadable eBook, The History of Golf & Other Interesting Facts from Byron’s Games.
This ebook about golf for kids also includes a sweet, sibling-focused story that teaches an important lesson about how everyone is valuable to the game, no matter how young! Plus, the educational section of this book will help your young ones learn a little bit of history while fueling their passion for golf and lifelong learning.
With beautiful quality, this golf ebook explores topics such as:
Not only does this printable book for kids coax children away from screens, but it also inspires curiosity, activity, and a love of togetherness.
We hope you enjoyed learning about this historic sport as much as we enjoyed gathering these fun golf facts for kids!
If you want to learn more or if you’re looking for a great opportunity for family bonding, be sure to check out the other incredible products from Byron’s Games. Many of the games and activities are easy to print out and take with you wherever you go for easy and fun learning, no matter where you are!
Thanks for reading, and have fun hitting those balls down the green!
Click here to download The History of Golf & Other Interesting Facts from Byron’s Games.