December 2011

book of hours charles V

Already in the late 15th century and the early 16th century pictures were drawn or painted of colf players. These representations in the form of decorative miniatures in religious books were made by artists and monks, mainly from Flanders, the cradle of the colf game. These religious books, called ‘books of hours’, were written and painted by hand mainly for royals and nobility.

The best known colf miniature dates from around 1500 and was represented in the so-called ‘Golf Book’. It shows colvers swinging, approaching and putting a colf ball. Less known is a similar illumination in the so-called ‘Other Golf Book’ (or ‘Quaritch Book of Hours’ or ‘Book of Hours of Charles V’). This illumination dates also from around 1500 and was discovered and written about some 100 years ago.

We thought it of interest to show you the article about this illumination published in the American magazine ‘Golf Illustrated & Outdoor America’ in August 1915, written by the chief editor Max Behr.

Happy reading!

jacob v maerlant

For colf historians the year 2011 was a special year. Exact 750 years ago colf was mentioned in the medieval poem of the Flemish poet Jacob van Maerlant. He used the words ‘mit ener coluen’ (with a colf club).
Some years ago the meaning of these words were questioned. Not colf (the one target stick and ball game) was meant, but the aggressive precursor of modern hockey.
On the defence of the ‘colf cause’ our publication in the English language appeared in the magazine Golfika and in our book ‘Games for Kings & Commoners’.
On the special anniversary occasion of Netherlandish colf we have added a Netherlandish version to the ‘colf’ part of our website. This version is already included in the web museum of the Royal Netherlandish Kolf Bond at