As long as the game of jeu de mail existed, the game was played with a wooden ball. Unlike colfers and golfers, mail players were never tempted to switch to ‘hairy’, feathery’ of synthetic balls.
Click here to get to know more about the long lasting use of wooden mail 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!

2017 copie

We wish you a Happy New Year

Geert & Sara Nijs, authors of the trilogy “Games for Kings & Commoners”,
now researching Jeu de mail

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.

Scotland is attacked mainly by English speaking historians on the origin of the Scottish game of golf. Some Scottish historians react to these allegations by stating that the game of golf as it is played today, has its origin in Scotland. Other historians however deny any ‘foreign’ claim on the origin of golf.
These Scottish Cause historians have chosen the hole as the main line of defence against the so-called allegations from ‘the Continent’. The hole, the target in golf, is put forward as the indisputable feature of golf, unique and invented in Scotland, the major difference between golf and all other stick and ball games.

01 bening détail
Sketch after an illumination in a Flemish Book of Hours from c.1530, attributed to the Fleming Simon Bening (1483-1561). It is one of the oldest depictions of a target used in an ancient colf game. One of the players is sitting on his knees, putting towards a hole. – By courtesy of David Stirk

Click here to find out more.

Al meer dan 100 jaar worden er – voornamelijk door de Schotten – discussies gevoerd over het begin van het golfspel. Volgens vele Schotse schrijvers is er geen twijfel mogelijk: golf is ontstaan in Schotland.
De laatste decennia claimen meer en meer Nederlandse schrijvers dat het golfspel van Nederlandse oorsprong is. Deze gedachtegang is onder meer gebaseerd op documenten die aan zouden geven dat in 1297 in Loenen a/d Vecht golf werd gespeeld en dat de eerste informatie over het Nederlandse golf in 1545 werd geschreven door Pieter van Afferden.
Klik hier om te lezen op welke informatie het ‘Nederlanderschap’ van golf is gebaseerd.

This is the fourth part of our research about the long and short games of the four European one target stick and ball games.
The French/Belgian game of crosse (crossage) shows that the game was played over long distances as well as over short distances, just as the games of colf, golf and mail.
Click here to find out more about the long and short game of crosse/crossage.

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

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 Scottish golf history circles, it is considered that in the early days of golf, there were two golf games: a short game played in the streets of the towns by the commoners and a long game played mainly on the links of Scotland by the bourgeois and the aristocracy.
According to the above historians, the short game was also played in the European games of colf, crosse and mail. The Scottish long golf was the one and only real golf game.
We thought it of interest to research and analyse, based on written, drawn or painted evidence, how the continental games were played in ancient times.
Were the golf-like games on the continent divided into short and long games played by different kinds of people?
Was the short golf game the same as colf, crosse and mail in Europe?
Was the long golf game as played in the open fields of Scotland a unique game that never existed on the continent?
The following four blog posts will be devoted to the outcome of this research about games played short and/or long.
Click here for the story of golf.

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