Though the Dutch game of kolf has been claimed as the origin, the first undoubted reference to golf was in 1457 when the Scottish Parliament deplored its popularity, since it took young men away from archery practice. But the great development of the game was in the later 19th cent. The handful of golf clubs in the early decades had risen to a dozen by 1870 and well over 1,000 by 1914. The British governing body is the Royal and Ancient Club at St Andrews, founded in 1754.
Subjects: Regional and National History.