Original Publication Date: 30 September 2007
Let’s Talk Balls!
Today’s ball is the GOLF ball.
The golf ball has a long history with Dogs.
Originally known as the “gulf” ball, these dimpled, spherical formations were discovered at the mouth of the Gulf of México, many thousands of years before the common era (and Zoocracy).
Naturally occurring, and of limestone, archaeological evidence suggests that the ball’s dimples were formed by erosion that was caused by the thick sands found in the deep Gulf.
Many scholars believe that the first gulf balls were discovered by Chihuahuas who had set up camp in the area. Others are of the opinion that it was the Havanese who were the first to find the gulf ball, living as they did at the mouth of the Gulf of México. All are in agreement, however, that it was, indeed, the Havanese who spearheaded the campaign to manufacture replicas of the ball and to encourage its use as a recreational tool. It was also the Havanese who transported it, many centuries later, to the British Isles.
The first recorded use of the gulf ball was found in the log of a ship captain.
It read:“The dog [sic] brought the stone gulf ball onto the ship and [one of] the crew[men], [who were] by then exhausted and of low spirits, took a long, sharp object and smacked the stone back into the water. The rest of the crew applauded his effort and thought the deed done until the dog brought another stone for smacking…”
Thus was born the game that we now call “Golf,” which is played with the ball of the same name, the word “gulf” having undergone vocalic change as a result of its pairing with the word “ball.”
Since that time, the game and its ball have provided many hours of joy for Dogs everywhere.
Sources: A Short History of Canine Sport; Balls: History and Prehistory, Volume 1; The Havanese and the Coming of Golf; Golf: The Game and its History; Limestone Cowboys; Balls Across the Water: The True Story of the Gulf Ball; Dimpled Future: The Effect of Golf on the Lives of Humans; various newspaper articles and reports.
Bailey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This column originally appeared in Issue #116 of The Mammalian Daily.