Friday, December 4

Archery Golf, Anyone?


On sale now.
Check out these crazy forms of golf (now obsolete, I think, I hope) that are featured in FOX TOSSING: And Other Forgotten and Dangerous Sports, Pastimes, and Games by Edward Brooke-Hitching (November 2015, Touchstone).

Aerial Golf: In the 1920s biplanes swooped from the sky and bombarded golf courses with balls for players on the ground to hit towards the hole. The "aerial tournaments" took place in America and Britain, the latter also seeing a variation involving aviators dropping sacks of flour onto ground targets, obliterating manicured English greens in explosions of white powder.

Bow-And-Arrow Golf: Also known as "archery golf," golfers and archers competed against each other on the same course. It took place mostly in winter, when the arrow would do less damage to the frozen turf, and the number of players was kept to a limit of four (probably because more players would quickly resemble a scene from Braveheart). Everyone teed off from the same spot, with the second shot being taken from wherever the first arrow hit the ground.

Phosphorescent Golf: In 1871, University of Edinburgh Professor Peter Tait invited his dinner guests to partake in a game of golf at night. Tait coated the balls in a phosphorescent paint of his own creating so that the balls would not be lost in the darkness. The game went well until the ninth hole—when a dinner guest discovered that his golf ball had spontaneously combusted. An alternative form of night golf was played in 1906 by two American professionals who competed on a North Carolina course using only moonlight to guide their game. (No golf balls were harmed.)

1 comment:

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