Hidden Treasures: What You Didn’t Know About Golf

Updated on November 24, 2023
Golf fun facts

Golf, that age-old game of hitting tiny balls into distant holes with varying degrees of frustration. While some call it a sport of patience and elegance, others say it’s a fancy way to spoil a good walk. Either way, there’s no denying its charm. So, let’s dive into these golf fun facts, which are more fun than a hole-in-one on a Par 5! (Okay, maybe not that fun.)

1. The Great Lunar Golf Adventure

Space: the final frontier, and for golf? Apparently so! When most astronauts were thinking of taking a step on the moon, Alan Shepard was contemplating a swing. In 1971, equipped with his makeshift club and trusty golf balls, he boldly went where no golfer had gone before.

Not only did he strike those balls, but they also traveled far, thanks to the moon’s low gravity. Although there’s a lack of lush green courses on the moon, the backdrop of endless space and Earth looming in the distance? Absolutely unbeatable!

2. The Prodigal Golfer: Tiger Woods

When the majority of toddlers were toddling, Tiger Woods was perfecting his swing. Yes, that’s right, at the unimaginable age of 2, this future legend began his journey on the golfing greens.

It’s mind-boggling to think while many of us at that age were mastering the art of escaping cribs, Tiger was already dreaming of PGA tours and major championships. Clearly, some stars shine bright, right from the start!

3. The Legend of the 19th Hole

What’s with the elusive 19th hole? Does it lead to a secret golfing dimension? Not quite. This mysteriously named “hole” is not about golf at all, but about relaxation and recounting golf fun facts.

It’s a nod to the clubhouse bar, where golfers refresh and regale with tales of their golf exploits. Because after an exhausting 18 holes, the best way to wind down is with a chilled beverage in hand.

4. Sand Mounds to Today’s Tees: Evolution Tee-rific!

Picture a time when golfers carried not just clubs and balls, but also a pocket full of sand. Yes, before the modern tee’s invention in the 1920s, golfers used sand mounds as their tee.

It’s kind of charming, in a very inconvenient way. Modern tees? Definitely more portable and far less gritty. Though, honestly, they do have this uncanny ability to disappear at the bottom of golf bags.

5. Swinging in Scottish Skirts

In historical Scotland, women playing golf? A big no-no! So, when Mary, Queen of Scots dared to swing her club, eyebrows weren’t just raised, they practically flew off faces.

The audacity of a woman enjoying a sport! Today, however, we champion all the incredible women in golf, urging them to swing that skirt and drive those balls like the queens they are!

6. Australia’s Golfing Marathon: A Journey of 848 Miles

Australia, home to kangaroos, koalas, and… the world’s longest golf course? Indeed! Stretching a mind-blowing 848 miles, this isn’t your average 18-hole course.

You won’t just need golf balls and clubs, but a sturdy vehicle and a hefty supply of snacks. We’re talking about multiple days of golfing fun. Just watch out for kangaroos trying to join the game!

7. Golf Balls Galore!

The world of golf has its fair share of mysteries. One being: where do all those lost balls go? In the United States alone, the number of AWOL golf balls annually hits a staggering 300 million. Imagine that! If you laid them out end to end, they’d probably circle the globe a few times (not a scientifically proven fact, but you get the idea!).

In real terms, that’s around 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools filled to the brim. If we started a savings account with a dime for every lost ball, we’d have enough for…well, more golf balls. The irony, right?

Golf balls

Image source: Jopwell / Pexels

8. Golf’s Olympic Detour

Golf flirted with the Olympics in 1900, but like a drama-filled rom-com, took a hiatus for over a century, making its awaited return in 2016.

Imagine if other sports decided on such whimsical breaks? The anticipation was real, and when the tee-off time finally arrived in Rio, the players and fans were bursting with pent-up excitement. It’s like golf said, “I’ll be back” and made a grand comeback.

9. Alligator Golf Ambassadors

Florida’s golf courses offer unique challenges: sun, sand, water, and… alligators?

Yep, while golfers are striving for birdies and eagles, these reptilian residents are just sunbathing, occasionally eyeing those wayward golf balls. It’s almost as if they’re daring you: “Think your ball’s in here? Retrieve at your own peril.” Always makes for a golf round to remember!

Alligator with a golf ball

Image source: Dave Noel

10. The Legendary Long Putt

Picture this: you’re standing 125 yards away from the hole, the wind’s blowing, and you think, “Why not?” That’s probably not how Fergus Muir felt in 2001 at St. Andrews, but the legend managed to sink a putt from that distance.

Most of us squint trying to spot our ball even ten yards away. Talk about eagle eyes combined with unparalleled skill!

11. Featherie Balls: The Vintage Vibe

Before the world was graced with the modern golf ball, players hit the courses with ‘featheries’. Sounds fancy, right? These leather balls, filled to the brim with feathers, were the go-to for centuries.

As for the color choices? A captivating spectrum between white and pale gray. Not quite the disco era of golf, but they sure added a touch of historical glam to the greens.

Featherie golf ball

Image source: grunge.com

12. The Birthplace of Golf

Scotland is internationally celebrated as the birthplace of golf, with the sport being played on the links of the east coast since the 15th century. The Old Course at St. Andrews, a mecca for golf enthusiasts, is considered the world’s oldest course. This historic course has witnessed the evolution of golf, from rudimentary wooden clubs to today’s state-of-the-art equipment.

And speaking of evolution, did you know early Scottish golfers didn’t yell “Fore!”? They probably just said, “Hey, Mac, watch your kilt!” When diving into fun facts about golf, Scotland’s contribution to the sport is monumental. If you’re a true golf aficionado, a pilgrimage to St. Andrews should be on your bucket list!

Old Course at St. Andrews: ancient illustration depicting early golfers

Image source: hvmag.com

13. The Real and Virtual Fusion

Japan, known for its innovations, presents one of the most interesting facts in the golf realm. In a twist to the traditional greens and fairways, the Japanese have embraced “virtual golf”. Here’s how it works: players swing real clubs and strike actual golf balls into a massive screen that simulates the course’s expanse. It’s the perfect blend of reality and the digital age.

Imagine playing on the world’s best golf courses without ever hopping on a plane! Rainy days, snowy days, or just lazy days – nothing stops the golfing spirit in this setup. This fun fact about golf just goes to show how technology can revolutionize even the most traditional sports.

Man engrossed in playing virtual golf

Image source: globalgolfpost.com

14. The Ultimate Luxury

Among the world’s best golf fun facts, the tale of the golden golf ball stands out. While many players focus on their swing technique, golf ball core composition, or the perfect grip, the golden golf ball focuses purely on luxury.

Coated in 24-karat gold and sold for a bank-breaking $2,500, this ball isn’t really for your weekend game. But if you’re looking to combine the love for golf with a penchant for extravagance, this is your go-to. Who needs a hole-in-one when your ball is pure gold?

Golden golf ball is on green grass

Image source: Thaninee Chuensomchit / Vecteezy

15. Birds, Golf, and Flamboyant Flamingos: A Colorful Connection

The world of golf is riddled with avian terms: birdies, eagles, and the rare albatross. But one of the fun facts about golf is the origin of the term “birdie”. An American golfer, Ab Smith, once described a superb shot as “a bird of a shot”, coining the term.

And when we think of delightful birds in the golfing narrative, the vivid imagery of a flamingo comes to mind. With their vibrant pink hue, they might not be directly involved in the game, but they sure add a splash of color to our golf lexicon.

16. Golf Course Extravaganza: An Unveiling of Golf Fun Facts in the U.S.

Dive into one of the most staggering fun facts about golf: the U.S. is home to over 45% of the world’s golf courses, making it an unrivaled paradise for aficionados of the sport. Picture this: from the sun-kissed courses of California to the historic greens of New England, there’s no dearth of golfing splendors.

If a cross-country golf road trip ever graced your bucket list, there’s no time like the present. Armed with your favorite golf balls and passion, every state invites you to explore the richness of its golfing heritage.

17. The Golf Ball Evolution: From Feathers to Today’s Tech

Journey to the origins of golf, and you’d find players using balls stuffed with feathers, aptly named “featheries.” These feather-packed wonders were crafted by stuffing wet feathers into leather pouches, which were then stitched up and left to dry. As they dried, the feathers would expand, creating a hardened, compact ball.

However, the featheries had their limitations: they were expensive and didn’t fare well in wet conditions. This paved the way for the “guttie” ball made of solid rubber. Today, we have golf balls with sophisticated multi-layer designs for optimum performance. It’s quite a leap from feathers to cutting-edge tech! One might say, from “birdies” of the past to “eagles” of the present. And let’s not forget, those early golfers had a “fowl” time when it rained!

18. The Monumental Hole-In-One Record

One of the best golf fun facts revolves around Patrick Wills, a golfer who made not just one, but three holes-in-one in a single round. Yes, you read that right. Wills accomplished this phenomenal feat in 2015. While many of us golf enthusiasts dream of achieving even a single hole-in-one in our lifetimes, Patrick has truly set the bar sky-high.

Just think about the odds – and then marvel at how they were beautifully shattered. Next time you’re on the course and pondering your own hole-in-one chances, just remember: in golf, as in life, anything is possible. Who knows? Maybe the next miraculous round is yours. And if you do make it, try not to drop your club in astonishment!

19. Golfing at the Top of the World: Himalayan Heights

Ever imagined teeing off at 13,000 feet? The Yak Golf Course in India offers just that! Nestled amidst the towering peaks of the Himalayas, it holds the record for being one of the highest golf courses in the world.

Breathing might be a tad more challenging at this altitude, but the panoramic vistas more than compensate. And if you think your golf ball flies far on your home course, wait until you see it soar in the thin mountain air! But here’s a fun tip: make sure you pack some extra balls. With views this breathtaking, distractions are par for the course.

And for those who often blame their mis-hits on the wind, playing here might just validate that excuse. After all, at these heights, even the gentlest breeze feels like a gust!

Golf course with the snow-capped Himalayas

Image source: traveltomorrow.com

20. Double Centuries of Swings: The Deep Dive

In the bustling world of golf fun facts, the British Open or The Open Championship boasts an aura of vintage charm. Established in 1860, it holds the distinguished title of the oldest major championship.

Throughout its rich tapestry of over 160 years, the British Open has experienced a parade of evolving techniques, equipment, and, of course, fashion faux pas. Imagine the time when wooden clubs dictated the rhythm of the game, and feather-stuffed balls took flight.

The tournament has truly seen more swings and a multitude of misses, much like modern dating apps. We wonder if the golfers of yesteryears swiped left on those featheries!

21. The Sands of Time: Golfing in the Desert

Ever thought of teeing off amidst vast sand dunes, under a blazing sun? Welcome to the intriguing world of desert golf! Popular in places like Dubai and Arizona, these courses are an engineering marvel, turning barren landscapes into lush, playable terrains.

It’s not just about adjusting to the sand, but also grappling with intense heat. And if you’re someone who often finds sand traps a challenge, these courses will either be your dream or your worst nightmare. Every shot here requires an added layer of strategy, given the unique terrain.

A little advice: bring a hat, sunglasses, and perhaps a camel? Because out here, it’s not just about chasing birdies, but also mirages!

Desert golf course

Image source: golf.com

22. A Golf Ball’s Grand Odyssey

Every golf ball embarks on a journey, much more adventurous than just hopping from tee to green. Believe it or not, the average golf ball travels a staggering 12,183 miles during its lifetime.

While many of these miles are acquired during international manufacturing and shipping processes, some are undeniably chalked up to those errant shots that seem to have their own travel itinerary.

You know, the ones that choose the scenic route or the unplanned excursions into the woods. So, the next time your ball strays, just think of it as adding to its travel memoirs.

23. The Wild Side of Golf: Birdies, Bogeys, and Big Cats

Beyond the boundaries of conventional golf lies the Leopard Creek golf course in South Africa. Sure, every golfer dreams of birdies and dreads bogeys, but here, you might just encounter a real-life leopard or an elephant scrutinizing your swing.

Adjacent to the famed Kruger National Park, this golf course offers a game experience where fun golf facts meet National Geographic. If your putt is being observed by a pride of lions or a herd of elephants, remember to stay calm. After all, they’re just curious about your swing technique!

Wildlife coexisting alongside golfers on the course

Image source: jenmansafaris.com

24. Green or Snowy White? Golfing at Extreme Altitudes

Who says golf is confined to grassy plains? One of the most jaw-dropping golf facts is about the La Paz Golf Club in Bolivia. Located more than 10826 feet above sea level, it’s considered the highest golf course in the world!

The altitude doesn’t just change the view; it affects the game. At such heights, the ball can fly further due to decreased air resistance. So if you thought your drives were impressive at your local course, wait until you tee off here!

However, playing here isn’t just a walk in the park. With less oxygen, you might find yourself catching your breath faster than chasing birdies. And while your ball flies, you might need to take it slow. Who knew golf could also be an altitude training?

25. Golf Balls & Tacos: A Flavorful Analogy

In a quirky twist in the golf fun facts narrative, did you know golf balls and tacos might be distant cousins? An average golf ball boasts between 300 to 500 dimples, intricately designed to optimize its flight.

On a parallel universe, the perfect taco promises 300 to 500 bites of sheer ecstasy (Okay, we might be exaggerating a bit, but who’s counting when tacos are involved?). Whether you’re savoring a birdie or a bite, both promise a world of delight.

Golf ball's dimples

Image source: Jopwell / Pexels

26. Bobbing for Golf Balls: A Watery Goldmine

You know, the world of golf has its own brand of treasure hunting, and it’s all about diving deep – literally!

Imagine the lake beds of the world’s golf courses, a silent, watery graveyard for those misfired golf balls. Enter the divers, brave souls who have turned this into an art form and, for some, a profitable venture.

One particular diver boasts of fishing out a staggering 8 million balls in his time. To put that into perspective, if each golf ball were a story, this diver would have enough tales to rival the epics! And while it’s a task full of challenges, the gleaming loot of brand-name golf balls sure makes it worth the dive. Truly, when it comes to fun facts about golf, this watery escapade is hard to beat.

27. Galactic Golf: An Odyssey Under the Stars

Daytime golf? Traditional, classic, and let’s be honest, a tad predictable. But then, as the sun dips below the horizon and the stars emerge, a whole new game comes alive: night golf.

Imagine the setting – a vast expanse bathed in a gentle neon glow, balls illuminating the sky as they soar, fairways shimmering under the moonlight. Every shot is not just about technique but an experience, almost poetic. It’s golf, but it feels like a dance, a celebration of the night.

For those who’ve always sought to merge the world of sports with a touch of the ethereal, this is your realm. If golf is a sport of patience and skill, night golf is its magical, dreamy cousin.

28. When Golf Meets the Jungle: Playing Amidst the Wild

Imagine playing golf amidst the vibrant sounds of the jungle, where every shot is accompanied by a chorus of exotic birds and the distant rustle of wild animals. Welcome to the Leopard Creek Country Club in South Africa, located on the edge of the Kruger National Park!

It’s one thing to face the challenges of sand traps and water hazards, but here, the real challenges might involve sightings of actual leopards, elephants, or hippos. Every hole offers not just a golfing challenge, but also a brush with the wild. The course, carefully designed, ensures that wildlife remains undisturbed, while golfers get an immersive safari experience.

Playing golf here isn’t just about the sport; it’s about coexisting with nature in its most raw, untamed form. Forget birdies and eagles; here, you might just spot the real deal!

Golf course in Kruger Park

Image source: southafricavisits.com

29. A Winter Wonderland: Golf’s Frosty Frontier

Who said golf is a slave to the sun? As the world dons a snowy blanket, a brave sect of golf enthusiasts brings forth a twist: snow golf. Picture this: sprawling landscapes of pristine snow, dotted with players in vibrant winter wear, their breath misting up in the chilly air.

The game’s rules are familiar, but the setting is radically different. Snow drifts replace sand bunkers, and the cold, crisp air adds a unique challenge to each shot.

But beyond the game, it’s the ambiance – the ethereal beauty of snow-clad trees, the laughter echoing across the white expanse, the camaraderie that warms even the coldest days. It’s golf, but it feels like an adventure in a winter wonderland.

30. The Enigmatic Etymology of ‘Golf’

Ever found yourself musing over the origin of the word ‘golf’? Well, you’re not alone. A playful theory floated around suggests the term stands for “Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden.” Quite the exclusive club, right?

However, before we get too riled up, it’s worth noting this theory, while entertaining, is purely a myth. The actual origins remain shrouded in mystery, much like the myriad nuances of the game itself.

Whether it’s the historical intricacies or the quirky myths surrounding the sport, these tales add a sprinkle of intrigue to the golf fun facts roster.


What are 3 facts about the history of golf?

  1. Golf originated in Scotland during the 15th century. Players would hit a pebble around the sand dunes using a stick or club.
  2. The first written rules of golf were drawn up in 1744 by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.
  3. The first golf balls, called “featheries,” were leather pouches filled with boiled goose feathers.

Why are there 18 holes in golf?

The standard 18-hole golf course was created at the Old Course at St Andrews in Scotland. The course had 22 holes, but members felt that four of these holes were too short, so they combined them into two holes, leaving 18. This became the standard, and many golf courses followed suit.

What are some fun facts about the PGA?

  1. The PGA (Professional Golfers’ Association) was founded in 1916.
  2. The PGA Championship, one of the four major championships in professional golf, originally started as a match play event but switched to stroke play in 1958.
  3. The PGA Tour’s slogan is “Live Under Par.”

Why is golf a unique sport?

Golf is unique because it’s one of the few sports where players aren’t trying to score more points but fewer. The aim is to complete the course in the least number of strokes. Additionally, golf courses are not standardized in design or length, meaning each course offers a distinct challenge.

Is golf the oldest sport in the world?

No, golf isn’t the oldest sport in the world. While its origins trace back several centuries, other sports like wrestling, archery, and athletics have ancient origins that predate golf.

Why are there dimples on a golf ball?

Dimples on a golf ball help reduce drag and allow the ball to fly farther. They create turbulence in the layer of air next to the ball, which, in turn, reduces the drag and helps the ball maintain its speed.

What are the dents on a golf ball called?

The dents on a golf ball are called “dimples.”

Why does a golf ball bounce so high?

A golf ball bounces high due to its elastic construction and the transfer of kinetic energy upon impact. The core materials of a golf ball are designed to maximize energy transfer, allowing it to rebound effectively when it hits a hard surface.

What is a scotch in golf?

In golf, “Scotch” or “Scotch Foursomes” is a variation of the game where two players form a team and play against another team of two players. They alternate shots until the ball is holed.

How many strokes can a person have in golf?

The number of strokes a golfer can have varies depending on the course and the player’s skill level. In professional tournaments, players aim to have the fewest strokes possible. However, for amateur play, especially on standard par-72 courses, shooting 90 (which is 18 over par) is often considered a good score for recreational players. But technically, there’s no upper limit to the number of strokes a person can have in a round.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *