Golf has a murky history linked to colonial exploitation, academics say

Golf is known as a stylish sport for a civilised player, but according to a new exhibition, it has a murky history linked to colonial exploitation.

Researchers at the University of St Andrews claim the game was ‘imposed’ by the British Empire in colonial countries around the world during the 19th century. 

Golf is connected to imperial exploitation by the British because balls were once made using rubber harvested from these colonial territories, they say. 

Gutta-percha, a natural rubber material found in trees native to southeast Asia, was harvested to make golf balls for the European market. 

St Andrews is known as the ‘home of golf’ for its 600-year playing history, but the university has now examined the sport’s contentious links in the new exhibition.

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