Latest Events in Golf
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Over time, golf has grown into an industry and is now considered as one of the most lucrative sport. The world's best players now compete in 72-hole tournaments for the prize money which sometimes may surpass $500,000 for winning one of the four major annual championships. The very best golfers; a small privileged group can as much as earn around 8-figure incomes (in US Dollars). According to Forbes magazine Tiger Woods is the top earning sportsman in the world. He has really taken golf on to a new level inspiring the new generation. Today, golf is played in almost every country and the exciting championships and tournaments are closely followed by millions on television.
In USA, some of the earliest professionals as Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen, and Tommy Armour helped establish the game and added to its popularity. Atlanta, Ga. produced one of the most outstanding players named, Robert T. Jones, Jr. (popularly known as Bobby Jones). He was the one who won four current majors in one season (known as a Grand Slam) between 1923 and 1930. Due to the advent of televised tournaments in 1960, Golf started enjoying nationwide popularity.
The Journey of Golf
We don't know when and where golf actually originated. However, earliest documents of evidence of this sport or a sport similar to this have been found in some book illustrations from 15th century showing the Dutch playing something like that on the frozen canals. But the records show that the world's oldest golf course, St. Andrews, is in Scotland which was used by golf enthusiasts in the 16th century. In Great Britain, Golf made its place during the 17th century as a result of England's James I interest in it. All through the 18th century, Scotland was the hub of Golf. In 1860 the first British Open was held in 1860 at Prestwick, Scotland in which professionals and amateurs both were able to take part.
North America saw the first golf club in Montreal in 1873. It was named Royal Montreal Golf Club. After almost fifteen years, United States saw its first golf club. John Reid, an executive at an iron foundry in New York who was originally from Scotland and had seen golf in his boyhood, got together with another friend, Scot Robert Lockhart and created a small club known as, St. Andrews Golf Club in 1888. It was originally a three-hole course on a cow pasture which later was turned into a 6-hole course spread over a 30-acre site. After that the sport gained popularity and a number of other golf courses sprung up. Founded in 1893 near Wheaton, Ill., the Chicago Golf Club was the first eighteen-hole course of the States. Seeing the popularity of Golf in the US, representatives of clubs namely St. Andrew's, Shinnicock Hills, Chicago Golf Club, Newport and The Country Club at Brookline, formed the United States Golf Association in 1894. This national governing body was formed to administer the championships as well as the Rules of Golf in order to avoid any controversies and/or conflicts. The association conducted annual tournaments, including the National Amateur and the National/U.S., Open (in which amateurs and professionals both take part). After almost 22 years the United States Professional Golf Association (PGA) was also created. Over a period of time, USGA membership expanded as more and more clubs were formed. Today it tops 9,700!
Golf Tours & Majors
The highest level of professional golf includes a schedule of weekly tournaments all through the year played all around the world. When any tournament is organized into series, it is then called a tour. There are around 20 pro golf tours. The major tours include the PGA Tour, European Tour, Japan Golf Tour, Asian Tour, PGA Australian Tour, and Sunshine Tour. All of these tours are also full members of the International Federation of PGA Tours. The PGA Tour is the most prestigious one. Most of the events in a PGA Tour have US $800,000 at least for the first prize. There are also a number of senior tours for men who are 50 years old and older. Among those, the U.S.-based Champions Tour is the best known. Women's golf tours are also very popular including LPGA.
The term 'majors' refer to men's major golf championships in the 4 most esteemed annual tournaments in pro golf. These include: The Masters, the U.S. Open, The Open Championship and the PGA Championship. Winning all four of these major championships in the same calendar year s considered a Grand Slam which by the way has never been achieved by any player. Tiger Woods came closest when he won all four majors consecutively but across two seasons. There is also a tour tournament called the PGA Grand Slam of Golf. It is an off season annual tournament in which the winners of the four major championships compete.
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