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Colf

The game of colf was played in the Netherlandish speaking part of the Low Countries, the present Netherlands and Flanders in Belgium. The oldest reference dates from the 13th century when Jacob van Maerlant, a Flemish author, writes 'mit ener coluen' (with a colf) in his transcription of the 'Livre de Merlin'. The players used curved wooden clubs and spherical wooden balls in the streets, churchyards and open fields in or around the towns. In a later period, lead-headed clubs replaced the wooden ones.

colf 

The early rules of the game are unknown. It was probably a one target team game.

The team reaching the target (a tree, a stake or perhaps a hole) in the fewest number of strokes was the winner. When more and more accidents occurred in the towns, such as hitting passers-by and breaking glass windows from churches and houses, the councils banned the game from town into the unprepared open fields. During the Little Ice Age in the 16th and 17th centuries, colvers enjoyed playing on the ice surface of the canals, ponds, lakes and rivers. Playing on the ice required different equipment, like Scottish cleeks and leather balls. The crowded 'ice fields' changed the colf game from a distance-oriented into a target-oriented game.

By the end of the 17th century, the interest in the colf game reduced significantly and finally ceased to exist. For a while, the French 'jeu de mail' took its place, to be replaced once more by the indoor game of 'kolf', a mix of the ancient colf game and the mail game. Today the indoor kolf game is still played in the provinces of North-Holland and Utrecht of the Netherlands.


Publications on colf/kolf


Publication

Author

Published (in)


Playing Colf in the Arctic


Geert & Sara Nijs
2016 March - Through The Green
(magazine of the
British Golf Collectors Society)


Nautical Archaeology - Part Two

Geert & Sara Nijs
2015 September - Through The Green
(magazine of the
British Golf Collectors Society)

Nautical Archaeology Part One



Geert & Sara Nijs
2015 June - Through The Green
(magazine of the
British Golf Collectors Society)

The first international golf/colf match?


Geert & Sara Nijs
2015 April - 'What's new',
category 'Colf' on our site
www.ancientgolf.dse.nl

Early Colf in America



Geert & Sara Nijs
2015 March - The GCS Bulletin
(magazine of the Golf Collectors Society)


Earliest paintings of colf players


Geert & Sara Nijs
2015 February - 'What's new',
category 'Colf' on our site
www.ancientgolf.dse.nl

A present with a long history


Geert & Sara Nijs
2014 March - Golfika no. 13
(magazine of the European Association
of Golf Historians and Collectors)

The Golf Book of Hours
(Golf Illustrated & Outdoot America)
Max Behr,1915

Geert & Sara Nijs
2012 Spring - Golfika no. 9
(magazine of the European Association
of Golf Historians and Collectors)

750 Jaar 'Mit ener coluen'


Geert & Sara Nijs
2011 -  www.colf-kolf.nl
(Web museum van de Koninklijke
Nederlandsche Kolfbond)

750 Years 'Mit ener coluen'


Geert & Sara Nijs         
2011 April - Golfika no. 7
(magazine of the European Association
of Golf Historians and Collectors)

From Colf to Kolf


Geert & Sara Nijs
2010 December - Golfika no. 6
(magazine of the European Association
of Golf Historians and Collectors)
1297, Loenen aan de Vecht:
Fact or fairy tale?
Geert & Sara Nijs2009  September - Golfika no. 4
(magazine of the European Association
of Golf Historians and Collectors)

Steven JH van Hengel


Rick van den Boom
2007 December - Through The Green
(magazine of the
British Golf Collectors Society)
Een Kleine Golfgeschiedenis
Ab Bloemendaal1999 September
Golf & Country Club Hooge Graven,
Ommen




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