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The history of the golf tee.
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TOPIC: The history of the golf tee.

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Deepsea14
The history of the golf tee.
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Wednesday April 20, 2022 7:56 AM
from the Boston Globe Magazine 1872 -2022 issue Business & Innovation section

A DENTIST AND GOLFER WITH A CREATOR'S MIND

It was 1890, and Franklin Park still required black golfers like Dr. George F. Grant to wait behind white players for their chance at a round. Nonetheless, Grant, a dentist and Arlington resident, loved the game-and advanced it. On December 12, he filed the first patent for the modern golf tee. Grant's invention would bring a new level of exactness to a sport where precision is key. Bags of "little wooden pegs" filled the family home in Arlington Heights, the inventor's daughter Frances recalled in a 1973 article, the first year that Grant's name appeared in the Globe. By that time golf had become rooted firmly in national culture and his tee had become ubiquitous. But Grant never cashed in on his invention, in part because he was busy working at the vanguard of another field. The second known graduate of the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Grant was a renowned expert on cleft palates and the inventor of the artificial palate. He died in 1910, with the explosion of the sport he loved still just beyond the horizon. But a visit to Franklin Park today testifies to his once-over-looked legacy: One of the nation's most diverse groups of golfers teeing it up, round after round. -Dasia Moore

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