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      Since the beginning of time, man has preoccupied himself with a stick and a rock, making his drudgery into a game.
    In the earliest of times he swung the stick at the rock, propelling it towards some predetermined destination. This, it can be said, was the precursor of golf. Unfortunately, it also is the precursor to just about all the sports that require a ball and some object to propel it.  
    Many countries invented the game of golf.  If there were sticks and objects that could be hurtled along, then there was ‘golf.’ Though the name didn’t come into being until some time in the 15th century, there were many games of early man that could be called an ancestor to golf.
    Nearly every area around the world has some claim to the origination of golf. Scotland, of course, has its claim. But so do China, Rome, England, France, Holland, Belgium, even Laos. Every country has a game consisting of sticks and balls, and every country is correct in its assumption that it invented the game. But there is no one country where ‘golf’ actually began.
    The earliest traces of golf being played are said to date back to 1340, in a sketch from a stained glass window – the Great East Window – in the east wing of the Gloucester Cathedral, England.  Scenes of the Battle of Crecy in France showed a man apparently preparing to strike a ball in a golf-like manner. It was probably not actually golf, but the old English game of cambuca or the Flemish game of chole. This was more than 100 years earlier than the first written Scottish golf record.
    In 15th century London, ‘pall mall’ was a game that derived its name from an early playing place of another game. This contest consisted of knocking a ball from one pre-determined place to another, sometimes as far as neighboring villages. Many believe that golf emerged when pall mall was completely ousted from the towns onto the nearest common land, or land that was not owned by any individual.
    Certainly, ‘kolf,’ as it was known in the Netherlands, or ‘goff,’ as it was referred to in England, was a pastime enjoyed by 15th century kings and commoners. All early fore-runners, though, resembled croquet or billiards or cricket more than golf. Unfortunately for those countries who lay claim to originating the sport, they all lacked just one thing. And it was left to the Scots to make the final refinement.

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