|About the Book|
This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can usually download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1892 edition. Excerpt: ... CHAPTER II. THE ORIGIN OF GOLF. Golf, besides being a royal game, is also a very ancient one. Although it cannot be determined when it was first played, there seems little doubt that it had its origin in the present geological period, golf links being, we are informed, of Pleistocene formation. Confining ourselves to Scotland, no golfer can fail to be struck with the resemblance to a niblick of the so-called spectacle ornament of our sculptured stones. Many antiquarians are of opinion that the game did not become popular till about the middle of the 15th century. This seems extremely probable, as in earlier and more lawless times a journey so far from home as the far-hole at St. Andrews would have been exceedingly dangerous for an unarmed man. It is not likely that future research will unearth the discoverer of golf. Most probably a game so simple and natural in its essentials suggested itself gradually and spontaneously to the bucolic mind. A shepherd tending his sheep would often chance upon a round pebble, and, having his crook in his hand, he would strike it away- for it is as inevitable that a man with a stick in his hand should aim a blow at any loose object lying in his path as that he should breathe. On pastures green this led to nothing: but once on a time (probably) a shepherd, feeding his sheep on a links--perhaps those of St. Andrews--rolled one of these stones into a rabbit scrape. Marry, he quoth, I could not do that if I tried--a thought (so instinctive is ambition) which nerved him to the attempt. But man cannot long persevere alone in any arduous undertaking, so our shepherd hailed another, who was hard by, to witness his endeavour. Forsooth, that is easy, said the friend, and trying failed. They now searched in.