Origin of Golf Words and Terms

One of the questions I am often asked is whether the word GOLF is a an acronym for Gentlemen Only Ladies Forbidden. It is not.

The derivation of some golf terms is still a matter of dispute. The explanations given below are based on the best available evidence at the time of publication.

The section on the Origin of Golf Terms covers the key elements of golf. These can be read as an overview of the development of golf from 1457 to 1927 in the following order

  1. The meaning of the word Golf itself
  2. The meaning of the 'Links'
  3. Golf Ball from Hairy to Haskell
  4. The first Rules of Golf 1744
  5. The Derivation of Caddie and Fore!
  6. From Bogey to Blow Up, handicap and stroke terms including par, birdie, eagle and albatross and condor
  7. Development of 18 hole round
  8. Course development - Fairway'out' and 'in' and coloured flags, and bunker & water hazard
  9. The original and first patented tees



 Aberdeen Queens Links Site of first mention of a golf hole in Scotland