Golf Trivia: 15+ Questions, Answers and Fun Facts

Welcome, official golfer! I know you’re an official golfer because only we would click on an article about golf trivia and fun facts. 

When you can’t make it to the course or having a rough day at work, sometimes a good golf read is all it takes to brighten your day. I don’t expect anyone to score perfectly on the trivia below but rather to use them to increase your golf IQ. 

Knowing more about the game can help you lower your scores without having to buy expensive equipment or lessons. Knowing more can also make you feel like a big shot around your friends when they have questions you know the answer to. 

This article will help you gain that in spades; we will cover:

  • History of Golf Trivia
  • Rules & Etiquette Of Golf Trivia
  • PGA Tour & Professional Golf Trivia

Let’s get into it!

Golf Trivia (15+ questions and answers)

History of Golf Trivia

Golf has one of the richest histories out of all major sports. Going back hundreds of years, you can see how this sport developed from its humble beginnings to the multi-billion dollar industry it is today.

Let’s get on with six pieces of key trivia:

1. What Were Golf Balls Originally Made Of?

Golf balls were originally made of a thin layer of leather and then stuffed with feathers. These types of balls were called “featheries” or “featherie”. These were used from the mid-1600s to the mid-1800s. 

2. Where Does the Term ‘Birdie’ Come From?

A birdie is when a golfer makes a score on a hole that is one less stroke than par. This term was coined by Ab Smith in 1899 when he made a great shot and said, “That’s a bird of a shot.” The name caught on and inspired the names of other scores: two under par, an eagle, and three under par, an albatross. 

3. What is the Oldest Golf Course in the World?

The oldest golf course in the world is Musselburgh in Scotland. You probably thought St. Andrews, but that is a common misconception. St. Andrews is known as the home of golf in regards to making the sport mainstream. But Musselburgh was already in business hosting dignitaries such as the Queen of Scots in 1567. 

4. Why is a Golf Course 18 Holes?

Golf courses are now 18 holes, thanks to St. Andrews, where they originally started with 22 holes. After years of tinkering and re-designing, the land used for St. Andrews was determined to be best used as 18 holes, and all other courses that came after modeled themselves after that. 

5. Where Was the First Golf Course Built Outside of Great Britain?

The first golf course built outside of Great Britain was in Bangalore, India, in 1820. The game was brought there by British troops stationed in the area who wanted to take advantage of the year-round warm weather. 

6. How Many Golf Courses Existed in the US by 1900?

By 1900, there were more than 1,000 golf clubs in America. Some of the oldest being Oakhurst Golf Club and Foxburg Club, both claiming they are the oldest and started in 1884.

The Quogue Field Club was started in 1887 but is now only a 9-hole course. Shinnecock Hills Golf Club was founded in 1892 and is known for hosting multiple U.S. Opens. It is also the first club to accept women members. 

4 golfers all wearing different coloured shirts walk along a golf course.

Rules & Etiquette of Golf Trivia

One of the most intimidating aspects of golf is the rules and regulations. Many are written, but even more are not, and that’s where beginners lose interest. Let’s help new golfers understand these traditions more so they can be included and we can all enjoy this great game. 

Here are 5 great etiquettes to get to grips with:

1. Your Ball Has Come to Rest on the Putting Green. Before You Mark it, The Ball Starts Rolling and Moves Closer to the Hole. Where Do You Play Your Next Stroke From?

If you have not marked and replaced your ball on the green and it moves, play it from its new location with no penalty. 

2. If Your Shadow Interferes With a Player’s Stance or Intended Line of Putt, Are You Issued a Penalty Stroke? 

There is nothing in the rules of golf about this, but it’s common courtesy to be aware of your shadow and stand in a position where it’s clear of any player’s position while they are shooting. 

3. Your Ball is Playable in a Penalty Area, But You Need to Figure Out How the Vegetation Will Affect Your Swing. Can You Stand in the Penalty Area, Several Yards From Your Ball, and Make “Test Swings” Through the Vegetation to Get a Feel for the Shot?

As long as you don’t improve the condition of the lie for your next stroke, you can take practice strokes and even ground your club. This rule has been recently changed to allow players more leeway when playing out of well-manicured hazards. 

A golf ball sits in the long grass with a blue sky in the background.

4. Can a Player Play Their Ball When it’s Found After Dropping Another Ball Under the Penalty Area Rule?

No. Once a player drops a ball under the penalty area rule with known or virtual certainty that the original ball is in the penalty area, the original ball can no longer be played.

5. A Player’s Club Breaks on Their Downswing, Causing the Player To Miss the Ball. Does the Swing Count as a Stroke?

Yes. A stroke is the forward movement of the club. Once the player begins the downward motion of the club (with the club intact), the player has started their stroke.

PGA Tour & Professional Golf Trivia

There’s nothing better than spending the afternoon watching the world’s best golfers compete at the highest level. 

The PGA Tour was only started in 1968, but players worldwide have been competing in tournaments long before that. These questions are all about professional golfers.  

1. What is the Record For Most PGA Tour Events Won in a Row?

Byron Nelson won 11 straight tournaments in 1945. Although this was before the formation of the official PGA Tour, these wins are still recognized by the Tour as, at the time, they were sanctioned by the Professional Golf Association. 

The next closest is Tiger Woods with 7 in a row in 2006, Tiger again with 6 consecutive wins in 1999, and Tiger again with 5 in a row in 2007. 

2. Augusta National Insists That TV Commentators and Reporters Refer to Their Fans As What?

Augusta has always been strict with their rules, as they have a specific reputation they want to maintain. When referring to fans at The Masters, commentators and all press are required to refer to them as patrons. 

3. Who Was the First Person to Shoot 59 on the PGA Tour?

Al Geiberger was the first to shoot 59 in the 1977 Danny Thomas Memphis Classic at Colonial Country Club. At the time, there were no titanium drivers or Pro V1 golf balls. Joining him some years later were Chip Beck, David Duval, and Jim Furyk, who shot a 59 and a 58 in separate PGA events! 

4. Has Any Golfer Won All Four Majors in One Season?

No golfer has won all four majors in one season. However, Tiger Woods won three in one season (2000) and then won the first major of the following season (2001), thus holding all four titles at the same time, but not all in the same season. 

No one in the modern era of golf has come close to this, except for Jordan Speith. In 2015, he won the first two majors but then finished T4 in the third and runner-up in the fourth major of the season. 

5. What is the Longest Time a PGA Professional Has Gone Between Wins?

The longest official time between wins on the PGA tour is 15 years, 6 months. This was done by Robert Gamez between 1990 and 2005. Also part of the 15-year club is Butch Baird, who won in 1961, then not again until 1976. 

A close up of a shiny golf club next to a golf ball.

Use these facts to impress your friends next time you’re held up on a par-3!

Next Up: How Much Does It Cost To Build A Golf Course?

Photo of author
After graduating from the Professional Golf Management program in Palm Springs, CA, I moved back to Toronto, Canada, turned pro and became a Class 'A' member of the PGA of Canada. I then began working at some of the city's most prominent country clubs. While this was exciting, it wasn't as fulfilling as teaching, and I made the change from a pro shop professional to a teaching professional. Within two years, I was the Lead Teaching Professional at one of Toronto's busiest golf instruction facilities. Since then, I've stepped back from the stress of running a successful golf academy to focus on helping golfers in a different way. Knowledge is key so improving a players golf IQ is crucial when choosing things like the right equipment or how to cure a slice. As a writer I can help a wide range of people while still having a little time to golf myself!

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