How Old Is Golf?
The ancestors of golf include an English game called cambuca, a Dutch game called kolf, a French and Belgian game called chole, and a French game called jeu de mail. When the Romans occupied Great Britain (A.D. 43–410), they played paganica in the streets using a stick and a leather ball. The rules, equipment, and 18-hole course used in the game of golf today were developed in Scotland, where it was played as early as the 1400s. In 1744 the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers in Edinburgh, Scotland, became the first golf club. Ten years later, the St. Andrews Golfers, a club that was later called the Royal & Ancient Golf Club, published "The Rules of Golf."
Further Information: McCord, Robert R. Golf: An Album of Its History. Short Hills, N.J.: Burford Books, 1998.