Fly Fishing and Golf: Thanks to Scotland

Ann and I were hiking around Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park (a good 9 mile hike). As we crossed the feeder stream above Jenny Lake, I watched two fly fisherman casting in the beautiful rapids. I was struck by the similarity between a smooth fly cast and a smooth golf swing. Then I realized that they both originated in Scotland.

Records of fishing with a fly go back to Ancient Greece when it was common to catch fish on a hook dressed with red yarn. Modern fly fishing originated in Scotland and was greatly refined in southern England on the River Test and the other ‘chalk streams’ concentrated in Hampshire, Surrey, Dorset and Berkshire (see Southern England Chalk Formation for the geological specifics). The seminal work in the sport is The Compleat Angler written in the mid-1600’s by Izaak Walton, largely about those classic English waters. Source: Wikipedia

Golf is usually regarded as a Scottish invention, as the game was mentioned in two 15th-century laws prohibiting the playing of the game of "gowf". Some scholars, however, suggest that this refers to another game which is much akin to modern field hockey. They point out that a game of putting a small ball in a hole in the ground using golf clubs was played in 17th-century Netherlands. The term golf is believed to have originated from a Germanic word for "club". Many old wives tales state that golf was an acronym for Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden.

The first golf club established outside the United Kingdom was the Royal Calcutta in India in 1829. The modern game evolved in the second half of the 19th century in Scotland. The rules of the game and the design of equipment and courses greatly resembled those of today. 1873 saw the establishment of the first North American golf club, Royal Montreal Golf Club in Canada. The major changes in equipment since the 19th century have been better mowers, especially for the greens, better golf ball designs, using rubber and man-made materials since about 1900, and the introduction of the metal shaft beginning in the 1930s. Also in the 1930s the wooden golf tee was invented. In the 1970s the use of metal to replace wood heads began, and shafts made of graphite composite materials were introduced in the 1980s. Source: Wikipedia