History of Golf
“Golf is an exercise which is much used by a gentleman in Scotland……A man would live 10 years the longer for using this exercise once or twice a week.”
Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745 – 1813).
Scotland is the first nation in the world to have played golf. However, when it comes to India, the history of it can be traced back to the 19th century. In fact, India was one of the first countries, outside of Great Britain, to implement golf as a sport. The first golf club of India was initiated in 1829 which is now known as the Royal Calcutta Golf Club (RCGC).
The number of golf clubs was growing at that point in time. The establishment of RCGC cemented the way for the groundwork of the Bangalore Golf Club in 1876, Royal Bombay Golf Club in 1842, and the ShillongGolfClub in1886.
The opening of a national-level golf tournament in India began in 1892, with the Royal Calcutta Golf Club serving as the host to the inaugural of All-India Amateur Golf Championship. The tournament has the reputation of being the second oldest tournament in the world, after the British Open (1860). The various golf clubs in India functioned under the association of the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, up until the 1950s.
A few years down the line, a group of expert golfers established the Indian Golf Union (IGU), which is the supervisory organization that aims at the promotion and management of golf as a sport in India.
The year 1958 is the spinning point in the history of golf in India. It was at this time when the Indian Championship was lifted from the Royal Calcutta Golf Club, to be played alternatively at three venues - Delhi, Bombay, and Calcutta. Another development worth mentioning is the inauguration of Indian Open tournaments in 1964, which is now held annually in different parts of the country. Golfing in India has navigated a long way since then. A large number of proficient Indian golfers have arisen over the past years. They have excelled in sports and have gained recognition both at the countrywide and global levels.