Golf has been called the “game of kings” because it was historically played by royalty and aristocrats.
In Scotland, where golf originated in the 15th century, it was played by the Scottish monarchs and the nobility, who had the means and the leisure time to pursue the sport.
The game eventually spread to England and other parts of Europe, where it became popular among the upper classes.
Golf’s reputation as a game of prestige and exclusivity was further cemented in the 19th and early 20th centuries when it became popular among wealthy Americans. Many of the country’s most affluent families, such as the Rockefellers and the Vanderbilts, built their own private golf courses and clubs, further reinforcing golf’s association with wealth and privilege.
In recent years, golf has become a game available to a wider range of people with the advent of technology such as the apps for golfers, but there still remains a large portion of the game that is exclusive to the highest levels of society.
A Royal Pastime
Golf has been a popular sport among royalty throughout history. King James IV of Scotland was known to have played golf in the early 16th century, and Mary, Queen of Scots, is said to have played golf at the Royal Court of St. Andrews in 1567.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, golf became a popular pastime among British royalty, with King George III and King George IV known to have played golf. Queen Victoria was also a keen golfer and played at Balmoral Castle in Scotland, where she had her own private course.
In more recent times, members of the British royal family have continued to play golf. Prince William and Prince Harry are both known to be keen golfers, as is their father, Prince Charles. The late Prince Philip was also an avid golfer and played regularly until his death in 2021. Additionally, many other monarchs and members of royal families around the world have been known to play golf.
Coming To America
Golf has been a popular sport among wealthy families in the United States for many years, and many wealthy families have played golf and even helped to popularize the sport.
One of the most well-known families associated with golf is the Rockefeller family. John D. Rockefeller, the founder of Standard Oil, was an avid golfer and helped to fund the construction of many golf courses in the early 20th century. His son, John D. Rockefeller Jr., also played golf and was involved in the development of several golf courses, including the Sleepy Hollow Country Club in New York.
Another wealthy family with a strong connection to golf is the DuPont family. Pierre S. DuPont was a passionate golfer who helped to create several golf courses, including the DuPont Country Club in Delaware. His family has continued to be involved in golf over the years, with several family members serving on the boards of golf associations and foundations.
The Trump family is another wealthy family that is closely associated with golf. Donald Trump, before becoming President of the United States, owned several golf courses and was a vocal supporter of the sport. His sons, Eric and Donald Jr., are also avid golfers and have been involved in the development of several new golf courses.
There are many other wealthy families in the United States who have played golf and been involved in the sport over the years, including the Vanderbilt, Astor, and Hearst families, among others.
The Most Expensive Courses In The World
Golf is often associated with luxury and opulence, and there are several golf courses around the world that are considered to be among the most expensive and exclusive in the world. Here are some of the most expensive golf courses in the world:
- Shadow Creek Golf Course – Las Vegas, Nevada: This golf course is located in the desert outside Las Vegas and is known for its lush landscaping and impressive water features. The course was designed by Tom Fazio and is reportedly one of the most expensive golf courses in the world, with green fees starting at $1,000 per round.
- The Old Course at St. Andrews – Fife, Scotland: The Old Course at St. Andrews is one of the most famous golf courses in the world and is considered to be the birthplace of golf. Green fees for this historic course start at around $300, making it one of the most expensive courses in Scotland.
- Pebble Beach Golf Links – Pebble Beach, California: This iconic golf course is situated on the stunning California coast and has hosted several major championships over the years. Green fees for Pebble Beach start at around $550 per round.
- Yas Links – Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: This links-style course is located on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi and is known for its challenging design and stunning views of the Persian Gulf. Green fees for Yas Links start at around $300.
- Trump National Golf Club – Los Angeles, California: This luxurious golf course is owned by former President Donald Trump and features stunning ocean views and a challenging design. Green fees for this exclusive course reportedly start at around $450 per round.
These are just a few examples of some of the most expensive golf courses in the world. Green fees for many of these courses can vary depending on the time of year and other factors, and some courses require players to stay at nearby hotels or resorts to secure a tee time.
While golf may be considered an everyman sport these days, that’s only true for those not able to afford the extravagancies the game still affords the wealthy.
A game that was started by the royals in Scotland 600 years ago is still played by royal families the world over today.