Standard Golf Celebrates July 4th with a Look Back at the History of Golf in America


Standard Golf Company is the world’s oldest continually-operating manufacturer and marketer of golf course accessories. From our home base in Cedar Falls, Iowa, we’re proud to serve golf courses throughout the U.S. and across the globe. As we celebrate our nation’s independence on July 4th, we also want to celebrate the history of one of its favorite pastimes: golf!

Although its roots date back to the time of Julius Caesar, the game as we know it today originated in Scotland in 1457. Golf’s recorded history in the U.S., however, had a rather rocky start. In 1657, two inebriated duffers in Albany, New York, were arrested for breaking windows by hitting balls with their clubs. And the famed St. Andrew’s course in New York began its life as three holes laid out in the middle of a cow pasture.

Fortunately, well-manicured, 9-hole courses with intelligent layouts began replacing rougher venues in the late 19th century. The first 18-hole course in the United States was created at the Chicago Golf Club in Wheaton, Illinois in 1893. America’s governing body of golf, the United States Golf Association, or USGA, was founded on December 22, 1894. The current governing body, the Professional Golf Association of America, or PGA, was formed in 1916.

Standard Golf Company was founded in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in 1910, by Walter Voorhees. Originally called Standard Manufacturing Company, it was an agricultural equipment manufacturer that produced gates, cistern covers, street signs, boat docks, wagon tongues, and even automatic hog waterers. It would be over a decade before the city of Cedar Falls built its first 9-hole golf course in 1921. At that time, no other company offered a complete standardized line of golf course accessories. Walter Voorhees saw this as an opportunity, so in 1925, he decided to add golf course equipment to the Standard product line.

By 1926, the company was manufacturing a complete line of golf accessories. From the beginning, the company was an innovator. The automatic hog waterer, for example, was adapted as a crank ball washer. The company’s golf products became so popular over the following years that it divested itself of the agricultural line in 1971, and in 1974 changed its name to Standard Golf. Beginning with our nation’s bicentennial in 1976, Standard Golf has been involved with many major golf tournaments.

The company is currently owned by Walter’s grandson, Peter E. Voorhees. Today, Standard Golf is the world’s leading manufacturer of golf course accessories, with products carried by over 250 distributors on six continents.

The history of golf in America is a great story and one that we at Standard Golf are proud to play a part in. So we ask you: What better way to celebrate the Fourth of July this year than with a fun round of golf?

To learn more, contact Standard Golf or your favorite Standard Golf distributor.