While the specific facts of the invention of golf are open to debate, it's generally acknowledged that the game has its roots in Scotland. Common folklore suggests that bored Scottish shepherds, while tending their flocks of sheep near St. Andrews, entertained themselves by using their wooden crooks to hit rounded stones into rabbit holes.
By 1457, the game was so popular that King James II of Scotland issued an Act of Parliament banning golf, because he felt the sport was interfering with the much more necessary archery practice his loyal subjects needed to defend the realm!
The very earliest club makers were thought to be the same skilled craftsmen who produced bows and arrows and other implements of war. The first authentic record of a club maker was in 1603 when William Mayne was appointed to the court of James I of England to make golf clubs for the king and his cohorts. In that same period in Scotland, both Andrew Dickson of Leith and Henry Mill of St. Andrews are recognized as early masters.
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