Golfing has gained increasing popularity in recent years and has since spread to the rest of the world. Golfing is seen as a leisure activity and as a means to network. It is also a way to conduct business in an informal setting. Although, not as demanding physically as football or basketball, golfing demands concentration and precision from its players, where players have to hit a small ball with a club into a series of holes. The one that hits the ball into the right hole with the least number of strokes will be the winner. It is a competing sport as well as an amature sport many people just play for fun.
The current version that is being played today was first started in the 15th century in Scotland. However, golf existed on other forms prior to the 15th century, and historians cannot agree on a common origin. Some historians think that the Roman’s paganica is the origin of golf as there are similarities between paganica and golf. When the Romans played paganica, the players had to hit a stuffed ball made of leather with a bent stick. Since the Romans conquered most of Europe in the 1st century, it is thought that they brought the game with them and thus paganica spread throughout Europe.
However, other historians have traced golf to the Chinese’s chuiwan. It was played in China between the 8th and 14th centuries. The name chuiwan means striking a small ball which is remarkably similar to the description of golf. Apart from the meaning of chuiwan, there is also a drawing entitled “The Autumn Banquet” from Ming Dynasty, dated 1368, showing a member of the court playing the game. It was shown that the player has to hit a small ball into a hole with a club that look similar to the modern golf club. It was recorded in the Dōngxuān Records of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) that the players of chuiwan had to choose between 10 clubs in order to play the game. These 10 clubs included cuanbang, pubang, and shaobang, which from the record are similar to the modern golf driver, two-wood, and three-wood. The Records further suggested that chuiwan was a game for the rich since the clubs were all inlaid with jaded gold. Since there was interaction between the Chinese imperial court and Europe during the Middle Ages, it was suggested that chuiwan could have been spread into Europe during that time.
Other historians asserted that modern golf originated from a game that the English called cambuca and the French called chambot. In addition, there is a game called kolven in Netherlands which bears similarities to modern golf in which the players has to hit a leather ball with curved stick. The aim is to hit the ball into a target a few hundred yards away with as few strokes as possible. It was played annually in Loenen in 1297 in remembrance of the capture of Floris V, an assassin, a year before. No matter whose account one would choose to believe, golf has clearly been around for a long time in one form or another.