Source: Vermont Golf Magazine | Issue: Summer 2009 | Author: Ross Forbes

Synopsis: This article discusses the history behind golf in our country. It includes a discussion about the origin and how it developed into the sport it is today.

Undoubtedly Scots that migrated to the New World during the 17th and 18th centuries occasionally found their way to vacant meadows to swat a feathery around as they had in their homeland. Unfortunately the only witnesses were probably uncaring farm animals. Therefore, there is little written evidence of golf having been played in colonial America.

    The earliest known mention of a golf-like game in the colonies can be found in the minutes of the Court of Fort Orange and the village of Beverwyck- a Dutch settlement that was later renamed Abany, New York. On March, 20 1657, three gentlemen were questioned for having played kolven on the “day of prayer.” Apparently no action was taken against the defendants for there is no further mention of the case in the court’s records. 

    In 1659, a Dutch ordinance of the magistrates of Fort Orange again mentioned the playing of kolven. Unfortunately, the game resulted in many injuries and broken windows in the village and thus kolven was banished to the colonial countryside.