Part of the American History & Genealogy Project

An Early Mention Of Golf In America


 

Perhaps the earliest mention of this sport in America is to be found in the inventory of the effects of Governor William Burnet October 13, 1729. Among the many items noted in the list we find the following:

"Nine Gouff Clubs and 1 Iron Driver @ 4/$ 2.- (errors in costs)
Seven Dozen Balls @ 1/$ ps 4 4:4--

Showing the appraised value of Golf Clubs at that period was four shillings each, while the Balls were one shilling each. Apparently the governor lost many of the latter since he had a supply of seven dozen on hand, or it may be that he was a pioneer in this sport, bringing it from Scotland, and carried a sufficient quantity for those whom he might interest.

Fore!

In our last we published an early mention of Golf in America as noted in the inventory of the estate of Governor William Burnet dated 1729. This item attracted the keen attention of our fellow member the Honorable Russell Benedict. His Honor quotes the following extract of an Ordinance of New Netherland passed December 10, 1659.

"The Worships Commissary and Commissaries of Fort Orange and Village of Beverwyck, having heard divers complaints from the Burghers of this place, against playing at Golf along the streets, which causes great damage to the Windows of the Houses, and exposes people to the danger of being wounded, and is contrary to the freedom of the Public Streets; Therefore their Worships, wishing to prevent the same, forbid all persons playing Golf in the Streets, on pain of forfeiting fl. 25 for each person who shall be found doing so."

Justice Benedict contends that the game is of Dutch origin and not Scotch as is generally believed.

 AHGP New York

Source: Stories from Early New York History, by Sherman Williams, New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1906

 

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