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GOFF, or GOLF.
This favourite summer amusement in Scotland is played with clubs and balls. The club is taper, terminating in the part that strikes the ball, which part is faced with horn, and loaded with lead. There are six sorts of clubs used by good players; namely, the common club, used when the ball lies on the ground ; the scraper, and half-scraper, when in long grass ; the spoon, when in a hollow ; the heavy iron club, when it lies deep among stones or mud; and the light iron ditto, when on the surface of chingle or sandy ground. The balls are considerably smaller than those used at cricket, but much harder; being made of horse leather, stuffed with feathers in a peculiar manner, and boiled.
The ground may be circular, triangular, or a semi-circle. The number of holes are not limited : always depending on what the length of the ground will admit. The general distance between one hole and another is about a quarter of a mile, which commences and terminates every game; and the party who gets the ball in by the fewest number of strokes is the victor.
Two, or as many more as choose, may play together, but what is called the good game never exceeds four ; that number being allowed to afford the best diversion, and is not so liable to confusion as a greater number. The more rising or uneven the ground, the greater nicety or skill is required in the players : on which account the preference is always given to such ground by proficients.
Light balls are used when playing with the wind, and heavy ones against it.' At the begin-