Milestones in the Game of Golf
Some milestones that have shaped how golf is played:
1848: First balls made of gutta-percha, a rubberlike gum from trees in Asia, replacing the first ball called a"feathery" -- leather stuffed with bird feathers.
1891: Clubs with steel shafts instead of wood make their appearance. Although advertised and available, they won't be accepted by rule-making bodies until the 1920s.
1891: The first golf shoes, with separate screw in spikes.
1898: The modern, three-piece rubber ball is introduced.
1914-15: Charles Blair Macdonald makes the first use of large-scale earthmoving equipment in course construction at the National Golf Links and Lido courses on New York's Long Island.
1924: The modern wooden, peg-shaped golf tee is patented and immediately mass marketed.
1932: Gene Sarazen popularizes the modern shaped sand wedge.
1953: Sears Roebuck sells the first mass-marketed electric golf carts, made by E-Z Go Corporation.
1968: Introduction of the first two-piece balls with an inner core of crosslinked rubber for resilience and an outer covering of Surlyn, to resist scratches and gouges.
1969: Clubs with graphite composite shafts are developed.
1993: Soft spikes, made of rubber or soft plastic instead of metal, are used on shoes.
1995: Clubs with titanium shafts, from several manufacturers, send average drive distances soaring.
1996: The first multilayer balls (covering, mantle, core) with a soft outer core, or mantle, for good spin and hence control around the green plus a hard outer covering for resilience.
Source: Rand Jerris, director of the U.S. Golf Association's museum and archives