Backspin

The History Of The Golf Tee

The history of the golf tee dates back to the 1500’s.  The practice of getting sand wet with a towel and mounding up earth to get the ball off the ground a little went on for some 300 years.  The late 1800’s changed all that.  This is the history of the golf tee.

The original rules of golf from 1744 state that your ball must be “teed” from the ground.  Golfers where allowed to go within one club length of the original hole and use elements from the ground to tee it up.  As time went on the game grew and there was a need to separate putting areas from teeing grounds.  The first course to do this was St. Andrews when Old Tom Morris redesigned the course.  

You could imagine the mess you had with just creating one tee.  The wet towel and dirty hands gave way to the first golf tees.  Golfers where in search of reuseable tees.  Starting with paper then cork and rubber.  The world’s first patented golf tee was invented by two Scots:  William Bloxsom and Arthur Douglas.  Their patent document is dated 1889 and describes a small rubber plate with a raised ball support in the form of upright prongs or a hollow cylinder.  This tee sat up on top of the ground and became cumbersome in windy conditions.  There had to be a way to fix it to the ground.

The first invention to stop your ball from rolling away was the “Perfectum”  The Perfectum was patented in 1892 by Percy Ellis of Surrey, England.  It was made of an iron spike base and round rubber pegs to hold the ball in place.  The Perfectum was the first tee to be placed in the ground.  In 1897, Scottish inventor PM Matthews patented a tee called the “Vector” with a metal spike and rubber cup to hold the ball which further held the ball in place. 

 

The first really famous patent for a golf tee came from inventor Dr. George Grant.  A dentist from the Boston area and one of the first black graduates from Harvard Dental School, Grant invented the first American wooden golf tee.  The tee consisted of a wooden peg attached to a rubber tube with a cup on the top to hold the ball.  Grant designed the tee to be less rigid at the top and more stable at the bottom.   Grant didn’t announce , promote, or sell his work and was unnoticed for a long time.  Although not the world’s first golf tee Grant was credited by the USGA in 1991 as the original inventor of the wooden golf tee.

The first patented and marketed tee was invented by another dentist named Dr. William Lowell.  Dr. Lowell’s patented “Reddy Tee” is the first modern golf tee.  The familliar one piece wooden peg with hollowed out top became the standard even today.  Dr. Lowell even had golf great Walter Hagen advertising his invention.

Although there where many other golf tee inventions, these are the main ones.  Technology has brought golf a long way and the golf tee is no exception.  What’s next for the golf tee?  It’s all up to the Rules of Golf.

Sources: 

http://www33.brinkster.com/iiiii/inventions/tee.asp
Golf Digest – Oct. 2000 “Birth of a Tee” by Peter McDaniel

 

 

Mike Fay

Mike Fay

PGA Director of Instruction

With over 25 years of teaching experience, it's easy to see why Mike has become a leader in the world of golf instruction. Everything from cutting edge social networking techniques to having his own podcast, Mike has helped to change the face of teaching golf.  He currently is the Director of Player Performance at the Boyne Golf Academy in Harbor Springs, Michigan.

Email:  mike@mikefaygolf.com

Backspin Archives

The Origins of The Masters Theme Song

The Origins of The Masters Theme Song

The Origins of the Masters Theme Song So where did the Masters theme song come from?  That iconic music you hear every year around Masters time.  So soothing and peaceful. Makes you think of azaleas, beautiful green grass, perfectly manicured fairways and especially...

read more
Where Does The Term Birdie Come From?

Where Does The Term Birdie Come From?

Where Does The Term Birdie Come From? We all love making birdies.  Who doesn't right?  But did you know the origin of the term?  Well, in golf history standards the term birdie isn't that old at all. Atlantic City Country Club in 1903 and the story goes something like...

read more
The Masters Green Jacket

The Masters Green Jacket

The Origins of the Masters Theme Song The Masters Green Jacket has been worn by members of Augusta National since 1937.  That year the members used the jackets to identify themselves from the crowd to assist patrons of the event.  The first Masters Jacket was awarded...

read more

TEAM MFG BLOG

Build A Better Golf Set Up With HackMotion

Build A Better Set Up With HackMotion   In this video for HackMotion, Mike shows you how HackMotion can help your golf set up.  Specifically, your arm structure and wrist angles.  Wrist angles at set up and at impact are two different things.  Enjoy and please...

The Center Of Your Pelvis And Short Game

The Center Of Your Pelvis And Short Game  The center of the pelvis plays a big role in your short game shots.  In this video, Mike shows how the pelvis and ball position interact with each other.   Please comment below!  Thanks for watching!With over 25 years of...

Mike Fay Appears On Talking Golf With Virgil Herring

Mike Fay Appears On Talking Golf With Virgil HerringHere’s a link to Mike’s appearance on Talking Golf with Virgil Herring on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville, TN.  They talk short game, winter training, and MFG University. Talking Golf with Virgil Herring 

Squaring The Club Face

Squaring The Club Face  In this video Mike discusses the importance of understanding wrist flexion and extension and the relationship it builds to squaring the club face.   Mike is a brand ambassador for HackMotion.  To save on the shipping enter coupon code...

Mike Fay Named 2019 Michigan PGA Player Development Award Recipient

Mike Fay Named 2019 Michigan PGA Player Development Award Recipient  

Mike Fay Appears On Junior Golf Blueprint Podcast

Mike Fay Appears On Junior Golf Blueprint PodcastOn October 18th, 2019 Mike appeared on the Junior Golf Blueprint podcast hosted by Matt Walters.  They chat junior golf.  Enjoy!

Subscribe

Never miss a new post, article, or video!
Subscribe to our newsletter Chip Shots!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

TAKE 50% OFF YEARLY ENROLLMENT USE COUPON CODE MFG2019

Providing golf instruction, lessons and coaching to Mackinaw City, Pellston, Cheboygan, Indian River, Alanson, Harbor Springs, Petoskey, Charlevoix, Boyne City, Boyne Falls, East Jordan, Traverse City, Gaylord and the surrounding areas.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This