Recovering Equipment Ho...off the wagon again.
- Sep 7, 2013
- United States
What I read...golf has been around forever. So has betting.It's kinda funny. When golf was first played in Scotland, big money foursome matches drew huge crowds. You would get the likes of Tom Morris and his son Tommy challenging other pairs to matches, where there huge sidebets among the gentry. These games would be publicized with full page ads in the newspapers of the day and attract 100K plus supporters. Here's an interesting extract of a fictitious interview with Tom Morris:
We like to think that poor crowd behaviour is a modern phenomenon but in 1855, when playing Willie Park at Musselburgh you left the course, with the referee, because the partisan crowd were kicking your golf balls – in favour of Mr Park. How bad was it?
What you have to remember is that in those days is we played challenge matches. There has always been gambling on the golf course – in fact, it’s very appropriate that they play for the claret jug today because we used to play for cases of claret and the like. That’s why two ball foursomes were so popular because you could gamble from hole to hole. In strokeplay you really only have one bet – who’s going to win. All the hype would go out from the merchants that there would be these big money matches so the crowds became excitedly involved and that’s how that sort of thing came about, because money was changing hands all the way down. There was drinking, too and people would be shouting out at the top of your backswing.
So it's not exactly a new thing.