It goes back to the time of the apemen – around four million years ago. These diminutive tree-dwelling creatures were forced out of the drought-ravaged African forests and on to the expanding savannah with its nose-high grass. In order to see over the top of the grass the apemen were compelled to stand upright – the first historic step towards being able to play golf.
The apeman evolved into Homo habilis whose main weapon became the club. The second step towards golf had been achieved.
One hundred and twenty thousand years ago an apeman, Ug Blankenthorpe, picked up a stick with a knob on the end. He instinctively liked it using it for hunting small mammals and striking people he didn’t like. But he also had fun hitting small stones with it.
To understand the evolution of the game read James Clarke’s fascinating history of golf which has been widely acclaimed by historians worldwide and far beyond.
For the last 20 years Clarke has been collecting information and anecdotes about the game – mainly contributed by readers of his offbeat daily newspaper column. Some of it is almost believable and a lot of it terribly useful for those who have to speak at raucous golf club prize-giving ceremonies.
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