History of Golf - Part Five America and Golf

By George WhiteJuly 24, 2002, 4:00 pm
It is not known for certain when golf came to America ' only that when it got a toehold in the 20th century, America became the world leader in great players.
The earliest known reference to golf in America is a Dutch ordinance at Fort Orange ' later Albany, N.Y. ' in 1659.A History of Golf by Robert Browning gives a translation of the edict:
The Honourable Commissary and Magistrates of Fort Orange and the village of Bererwyck, having heard divers (diverse) complaints from burghers of this place against the practice of playing golf along the streets, which causes great damage to the windows of the houses, and also exposes people to the danger of being injured and is contrary to the freedom of the public streets;
Therefore their honours, wishing to prevent the same, hereby forbid all persons to play golf in the streets, under the penalty of forfeiture of Fl. 25 for each person who shall be found doing so.
There is much belief that what was played was not Scottish golf, however, but the Dutch game of kolven. Browning writes that, There is no reason to suppose that kolven as played in the Dutch colony in 1659 differed in any respect from the Dutch kolven already described in Chapter III (a game played on ice, told in the origination of the game of golf.)
Another reference to the game is an advertisement in Rivingtons Royal Gazette, a New York newspaper, in 1779.This ad confirms the tradition of golf being played by Scottish officers in New York during the period of the Revolutionary War.
This ad stated: To the GOLF PLAYERS ' The Season for this pleasant and healthy Exercise now advancing, Gentleman may be furnished with excellent CLUBS and the veritable Caledonian BALLS, by enquiring at the Printers.
Recent research into records at the port of Leith show that clubs and balls were shipped the colonies as early as 1743.A shipment of 96 clubs and 432 balls were sent to Charleston, S.C., that year.And in 1786 the South Carolina Golf Club was established, followed by the Savannah Golf Club in 1795.In 1811, a Miss Eliza Johnston issued an invitation to her wedding at the Savannah Golf Club.
Did they refer to golf as we know it?We dont know ' there is nary a newspaper account in this era that a match was actually played, nor are there golf relics.Golf was the rage in Scotland at this time and some theorize that the people of South Carolina were merely copying names which were European.Others hold firm to the belief that golf was actually being played in America.
At any rate, the War of 1812 pitting the U.S. against Britain effectively killed the game in America for decades.Golf was seen as British and would not be in favor in the United States for 80 years or so.
The first North American golf club, therefore, was not in the United States.Three-hole courses had sprung up in Montreal and Quebec, brought to the area by a military ships officers from Scotland.And on Nov. 4, 1873, the Royal Montreal Golf Club was born.It would be 15 years before a similar golf club was established in the United States.
Russell Montague of Pittsburgh, who studied as a young man in Britain, founded a course in 1884. He and several of his golf-loving colleagues enthusiastically participated, but they eventually moved away and play was discontinued in 1910.A Scot, J. Hamilton Gillespie, brought golf to Sarasota, Fla., in 1885.His two-hole course in the middle of town was revolutionary at the time, but it, too, failed to survive.
Which brings to the scene one John Reid, a New Yorker from Scotland who had often seen the game played while a youngster growing up on Scotlands seaside links.Reid settled in Yonkers, N.Y., and became an executive with an iron foundry.
He learned that in 1887 friend and fellow Scot Robert Lockhart was going to Scotland on a business trip.Reid requested that Lockhart order some clubs and balls while at St. Andrews, which Lockhart did.When the shipment of six clubs and balls arrived in the winter, Lockhart excitedly went to the Hudson River, which was iced over, and hit a few shots.Then he delivered the implementsto Reid.
Reid had intended to wait to play until warmer weather in the spring, but on Feb. 22, 1888, he was home for the holiday of Washingtons Birthday.The day was clear with relatively mild temperatures, so Reid hurriedly got together a few of his friends and laid out a three-hole course in a Yonkers cow pasture.
The little group was smitten, and when summer came, they built six holes and moved to a nearby 30-acre site.In November of 1888, they formed an informal club ' the St. Andrews Golf Club.As it developed, it was the first surviving golf club in America.
The Shinnecock Hills club gets credit as the first to have a real course built on rural turf. The area chosen was along of the Great Peconic Bay on Eastern Long Island and shares were sold at $100 each.A clubhouse was erected and in 1891 play commenced.
The first 18-hole course in America was the Chicago Golf Club, built in 1893.And in 1894, the first national amateur events were played.
That summer the Newport (R.I.) sent out invitations and 20 players attended to compete at medal play.Charles Blair Macdonald, who was to gain fame as a course architect, was heavily favored and shot 89 in the opening round.In the final 18 holes, however, he struggled fitfully and shot 100, handing the tournament to W.G. Lawrence.Macdonald was upset, claiming the tournament should have been settled by match play, not medal.
A month later, Macdonald was one of 28 players to compete in a national tourney at St. Andrews.He managed to get all the way to the finals, where he lost to Laurence Stoddard in a playoff when Macdonald sliced his tee shot into a cornfield.His excuse this time was that he was ill.
Such controversies caused the United States Golf Association to be formed on Dec. 22, 1894.Representatives of five clubs were invited ' St. Andrews, Shinnicock Hills, Chicago Golf Club, Newport and The Country Club at Brookline, Mass.Macdonald finally won the event, played at Newport, routing Charlie Sands, 12 and 11 in the first U.S. Amateur.
One day later, 10 pros and one amateur took over the course to play the first U.S Open. The Open was strictly an afterthought, the Amateur considered to be where the real competition was.Horace Rawlins, an Englishman, won. And one month later, Mrs. Charles S. Brown won the U.S. Amateur, arranged on short notice and played in Hempstead N.Y.
Golf in America had indeed begun.
By 1900, the explosion of the game in America was complete.Proof was that, at the turn of the century, there were more golf clubs in the United States than there were in Britain.
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Korda happy to finally be free of jaw pain

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 2:43 am

PHOENIX – Jessica Korda isn’t as surprised as everyone else that she is playing so well, so quickly, upon her return from a complex and painful offseason surgery.

She is inspired finally getting to play without recurring headaches.

“I’d been in pain for three years,” she said after posting a 4-under-par 68 Friday to move two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Korda had her upper jaw broken in three places and her low jaw broken in two places in December in a procedure that fixed the alignment of her jaw.

Korda, 25, said the headaches caused by her overbite even affected her personality.

“Affects your moods,” Korda said. “I think I was pretty snappy back then as well.”

She was pretty pleased Friday to give herself a weekend chance at her sixth LPGA title, her second in her last three starts. She won the Honda LPGA Thailand three weeks ago in her first start after returning from surgery.

“I'm much happier now,” Korda said. “Much calmer.”

Even if she still can’t eat the things she would really like to eat. She’s still recuperating. She said the lower part of her face remains numb, and it’s painful to chew crunchy things.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“Chips are totally out of question,” Korda said.

She can eat most things she likes, but she has to cut them into tiny pieces. She can’t wait to be able to eat a steak.

“They broke my palate, so I can't feel anything, even heat,” Korda said. “So that's a bit difficult, because I can't feel any heat on my lip or palate. I don't know how hot things are going in until they hit my throat.”

Korda has 27 screws in her skull holding the realignment together. She needed her family to feed her, bathe her and dress her while she recovered. The procedure changed the way she looks.

While Korda’s ordeal and all that went into her recovery has helped fans relate to her, she said it’s the desire to move on that motivates her.

“Because I was so drugged up, I don't remember a lot of it,” Korda said. “I try to forget a lot of it. I don't think of it like I went through a lot. I just think of it as I'm pain-free. So, yeah, people are like, `Oh, you're so brave, you overcame this and that.’ For me, I'm just going forward.”

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Finally adapted to short putter, Martin near lead

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:54 am

PHOENIX – Mo Martin loved her long putter.

In fact, she named her “Mona.”

For 10 years, Martin didn’t putt with anything else. She grew up with long putters, from the time she started playing when she was 5.

While Martin won the Ricoh Women’s British Open in 2014, about nine months after giving up Mona for a short putter, she said it’s taken until today to feel totally comfortable with one.

And that has her excited about this year.

Well, that and having a healthy back again.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

“I've had a feeling that this year was going to be a good one,” Martin said. “My game is in a special place.”

Martin was beaming after a 6-under-par 66 Friday moved her two shots off the lead at the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

“Just a beautiful day,” Martin said. “I was able to play my game, make my putts.”

Martin hit all 14 fairways in the second round, hit 15 greens in regulation and took just 27 putts. After struggling with nagging back pain last year, she’s pain free again.

She’s happy to “just to get back to a place now where my ball striking is where it has been the last few years.”

Martin, by the way, says Mona remains preserved in a special place, “a shrine” in her home.

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Clanton rides hole-out eagle to lead at Founders

By Associated PressMarch 17, 2018, 1:47 am

PHOENIX - Cydney Clanton holed out from the fairway for eagle on the par-4 13th and closed with a birdie Friday to take the second-round lead in the Bank of Hope Founders Cup.

Clanton shot a 5-under 67, playing the back nine at Desert Ridge in 5-under 31 to reach 9-under 135.

Clanton's wedge on the 13th flew into the cup on the first bounce. She also birdied the par-5 11th and 15th and the par-4 18th. The 28-year-old former Auburn player is winless on the LPGA.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Ariya Jutanugarn, Marina Alex, Karine Icher and Mariajo Uribe were a stroke back on a calmer day after wind made scoring more difficult Thursday.

Jessica Korda and Mo Martin were 7 under, and Michelle Wie topped the group at 6 under.

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Ko's struggles continue with Founders MC

By Randall MellMarch 17, 2018, 1:26 am

PHOENIX – Lydia Ko loves the Bank of Hope Founders Cup and its celebration of the game’s pioneers, and that made missing the cut Friday sting a little more.

With a 1-over-par 73 following Thursday’s 74, Ko missed the cut by four shots.

After tying for 10th at the HSBC Women’s World Championship in her last start, Ko looked to be turning a corner in her quest to find her best form again, but she heads to next week’s Kia Classic with more work to do.

“I just have to stay patient,” Ko said. “I just have to keep my head high.”

It was just the fifth missed cut in Ko’s 120 career LPGA starts, but her fourth in her last 26 starts.

Ko’s ball striking has been erratic this year, but her putting has been carrying her. She said her putting let her down Friday.

“It seemed like I couldn’t hole a single putt,” she said. “When I missed greens, I just wasn’t getting up and down. When I got a birdie opportunity, I wasn’t able to hole it.”

Ko came to Phoenix ranked 112th in driving distance, 121st in driving accuracy and 83rd in greens in regulation. She was sixth in putting average.

Full-field scores from the Bank of Hope Founders Cup

Cristie Kerr saw the struggle playing two rounds with Ko.

“Her game’s not in good shape,” Kerr said. “She seemed a little lost.”

Ko, 20, made those sweeping changes last year, starting 2017 with a new coach (Gary Gilchrist), a new caddie (Peter Godfrey) and new equipment (PXG). She made more changes at this year’s start, with another new coach (Ted Oh) and new caddie (Jonnie Scott).

Ko doesn’t have to look further than Michelle Wie to see how a player’s game can totally turn around.

“It always takes time to get used to things,” Ko said. “By the end of last year, I was playing solid. I’m hoping it won’t take as much time this year.”

Ko had Oh fly to Asia to work with her in her two starts before the Founders Cup, with their work showing up in her play at the HSBC in Singapore. She said she would be talking to Oh again before heading to the Kia Classic next week and then the ANA Inspiration. She has won both of those events and will be looking to pull some good vibes from that.

“This is my favorite stretch of events,” she said. “And I love the Founders Cup, how it celebrates all the generations that have walked through women’s golf. And I love the West Coast swing. Hopefully, I’ll make more putts next week.”

Ko, whose run of 85 consecutive weeks at Rolex world No. 1 ended last summer, slipped to No. 12 this week.