Star-Bulletin Features

Friday, March 5, 1999

United States Golf Association
"The Story of Golf" touches on the career of Babe
Zaharias and other landmark players.

Film explores mysterious
appeal of golf


The Story of Golf A two-hour documentary on the history of golf, 7 p.m. Monday, KHET, Hawaii Public Television

Tim Ryan


Golf is played by more than 50 million players in 100 countries and has three main components: a stick, a ball and a hole in the ground. So what's the big deal?

How can such simple tools form the basis of a worldwide golf industry with a gross annual product larger than Belgium's?

"The Story of Golf," a two-hour documentary on the history, debatable origins -- arguments range from Scotland to China -- and current status of golf, will air on Hawaii Public Television on at 7 p.m. Monday.

The documentary was produced with the cooperation of the United States Golf Association and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews. Former ABC Sports commentator Jim McKay narrates the film, which was shot on location on courses around the world.

The program weaves through a framework of milestone events, including heroic performances by top players, important advances in equipment, major changes in course character and landmark revisions in the rules.

The film includes footage from archival libraries, home-movie collections, television and newsreels, paintings, drawings, etchings from various time periods, graphs, charts and animation.

Some little-known details about golf are revealed. For instance, the first written evidence of golf is a decree of the Scottish parliament in 1457 forbidding the game for reasons of war. The Scots were battling the English, and the men of the north were spending too much time on the links and not enough practicing archery for their turns on the battlefield.

Interviews with Arnold Palmer biographer Jim Dodson; ABC and BBC commentator Peter Alliss; Sports Illustrated writer Jamie Diaz; and golf course architect Robert Trent Jones are also included.

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