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History of Golf

100 BC

Early forms of Golf traced back to the Roman game of paganica, in which participants used a bent stick to hit a stuffed leather ball


Games similar to golf – called chuíw án — played with several clubs and a ball are being played in China during the Song Dynasty

15th Century

The origin of the modern game is usually traced to Scotland. In the 15thcentury


The Scottish Parliament passed several acts banning the practice of the game, along with football (soccer), because the two sports were interfering with archery practice, which was necessary for national defence. The first act was passed in 1457 by James II, King of Scotland, and it was reaffirmed in 1471and 1491.


The ban on golf in Scotland is lifted and within two years King James IV of Scotland takes up the game himself.


Archbishop Hamilton’s Charter recognises the right of the people of St Andrews to play golf on the Old Course.


Mary Queen of Scots reportedly plays golf just days after the murder of her husband Lord Darnley.


King James VI ascends to the English throne and his court begins playing golf at Blackheath in London.


The first known reference to golf balls being stuffed with feathers. They were previously made from hard leather.


The first known reference is made to golf in the USA with clubs being recorded in the estate of William Burnet, the Governor of Massachusetts.


The first Rules of Golf are set out by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.


The Society of St Andrews Golfers is formed. It became the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in 1834.


The Old Course at St Andrews is reduced from 22 holes to 18 holes. This became the recognised format for the game around the world.


The guttapercha ball is introduced. It was a solid ball, made by softening strips of guttapercha, (dried sap of a Sapodilla tree) in boiling water and then moulding the ball by hand before placing it in cold water to harden.


The first Open Championship is played at Prestwick and is won by Willie Park Senior of Scotland


The secretary of Royal Liverpool Golf Club came up with the idea of an amateur event in which leading clubs were invited to send entrants. The Amateur Championship is played for the first time in 1885 at Hoylake. It is won by Allan MacFie of England.


Persimmon becomes a popular wood for making club heads.


The Ladies’ Golf Union is formed in the UK and the British Ladies’ Amateur Golf Championship is played for the first time at Royal Lytham& St Annes. It is won by Lady Margaret Scott of England.


The United States Golf Association (USGA) is formed in New York. One of its most important functions was to serve as arbiter for questions of amateur status. The five charter members of the newly formed the USGA were the St. Andrew’s Golf Club of Yonkers, N.Y., Newport (R.I.) Golf Club, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Southampton, N.Y., The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., and Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Ill.


The US Amateur Championship and the US Open are played for the first time at Newport Country Club, Rhode Island and are won respectively by Charles B Macdonald (USA) and Horace Rawlins (England). The US Women’s Amateur Golf Championship is also played for the first time at Meadow Brook Club in Long Island and is won by Lucy Barnes Brown of the USA.


Golf is played at the Paris Olympic Games. Twenty two participants took part (12 men and 10 women) from four countries who competed in 36-hole individual stroke play events for men and women. The women’s Olympic champion was Margaret Abbot (USA) and Charles Sands (USA) was the men’s champion.1901 The rubber cored Haskell ball is introduced. It changed the way the game was played. The Haskell ball travelled farther than the old gutta-percha ball and cost considerably less because it could be mass produced. The game’s popularity surged in response.


The first Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) is formed in the UK.


Golf is played for the second time in the Olympic Games in St Louis. Only men’s competitions were staged. (A team event of 36 holes stroke play won by the United States of America’s team and an individual event was won by George Lyon from Canada).


The Officers’ Club of the U.S. Marines with a parallel wives library club called The Cosmopolitan Club was formed as an "English Language Sports and Social Venue” in Haiti for non-Haitians at the reins of virtually all business, banking, and industry at the turn of the century and early 1900's.


The PGA of America is formed and the US PGA Championship is played for the first time at Siwanoy Country Club in New York.


The Ryder Cup is played for the first time between the men’s professionals of Great Britain and the USA at Gleneagles. It is won by Great Britain.


The Walker Cup is played for the first time between the men’s amateurs of Great Britain and Ireland and the USA at the National Golf Links of America in Southampton, New York. It is won by the USA.


In 1928 the PVC was formalized and articles of incorporation printed in "The Monitor". Stock was issued and 500 shares were sold mostly to prominent Americans and other foreigners as listed below. This was The Petionville Club. The wives library club was The Colony Club.


The Petionville Club started in 1928 as a venue for sport and social activities for Expats from many nations in Haiti as the U.S. Occupation was drawing to a close. Although the Club entertained a few top ranked U.S. military leaders, the grand majority were leaders of industry and commerce in the newly thriving economy of Haiti. Some of the companies represented included: CompagnieD'EclairageÉlectrique (Haitian American Electricity Company); National Railroad of Haiti; National City Bank of New York; CompagnieHaitienne Du Wharf de Port au Prince; Hamburg-American Atlas Line; Compagnie des Chemins de Fer de la Plaine du Cul de Sac; French West Indian Steamship Company; Matthews & Sons Tobacco; Armour and Swift The Haitian Pineapple Company; American Dyewood Co.; Texas Company; Gold Medal Flour Company; Haitian American Sugar Company; Reinbold& Company; Oloffson, Lucas & Co.; Robert Nortz& Co.; Tropical Dyewood Co.; National Railroad Corporation Trust of America; SHADA Rubber Company; Luckett-Wake Tobacco Company; American Tobacco Company; Fairbanks and Babbitt Soap; Proctor and Gamble Distributing Company; Haiti Company - W.R. Grace and Company and Simmonds Frères.


Steel shafted clubs are accepted by The R&A.


Bobby Jones completed the Grand Slam of The Open, the Amateur Championship, The US Open and the US Amateur Championship in one season.


The Petionville Club purchased a portion of a larger plot of land (a Bourdon Section St Martin) which was divided and sold in 1931 to The U.S. Embassy for its Ambassador's Residence, The Petionville Club for its clubhouse, and a private individual for his children's family residences. The remainder of this original larger plot was sold to The Petionville Club for its golf course.


The Petionville Club, S.A. was incorporated and shares issued December 1, 1932. The founding fathers and first Board of Directors were largely American businessmen working and residing in Haiti: President - Ralph Barnes; V. President - B. W. Dorch; Secretary - Treasurer - R.D.Lowell; Governor - R.U. Strong; Governor - H Stalnaker; R.H.Davis; H.D. Barker; E.J.Farrell; H.M.Wells; A. Hulsizer; Olin Beall and Everett Shrewsberry.


The Clubhouse was built in 1932 (photo) on land adjacent to the U.S. Ambassador's Residence and was the center of activity for a Foreign Population residing in country.


The Curtis Cup is played for the first time between the women’s amateurs of Great Britain and Ireland and the USA at Wentworth. It is won by the USA.


The Petionville Club enjoyed an active Tennis membership and hosted cultural events, dances, and social activities both day and night. The Colony Club English Library was a hub of activity and a social center for an English speaking population in Haiti (Photo Circa 1933).




The inaugural Masters is staged at Augusta National. It is won by Horton Smith of the USA.


Mr. Ralph Barnes arranged the sale of a large parcel of land to The Petionville Club purposed for a Golf Course which was designed and built to international standards.



The Petionville Club golf course was inaugurated on February 24, 1938. The golf course officially opened to great fanfare.



The US Women’s Open is played for the first time at Spokane Country Club in Washington and is won by Patty Berg of the USA.


The Ladies’ Professional Golfers’ Association (LPGA) is formed in the USA.


The Tam O’ Shanter World Championship of Golf becomes the first nationally televised golf tournament in the USA.


The LPGA Championship is played for the first time at Orchard Ridge Country Club. It is won by American Beverly Hanson.


Representatives of 35 national amateur golf organisations form the World Amateur Golf Council. They agree to stage the World Amateur Team Championship with teams of men competing for the Eisenhower Trophy, named after President Dwight D Eisenhower. The event was staged at the Old Course in St Andrews and Australia defeated the USA in a play-off.


A friendly match between the American Curtis team and France is expanded to invite other international teams to establish a Women’s World Amateur Team Championship. The trophy was provided by MrsEspirito Santo Silva through the Portuguese Golf Federation. A total of 25 teams took part in the inaugural competition at St Germain Golf Club in France which was won by the home team.


The Women’s British Open is played for the first time at Fulford Golf Club. It is won by England’s Jenny Lee Smith.


Metal woods made of stainless steel are introduced.


The Evian Masters is played for the first time at Evian-les-Bains in France. It is won by Helen Alfredsson of Sweden.


Materials such as graphite, titanium, carbon fibre and tungsten are used to manufacture golf clubs.


The World Amateur Golf Council becomes the International Golf Federation.


The International Olympic Committee (IOC) votes in favour of golf returning to the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.


The 150th anniversary Open Championship takes place on the Old Course at St Andrews.


Work begins on the Rio 2016 Olympic golf course at Barra da Tijuca.


Golf will be played at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro for the first time in 112 years.  International Golf Federation hosted 30th competition for Eisenhower trophy.  Haiti placed 67th in World Amateur Team Championships 2016.


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