by Colm Gill
For hundreds of years, players have taken a pinch of sand and a cup of water from just off the teeing ground, and using their fingers, formed a tiny mound on which to set the ball. One of the early responsibilities of the caddy, aside from carrying clubs, was deftly shaping the little knob...
The wooden tee was patented in 1899 by George F. Grant, who was not only one of the first African-American golfers in post-civil war America, he was also one of the first African-American dentists. His dental background may have been significant in the invention as, some sources say, he disliked dirtying his hands as he began every hole and the wooden tee was a way of avoiding this.