Ask any random individual in what country the game of golf originated and the answer, in most cases, will be Scotland. With this being said, EGCOA members Bleijenbeek Estate Golf Course in Afferden The Netherlands welcome German scientist Dr. Heiner Gillmeister to unravel the mystery.
Dr. Gillmeister, sports historian and master of English linguistics and medieval literature at the University of Bonn, however, calls The Netherlands the cradle of golf. The following text is from the Encyclopaedia Britannica: ‘The origins of the (golf) game are difficult to ascertain, although evidence now suggests that early forms of golf were played in the Netherlands first and then in Scotland.’ Dr. Heiner Gillmeister, the author, will further substantiate this during a symposium at the Golf course of the Bleijenbeek Estate.
Gillmeister discovered that the Dutch humanist and scholar Pieter van Afferden first described the game of golf in 1545, while there was no publication in the Scottish literature prior to 1636. As the name suggests, he has a connection with Afferden. His parents were from there. By placing a bust of Pieter van Afferden, Golf course Bleijenbeek makes the Dutch history of the origin of the golf game visible to all.
The second speaker is Robin K. Bargmann, golf historian and author of the book Serendipity of Early Golf (2010); as secretary, he is involved in the Stichting Nederlands Golf Archief ‘Early Golf’, the vehicle for the golf historic Estate of the Dutch Golf Federation. Bargmann is an authority on the early ‘game with the clubs in the Low Lands’.