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July 7, 2008

History of the Brazilian Golf


History of the Brazilian Golf

Golfe is the Portuguese word that names this sport in Brazil, deriving from the English word golf, which, on its turn, comes from the German word kolb, which means club. There are many versions for the origin of that sport, a synonym of elegance, but the mostly likely one is that it was created in Scotland, around the year of 1400.

Brazil Golf

Its rules as they are known today were defined in the eighteenth century, in the year of 1744, in the Scottish city of Edinburgh. And the games consists in going from a certain place, in an open field, and put the ball into holes that are strategically placed at varying distances, with the fewest strokes possible. Games are normally played in courses of 18 holes, and the one who has the fewest number of strokes at the end of the 18 holes is the greatest winner.

The arrival of the sport to Brazil happened in a fairly curious way. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, English and Scottish engineers who were building the Santos–Jundiaí Railway convinced the Benedictine monks to cede them part of the area of the Saint Benedict Monastery (Mosteiro de São Bento, in Portuguese), so that they could make the first golf course in the country, in the area that is currently located between the Luz Station and the Tietê River.

The expansion of the city towards the river forced the transference of that course, in 1901, to a place near the confluence of the Paulista and Brigadeiro Luiz Antônio Avenues. Until today the place is called "Morro dos Ingleses" (Hill of the English), due to such “Englishmen” who used to play golf there.

In 1957, representative of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of Saint Andrews – considered the creator of the modern golf – and of the United States Golf Association met in Washington, D.C., to organize the first world team championship. Brazil was invited to participate in it through Seymour G. Marvin, at the time the only Brazilian member of Saint Andrews.

Brazil was present in the World Amateur Team Championship in Saint Andrews, Scotland, with a team led by Seymour and also formed by Humberto de Almeida, Raul Borges, Sylvio Pinto Freire Jr., and João Barbosa Correa. Until today, Brazil and the United States are the only two countries to have participated in all world championships.

Today there are nearly 25,000 golfers in Brazil, and the sport is booming, thanks to the development of new projects and to the marketing initiatives aimed at fostering the practice of golf throughout the whole country.

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