- golf (n.)
- mid-15c., Scottish gouf, usually taken as an alteration of Middle Dutch colf, colve "stick, club, bat," from Proto-Germanic *kulth- (cognates: Old Norse kolfr "clapper of a bell," German Kolben "mace, club"). The game is from 14c., the word is first mentioned (along with fut-bol) in a 1457 Scottish statute on forbidden games. Golf ball attested from 1540s. Despite what you read on the Internet, "golf" is not an acronym. Golf widow is from 1890.
Oh! who a golfer's bride would be,
Fast mated with a laddie
Who every day goes out to tee
And with him takes the caddie.
["The Golf Widow's Lament," in "Golf," Oct. 31, 1890]
- golf (v.)
- c.1800, golf (n.). Related: Golfed; golfing.