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Playing at the Goff, Written Recollections From 1868

Golf has been played in some form for hundreds of years. But records tell us little if anything of what golf was like in its infancy. Historians know that it was hotly contested on St. Andrews Links through the 1800’s. And information about the game was filtering down toward England where the game was being popularized. Joseph Strutt was a publisher who help-ed spread the word about golf and other athletic activities. The following is excerpted from his Sports and Pastimes of the People of England, published in London in.1868.It answers to a rustic pastime of the Romans which they played with a ball stuffed with feathers, called paganica, because it was used by the common people; the goff-ball is composed of the same materials to this day: I have been told it is sometimes, though rarely, stuffed with cotton.


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