The year 2014 was a remarkable year for golf. After more than two hundred and fifty years St Andrews Golf Club allowed women to become members of the Royal & Ancient.
If you want to know more about women in golf history click hear.
Happy reading.

Amateurs of golf history are not only players of the modern or the hickory game or readers of the many books about the history of the game; quite often they substantiate their love for golf by collecting artefacts which have a relation to their beloved game.
Leading, without a doubt, are Claudia & Aaron Wayne from Georgia in the United States of America. In almost 40 years they have brought together an amazing collection of golf history artefacts.
Look here and be absolutely stunned as we were.

Although during the last few decades more information has come available about the continental golf-like games of colf, crosse and mail, still in many books, papers and on the internet, erroneous information is published about these games, often just copied from previous erroneous information.
We have collected some of such inaccurate information from books, museums, auctions, internet and other publications to give you an impression about a range of misapprehension;
There is still a lot to explain about the continental games, where played and what equipment was used as you can read here.

Since the first known golf match in 1503 between King James IV of Scotland and the Earl of Bothwell golfers made use of assistants, henchmen, lackeys or caddies to carry the golf clubs.
What about the mail players, the crosseurs and the colvers; did they employ ‘aides’ to make their round more comfortable? If so, what kind of assistance did they give to the players?
If you want to know more about colvers, crosseurs, golfers and mailers, their caddies and their functions, please click here to read this chapter from our new book.. Happy reading!

The game of golf counts millions of players who are more or less regularly on the fairways to try to hit balls as straight as possible in the direction of the hole. In many countries one need to have some lessons from golf pros before one can be released onto the course.
But going back a few hundred years ago, who could teach a new golfer, colver, crosseur or mailer? Not much is known about such teachers.

© The Trustees of the British Museum

© The Trustees of the British Museum

We have tried to find as much as possible information about the teachers of these games. Have a look under Golf to find out more.
Happy reading.

It took more than 400 years after the start of golf in Scotland that golf integrated into continental society.
Albert Bloemendaal, one of the leading golf historians in the Netherlands, gave the reasons of this delay. Some thoughts.
Happy reading.

When you are more than average interested in the history of golf, of course you want to read or perhaps even to write about its origin, the clubs and balls used in the ‘olden days’, the famous players, the tournaments, etc. Some people even would like to have something tangible of that history for themself. There are golf history lovers who have become addicted to collecting artefacts of that glorious past.
Fortunately, some of these collectors, don’t keep their collection for themselves, but make it accessible to us all.
In many parts of the world these collectors have set up a golf museum. You find them in Tasmania, Japan, China, South Africa, Denmark, Sweden, Canada, USA and in Scotland itself. The ‘Mother of all Golf Museums’ in Saint Andrews is of course ‘hors-concours’. A 21st century museum is of course the virtual ‘KNKB Web Museum Colf Kolf Golf’ on the internet.

The Danish Golf Museum is celebrating this year its 25th anniversary. Why don’t you step into this beautiful museum to read about the origin and development, and look at artefacts presented in a beautiful setting.


Please go on this site to find under the heading golf the history of the festive museum.
Enjoy your visit.

The game of golf and the related continental games all started to develop or evolve in the middle Ages as small local games.
Golf is the only one which eventually spread its wings and became worldwide one of the most popular games.
Why and when did golf become a world sport?
Please have a look at Golf on this website for a survey of the early development of golf worldwide.

Last June we informed you on ‘What’s new’ about the results of the auction of the famous Jaime Ortiz-Patiño golf collection by the auctioneers Christies in London on the 30th of May. The collection of the owner of the famous ‘Valderrama’ golf club in Andalucia in Spain, not only contained golf items but also different clubs, balls and books from the related games colf/kolf, crosse/choule and mail/mall. It is not often that items from these sports are put on for sale on such an important auction. That an auction of such items is indeed exceptional can be concluded in the several inaccuracies in the descriptions of the various clubs and balls of the different sports mentioned in the catalogue issued by Christie’s, the auctioneer. Below you’ll find the results of the sales.

Lot 1
26 Delft blue and white tiles in a walnut panel (34 x 182 cm), c.1700 and later; estimation £ 7,000 – 10,000 (€ 7,900 – 11,000).
Each tile painted with golfing scenes, the corners of each with scrolls, the frame applied with ivorine label inscribed ‘Old Dutch tiles illustrating the game of golf or kolf and as played on ice about the middle of the 17th Century’, and a further tile similarly decorated, unframed (five tiles with restored sections, some in-filling, flaking and glaze crazing).
Originally the panel was part of the Henry B. Wood Collection.
The panel was sold for £ 16,250 (€ 20,000).
N.B. It is very inaccurate to date these tiles ‘from 1700 and later’, while later on the tiles are dated ‘middle of the 17th century’.

christie's lot 1

Lot 2
Dutch Delft blue and white rectangular plaque (22 x 16 cm), c.1810-1830 Utrecht, The Netherlands; estimation £ 3,000 – 5,000 (€ 3,400 – 5,600).
Depicting a winter golfing scene, with figures in conversation donning skates on a frozen lake beside a house on a cliff-top in wooded landscape (slight chipping to rims).
The plaque was sold for £ 3,000 (€ 3,750).

christie's lot 2

Lot 3
A group of 8 various Dutch kolf club heads, 15th – 16th century; estimation £ 1,500 – 2,500 (€ 1,700 – 2,800).
One made in Rotterdam, c.1480; another Dutch pre-1530; another made in Amsterdam, c.1620; another stamped with three crosses for the city of Amsterdam, c.1600-1650; another with remains of original wooden shaft; another similar; another made in Amsterdam, 1650, made in bronze with striped decoration; another bronze, 17th Century, found at Zandvoort.
The lot was sold for £ 3,750 (€ 4,700).

christie's lot 3

Lot 4
A Dutch kolf club, 19th century; estimation £ 500 – 800 (€ 600 – 1,000).
With metal head and flattened shaft.
The club was sold for £ 1,500 (€ 1,860).
N.B. For one reason or the other this lot is announced in the catalogue with ‘4 (Fore!)’, although in indoor kolf this scream was never used or needed.

christie's lot 4

Lot 5
A rare jeu de mail hardwood and iron bound club, mid-18th century; estimation £ 6,000 – 9,000 (€ 6,800 – 10,000).
The cylindrical head with two lofted ends, the central hickory shaft with leather grip, the head stamped ‘Coste’, together with another French mid-18th century club.
N.B. There was no picture of the iron bound club in the catalogue. There were so many questions about the authenticity of the mail club’s shaft and grip, that the lot was withdrawn from the auction.

christie's lot 5

Lot 6
A fine Belgian chole club, 19th century; estimation £ 1,000 – 1,500 (€ 1,200 – 1,750).
Together with a group of seven Belgian painted chole balls, with original net or carrying bag and four other balls.
The lot was sold for £ 875 (€ 1,100).
N.B. There are no proofs that the ‘crosse’ club is from the 19th century. Furthermore, the 7 balls, part of the sale, are not ’choulettes’ but balls used in the game of mail.

christie's lot 6

Some weeks ago we informed you about the forthcoming auction of the Jaime Ortiz-Patiño Collection by the London auctioneers Christie’s.
It is said that the collection from the owner of the Valderrama Golf Club in Andalusia, Spain, is one of the most remarkable golf collections in the world. The auction consisted of 347 lots containing clubs, balls, books, paintings and different memorabilia with an estimated value of € 2.2 million.
Because we do not expect that all of our readers went to London on the 30th of May to bid on one of the offered items, we would like to show you the highlights of the auction.

The most expensive golf club was the so called ‘Royal Perth Putter’, a metal-headed blade putter from the 18th century, made or assembled by the famous club maker Simon Cossar. The bidding for this exceptional putter stopped at £ 67.250 (€ 83.400).

christie's club

The most expensive feather-filled leather golf ball was a rather square ball made by Wil Robertson, the father of Allan Robertson, made in 1790. The buyer paid £ 16.250 (€ 20.000) to call this ball his own.

christie's  w robertson 1849

However, even more money was paid for a hand-hammered gutta percha ball, made by Allan Robertson in 1849. The ball was stamped ‘Allan’, inscribed ‘25’ and ‘a new kind of golf ball made of gutta percha in the year 1849’. The ball was sold for £ 18.750 (€ 23.000).

a robertson 1849

The most expensive object of the auction was the finished sketch for ‘The Golfers’ by Charles Lees RSA (1800-1850). The bidding for this exceptional sketch stopped at £ 337.250 (€ 418.000).

christie's charles lees

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