Golf was invented by Scotsman Angus McGavin in 1296 when he realized his kilt business had reached a point where it was self-sustaining. With his new-found free time, he took to wandering the glens and streamsides and kicking around loose stones. A poor peddler came upon him and made him a wager, betting that McGavin could not get a stone to enter a small hole dozens of yards away. The reason for the peddler’s wager remains unclear, but McGavin’s gambling nature is agreed upon by historians. Knowing that he could not kick or even throw the stone far enough, McGavin took a branch from a nearby sapling and balanced the stone on a small stick. He reared back and swung the branch as hard as he could, and struck only grass. The peddler scoffed and took McGavin’s money, shaking his head as he shuffled away.
A disappointed McGavin called out to him with an offer of “double or nothing.” The peddler consented, and again McGavin swung, this time sending the stone glancing off the stick and angling into the forest.
So it continued. Many hours later, a frustrated McGavin had finally satisfied his ego and knocked the pebble into the hole. He died moments later from heat exhaustion, a broken and embarrassed man. The peddler, having taken control of McGavin’s kilt business, and family, through a series of bets that had continued throughout the day, roamed the countryside daring unsuspecting farmers to similar challenges. Few farmers survived, and only the peddler ever made money, but those who did keep their health and sanity learned to use the scheme to trick others into making similarly absurd bets.
“Golf” was then passed from one generation of tricksters to the next, and resulted in much loss of wealth and pride. Over the years, only those who were adept at sleight of hand and cunning deception could ever “win” at the challenge, fooling onlookers into thinking the stones had gone into the holes when science had proven that such feats were impossible. The advent of special effects in the 20th century saw a large increase in the number of “professional golfers,” and a booming industry of con-men arose.