Colf


As in the other three club and ball games crosse, golf and mail, also the Flemish/Netherlandish game of colf was probably played with bent wooden clubs. However, already in the 15th century, clubs were made of wooden shafts with iron club heads. During the centuries, clubmakers continued to improve the quality of the clubs. Please click here to find out more about the constant development of clubs for colf.

During the last few decades, Netherlandish archaeologists have excavated several colf balls, colf clubs and colf club heads. Most of these findings have never been researched or published.
Click here to get to know more about the wooden colf balls.

Kort geleden werd een zogenaamde ‘Schotse kliek’ opgegraven uit een waterput in Leiden. De kliek kon archeologisch gedateerd worden in de periode 1650-1750.
De gevonden kliek is tot dusver de enige vondst van een Schotse kliek in het Nederlandse colfgebied.
De kliek is gemaakt in Nederland. Lees op de site van het NGA Early Golf Webmuseum. alles over deze vondst. En als u dan toch in het Webmuseum bent, neem dan even de tijd om door de virtuele zalen te dwalen en u te laten verrassen door de rijke collectie waar menig museum jaloers op zal zijn. Bovendien: het is gratis en dat 24 uur per dag!

In our previous post, we have seen what has been written about the Scottish hole in golf.
This time we will show you what has been written, and especially painted about the hole used in Netherlandish colf.

In the previous post from April 30 of this year, we showed our research about the long and short game as played in the game of golf. Today we would like to show you the difference between the long and short game of colf as played in the Low Countries.
Here you find the story of colf.

In the history of European stick and ball games, women and children have hardly ever played a more than marginal role. It took until the end of the 19th century for women in sports to become notable, often under the patronage of men.
During the many centuries of the existence of the games of crosse, colf, mail and golf not much has been written, drawn or painted of women and children playing these games. It was far more the exception than the rule when references were made in words or pictures to women and children hitting balls with a club. Certainly for ages these games were considered (by men) as being unsuitable for women. Playing in the streets, churchyards, fields and in and around the towns was not an acceptable environment. In the Middle Ages, cursing, swearing, drinking and fighting were more common.
If you want to know more about women in colf history click hear.
Happy reading.

It is said that originally the game of colf (like the game of golf) was a winter game. That people played colf in extreme ‘arctic’ conditions is rather exceptional.
Some four hundred years ago a Netherlandish complement played colf within the polar circle. Click here to read more about colf in the freezing cold.

In this second part of ‘Nautical Archaeology’ we would like to discuss the excavation of the ‘Lastdrager’ and the ‘Kennemerland’ which shipwrecked both on the rocks near the Shetland isles in 1653 and 1662.

During the last half century, especially since metal detectors have become popular, hobbyists are combing the fields in the Netherlands to find all kinds of metal artefacts. Regularly pieces of metal are found which turned out to be club heads of the ancient game of colf, the so-called ‘slofs’. Also in the centre of ancient towns such slofs are found during excavations.
To the amazement of the colf connoisseurs and the naval archaeologists such slofs are not only found on land but at sea as well. In the 1970s and 1980s, several wreckages of Netherlandish merchant vessels from the 16th and 17th centuries were discovered on the bottom of the sea, in which slofs and even complete colf clubs were excavated. These finds throw interesting new light on the history of colf and the equipment used in this game.
In this first part of ‘Nautical Archaeology’ we would like to discuss the excavation of the so-called ‘Biddinghuizer colf ship’ which sank in the Zuiderzee, present-day’s IJsselmeer, in 1540.

In almost every publication about the history of golf, the so-called ‘first international golf match’ played on Leith Links in 1682 is mentioned. However in 1668, Scotsmen and Netherlanders were playing a golf/colf match on the frozen Haarlemmer Lake near the city of Haarlem in the United Netherlands.

07 scotsmen

If you want to know the details of these two ‘first international matches’ click here.

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