hist-games: Golf

SEDWilkins at aol.com SEDWilkins at aol.com
Wed Jan 9 04:29:53 PST 2002


There's a fair amount about colf/camboc/bittle-battle (all early forms of 
golf) in my book, but it won't be out until March!

Assuming you're interested in European colf (the medieval Chinese nobility 
played a game which was essentially miniature golf), the clubs would be 
wooden with either a crooked end or an attached head: shepherd's staffs and 
students' canes were the original clubs. A bittle was a light wooden staff 
with a tin head attached like a large shallow spoon.

Early colf balls were wooden, though by the sixteenth century leather balls 
stuffed with cow hair were a significant import item in Scotland.

You can read the 1457 Act of Parliament on the St. Andrew's website:

<A HREF="http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~scotparl/Golf.htm">fut ball ande the golf 
be vtterly cryt doune</A>

Both St. Andrews and the Scottish tourism folks have some "history of golf" 
material up, including paintings showing various pieces of equipment.

Have fun!

Sally Wilkins
Sports and Games of Medieval Cultures
Greenwood Press, 2002

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