History

Urs Jaermann is the first to admit that he is not an expert golfer. If he was, he might never have developed the Jaermann & Stübi golf watch. As an average player, counting strokes tends to interfere with concentration on the game. This inspired an innovation. With Urs’ dislike of keeping score, combined with his love for watches, the idea of Jaermann & Stübi was born. And ten years later it became a reality. Pascal Stübi and Jaermann met at a communication strategies lecture. With Stübi’s experience creating watches and Jaermann’s dream, they found that they had a similar vision of creating a golf watch made in Switzerland. Jaermann & Stübi do not engage in mass production-everything is hand crafted on a small series and numbered individually, making these watches some of the most sought after and exclusive in Switzerland. After all, luxury and exclusivity shouldn’t be found on every wrist. Otherwise, what’s the point?

The Beginning

It seems that every civilization in history has enjoyed a game with a club and a ball. When golf was born is difficult to pinpoint. The word “golf” may have originated from the old Scottish words “gowl,” “golve,” or “gouf” but the then the Dutch also like to claim ownership. Wherever it came from, one thing remains certain: every culture likes to think they came up with it.Around the 1740s, golf began to take the shape of the modern game with the founding of many golf clubs. Club-makers and ball-makers came into being, and certain brands were so coveted that they were forged. Apparently imitation was the sincerest form of flattery even back then.The first golf club was created in 1744 in Leith in close proximity to Glasgow. The members of the club called themselves “The Gentleman Golfers of Leith” and were the first to write the rules down. How gentlemanly they acted is questionable. But one thing is certain. People liked their rules. They are valid still today. Ten years later, the “St. Andrew Society of Golfers” was formed, which, in 1834, took on its current name, the “Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrew”. This club accepted the rules of their gentlemanly golf friends from Leith. Or maybe they were just too lazy to write their own.

Golf spreads

By the 19th century, there were over 40 golf clubs in Great Britain alone. Then by the 1900s, golfers began to hop across the pond to play golf in America, referred to as “golf’s promised land.” Or maybe they were just searching for better food. Golf was becoming fashionable worldwide on the coasts. Capetown got a golf course. Holland and Sweden developed beautiful courses. And not to be outdone, France built courses along the sea. Later, the first inland golf courses were built. These courses got artificial obstacles such as sand traps, extra large ponds and even lakes. Thus, the occupation of the golf course architect was born. In the meantime, different balls were being experimented with. Some were leather and filled with feathers. These old balls were never really round, but rather oval, which impaired flight. New rubber balls were the solution. These artificially produced balls were round and had small hollows so that they flew better.

Bogey

Colonel Bogey was a mythical golfer. As an amateur with lofty goals, he held himself to play every hole of a given course within par. This is where golfers got the term “bogey.” Today, the definition of “bogey” has changed from meaning par, to one stroke over par. It is still the score that a good amateur should achieve on any given course, with par being the score a professional should achieve.

Pro Golf

The first golf pros weren’t really pros in the modern sense. They had to give golf lessons or sell equipment in order to be able to survive financially. The British Open, one of the largest golf tournaments in the world today, was founded in 1860. Not to be outdone, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrew's drew thousands of golf fans from all over the world to Scotland. Approximately 60 years later the Walker Cup and the Ryder Cup were added. Meanwhile, many tournaments became international affairs. The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) was established in the early 20th century. The British star trio James Braid, J.H. Taylor and Harry Vardon were members. In 1901 the first PGA tournament took place. One of the first professional golfers that could live exclusively on his golf earnings was the American Walter Hagen. “Sir Walter” won five PGA tournaments, four British Opens and two US-Opens and lived the dream and life-style of a millionaire. Today, many golf pros continue to live the good life.

St. Andrews Links

The inventor of golf is always up to speculation, but one thing is certain – no history of golf is complete without St Andrews Links in Scotland. It is the cradle of the game where golf has evolved to the 18-hole format we know today. It is where the rules of golf were proclaimed. And it is where the history of golf is still being written. History still happens during tournaments like The Open. History still happens during the creation of new courses like The Castle Course. And history also still happens every time a golfer stops to pose for posterity on the Swilcan Bridge. It’s a ritual, after all. And after 600 years of tradition, there’s another one to celebrate – the St Andrews Links collection from Jaermann & Stübi. ©2008 ST ANDREWS LINKS LIMITED

Stroke play

The world's first golf tournament with stroke play was held in 1759 at St Andrews, the Home of Golf. Previously, golf was a match play game, which continued to be the dominant form in the 18th and 19th centuries. In match play, the hole is played regardless of the number of strokes a player requires. Stroke play, the usual form of today's game, is decided by the total number of strokes after 18 holes. The ideal score is 72 strokes or less.

Revolution

Cuba’s very first golf course was the brainchild of the industrial heir Irenee Dupont de Nemours, who established what is now known as the Varadero Golf Course on his private estate in 1933. The former four-storey, 11-room Xanadú Mansion was converted into the current club house. Two years after the revolution, Fidel Castro and Ernesto “Che” Guevara battled out a legendary game on the Villareal Golf Course. “Che”, who had played golf in his youth, achieved a clear victory over the baseball aficionado Fidel Castro. Golf subsequently fell out of favour for decades and is only now starting to develop a new following.