15th Century to 1890
This first of three segments covers the earliest years of the game beginning with the 1457 ban on the game by The Scots Parliament under King James II. Learn of the 400-year progression of the game, including the development of the Scottish cottage industries of club and ball making, the formation of the position of caddie, and the eventual birth of the golf profession in the person of Allan Robertson. Gain insight on how the game exploded in the 1850s through the publicity of big-money professional challenge matches, the introduction of an affordable golf ball, and the benefits of the Industrial Revolution’s growth in rail transportation and the introduction of more leisure-time in the rising middle-class.
John "JJ" McDermott
Experience the passion as golf professionals were called upon to spread the gospel of the game throughout the world. Feel the charge into the game in America where nearly 1,000 courses were built in the decade following its introduction. Study the biographies of the immigrant professionals who so ably taught the game, manufactured the equipment, and competed in the early exhibitions and tournaments that captured the fancy of the country’s wealthy and elite. Understand how Scotland’s history of accessibility to the game for all classes found champions among the professionals introducing public golf in New York City and Boston. Find out how American working-class boys came to golf, eventually transforming the face of the game.
1916 through 2015
Follow a trail through five 20-year generations from the founding of the PGA of America to the cusp of the association’s centennial year. Understand how professionals in each group faced unique, often dire challenges to the standards of life, liberty and the game’s future, with ingenuity and adaptability. Meet a selection of men and women who faced these challenge in remarkable ways, each in their own style, to solidify golf’s foundations. Explore how war, race, sex discrimination, and financial catastrophes had to be overcome to assure golf as a game for all. Gain an appreciation for the legacy of the profession. See how many of today’s players can directly link themselves back to the profession’s founding fathers through golf’s timeline.