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Dutch farmer develops Boerengolf alternative to elite sport
Cows part of the new sport scenery
Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill
LIEVELDE, the Netherlands - Using an ‘iron’ with a wooden shoe as a head, and a leather ball the size of a small soccer ball, people now can enjoy a rural variety of golf. ‘Boerengolf’ is the invention of local cheese maker Peter Weenink as an alternative to the elite sport. Boerengolf is played on farmland, sometimes amid the cows and their inevitable patties.
Besides the difference in equipment - the hole is a sunken bucket - boerengolf can be described as a fun, simplified and shorter version of the more elitist sport. Rules are simple and, for example allow for repositioning the ball when necessary. A typical Boerengolf course has eight to ten holes. Obstacles include the ever-present cows and other farm animals, ditches and barbed-wire fences.
To keep with the rural theme, the wooden clubs have a 15-centimetres long solid wooden shoe as a head, all made by an area klompenmaker. Weenink, who this fall will organize a first Dutch Open on his fields, wants operators of other boerengolf courses to adhere to common rules, including equipment. His organization has ten farmer-operators, from Wester-geest (Friesland) to Kessel (Limburg) and from War-mond (near Leiden) to Radewijk (near Hardenberg) at the German border, with others considering to join as well. The new sport allows farmers and camping owners to develop other sources of income.
More information (in Dutch) about boerengolf, its rules and the location of the courses, can be found at www.boerengolf.nl.
The Dutch who already played a form of golf (they called it kolf) in the 17th century, can enjoy the sport at about twenty golf courses.