True or False?
Golf is actually an ancient word, one that first appeared in written language in 1425. There are conflicting theories about its origin though. The most popular theory, one that the Oxford English Dictionary seems to endorse, claims that the word ‘golf’ is derived from the Dutch word ‘kolf’, a term used for sticks, clubs, or mallets, like those that are used in many of our modern games, such as tennis, croquet, polo and hockey. But, Oxford’s claim seems to be problematic.
First, there is not a Dutch game that’s ever been linked convincingly with golf. In fact, it’s not certain the word kolf was ever used to denote the name of an actual game, rather than the name of an implement that was used to play a game. Games, similar to golf, have been around since long before Rome, but golf, as we know it today, dates back to the year 1552, when Scotland’s famous St. Andrews golf course was being built.
And second, a theory claims that golf originates from the Scottish word, ‘goulf’ (or gowf), a verb that means “to strike or cuff”. If correct, it would place the origin of the word in the nation credited with inventing the game that we know and play. In older Scottish literature, golf is also spelled as gouff, goiff, goffe, goff, gowff and golph. Even though earlier Scottish games were also referred to as golf, they were very different than the St. Andrews version that is played by people today.
The modern theory that golf is an acronym for “gentlemen only, ladies forbidden”, was only the result of a society once frequently separated by gender. Today, women visit the links as often as their male counterparts, and golf has become an international pastime enjoyed by both sexes.
True Or False? GOLF Is An Acronym For Gentlemen Only – Ladies Forbidden.