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The Teeing Ground
|Clubs and Balls||The teeing ground was defined in Rule 1 of the first written Rules of Golf, 1744, as being within one club length of the [previous] hole.
Successive Rules codes have been in general agreement on the dimensions over the years; the teeing ground moving further away from the hole, and getting bigger:
Bruntsfield 1773 extended the area to between two and four club lengths, followed by The Company of Golfers 1775. This proved a very popular distance and was used by almost all the codes of the 19th century until the introduction of a specific teeing ground. (St Andrews 1777 dimensions were between one and four club lengths until they conformed in 1812)
Crail 1786 allowed teeing within three club lengths.
Thistle Golf Club 1824: between two and six club lengths.
Perth 1825: between six and ten club lengths.
R&A 1851 between four and six club lengths
R&A 1875 between eight and twelve, and, additionally, "except where special ground has been marked by the Conservator of the Links, which shall be considered the ‘teeing ground,’ and the balls shall be teed within, and not in advance of, such marks". This is the first mention of a teeing ground, and markers.
R &A 1882 the teeing ground was denoted by markers alone, and the maximum depth of two club lengths was introduced.
R &A 1891 The rectangular shape of the teeing ground is stipulated for the first time: a ball must not be teed in front of, nor on either side of, nor more than two club lengths behind the teeing markers.
Starting from outside the teeing ground
The disqualification in strokeplay was reduced to one stroke in 1908 and the player was obliged to replay from the correct place.
Failure to correct the error has always carried a penalty of disqualification.
In 1933 the rules stated that a player may stand outside teeing area to play (but it was not specifically barred previously).
Order of play
1933 Rules added that the stroke counts (it always did, this was presumably for clarification).
No penalty for hitting ball while moving also introduced in 1902, reworded and moved in 1952.The Tee
The 1908 rules stated that the ball may be placed on the ground or
The tee itself had never been defined until 2004. Now, it is a device designed to raise the ball off the ground and may not be longer than 4 inches (101.6mm).
The wooden tee peg was patented in 1899 by George F. Grant, whose life sounds like an interesting story in itself: a son of former slaves, Harvard graduate, dentist, inventor.