There are literally thousands of iconic moments that have been immortalised in golf prints and posters. Each and every major tournament brings a number of opportunities to immortalise professional golfers and their proudest, most important or most unexpected shots accordingly. The right snap at the right time doing a great job encapsulating the energy and importance of what was transpiring at the time.
But when it comes to the most important moments in the history of golf, you often have to look a little deeper than impressive single shots. A single shot may be able to turn the tides in any major tournament, but there are more significant events in the history of golf that have defined its progression over the years. Many of which have likewise been immortalised in the form of premium golf prints, posters and other memorabilia.
So with this in mind, we thought we’d take a look at just a few of the most important moments in the history of golf. Each of which having had its own unique impact on the way the game is played, watched and generally enjoyed today:
The Invention of Golf
First up, you’d probably struggle to find any genuinely accurate golf prints illustrating the true origins of golf. Along with being highly disputed and generally unclear, it’s known that the origins of golf date all the way back to the middle ages. Nevertheless, it wasn’t until the 19th century that its popularity extended beyond its native Scotland. After which, golf quickly gained a strong following across the United Kingdom, the British Empire and the United States. It is generally accepted however that golf was first invented in Scotland. Hence, Scotland continues to be considered the true home of golf.
The 1913 Underdog Story
One of professional golf’s first true underdog stories would also prove to be one of the most memorable through the ages. At the 1913 U.S. Open at The Country Club in Brookline, a former caddie stunned the world by not only winning, but by annihilating some of the biggest names on the circuit on the same course where he had previously carried golf bags for its members. Francis Ouimet came out of nowhere to take the title, writing one of the most inspiring stories in professional golf that would later become a best-selling novel and was ultimately adapted for a Disney movie in 2007 – “The Greatest Game Ever Played”.
Women Enter the Game
When the Tampa Women’s Open officially got underway in 1950, only seven of the 115 starters were professional golfers. Nevertheless, this historic event brought about the official creation of the LPGA. Prior to this, professional golf had been exclusively a man’s game. Fast forward to the present day and the LPGA remains the oldest professional sports organisation for women in the world. At the very first event, an amateur from Fort Worth – Polly Riley – took home the title and the $1,000 purse.
The First Masters
The very first Masters tournament in 1934 played a huge role in bringing professional golf to the world stage. It wasn’t as if global audiences could watch the action in HD back then, but the tournament that brought “the shot heard ‘round the world” captivated millions worldwide. Still considered the single most incredible shot in the history of golf, that one mind-blowing holed 4-wood for double eagle on No. 15 in the final round by Gene Sarazen transformed the prestige and popularity of professional golf like never before.
Long Overdue Repeal
The fact that the PGA adopted a Caucasian-only clause in 1943 is bad enough. Nevertheless, the fact that it remained enforced for such a long time is even more unfortunate. In fact, it wasn’t until 1961 that the PGA finally gave in to enormous pressure among public and professional circles alike – a number of US states having promised to boycott the event if the clause remained active. While there had been a number of prominent black sportsmen on the professional circuit prior to this time, the official Caucasian-only clause took far too long to be repealed.
The Undisputed King
The early 1960s saw one Arnold Palmer become not only the undisputed King of golf, but also the first true international celebrity on the scene. He’s credited with captivating audiences worldwide, achieving the kind of success on and off the course nobody at the time had come close to. His extraordinary achievements earned him a place among the true immortals of the game.
The Best of a New Generation
Last but not least, one of the most iconic golf images ever captured has to be that of Tiger Woods at the age of 21, asleep in Augusta with his arms wrapped around his first ever green jacket. Nobody knew at the time that we were looking at a talented young man who would go on to become not only the finest golfer of a generation, but perhaps the single most famous athlete in the entire world. Just when you think things have peaked in professional golf circles, along comes a true master like Tiger to show you just how wrong you are.