George F. Grant knew what most of us have come to recognize – the average golfer is a hacker, destroying grass courses and terrorizing other golfers, homeowners and passersby with wild, dangerous drives. Although he loved the game, he grew frustrated trying to keep the ball from rolling away from him as he attempted to tee off and did not want to swing at the ball while it was moving, thus sending off a wild shot.
On December 12, 1899, Grant patented a golf tee which raised the golf ball (made of rubber at that time) slightly off of the ground, enabling the player greater control with his wooden club and therefore of the direction and speed of the drive. The tee was made of a small wooden peg with a concave piece of rubber on top to hold the ball and in addition to helping with control over the direction of the shot, it also aided in promoting longer drives.
George Grant’s small invention has become a standard piece of equipment for all golfers.