While the modern game of golf originated in fifteenth-century Scotland, the game's ancient origins are unclear and much debated. The first written record of golf is King James II's banning of the game in 1457, as an unwelcome distraction from learning archery. The world's oldest golf tournament still in existence, and golf's first major, is the Open Championship, which was first played on 17 October 1860 at Prestwick Golf Club in Ayrshire, Scotland. Horace Gordon Hutchinson won the British Amateur twice, in 1886 and 1887, and he has been described by many as the Father of Golf Instruction, writing several books on the subject. In The Classic Guide to Golf, he shares his insight into the game, and instructs the casual player or beginner in how to become truly great.
Horace G. Hutchinson began his golfing career at an early age playing on Royal North Devon. By the age of sixteen, he won the club medal championship and, by club rules, became its Captain. At the school he made his mark immediately playing number one on the golf team and leading them to victory over arch rival, Cambridge. Hutchinson's finest golf efforts occurred in the British Amateur, which he won in 1886 and 1887. He became the first player to successfully defend the championship when he beat the great John Ball on Ball's home course. He died in 1932.