Guess how old is the game of golf. It goes back to the time of the apemen - around four million years ago. These diminutive tree-dwelling creatures were forced out of the drought-devastated African forests and on to the expanding savannah with its nose-high grass. In order to see over the top of the grass they were compelled to stand upright - the first historic step towards being able to play golf. The apeman evolved into Homo habilis whose main weapon became the club. The second step towards golf had been achieved. One hundred and twenty thousand years ago an apeman, Ug Blankenthorpe, picked up a stick with a knob on the end. He instinctively liked it and started using it for hunting small mammals and striking people he didn't like. But he also had fun hitting small stones with it. To understand the evolution of the game read James Clarke’s fascinating history of golf which has been widely acclaimed by historians worldwide and beyond. For the last 20 years Clarke has been amassing information and anecdotes about the game - mainly contributed by readers of his offbeat daily newspaper column. Some of it is almost believable and a lot of it terribly useful for those who have to speak at raucous golf club prize-giving ceremonies.
James Clarke is the author of more than 30 books – a third of them humorous and including a hilarious best-seller on cycling – Blazing Bicycle Saddles. The book stemmed from his annual cycle rides across Europe with a small band of retired daily newspaper editors – all South African – whose mission statement is “to explore darkest Europe on…
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