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In both countries, the game continued as a sport not of one class, but of all classes still of course, those classes did not mingle on the courses.
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The courses back then were not always as seen in today’s sport; golf in the 17th century was not as formally arranged, with little organization regarding the number of holes or even official rules. Formal golf courses did exist, however: clubs at Gosford, Blackheath (a seven-hole course near London) and St.
Andrew’s were regularly attended by the upper classes and nobility. Blackheath was founded as early as 1608, while St. Andrews Royal and Ancient Club was founded in 1754; yet St. Andrew’s lays claim as the cradle of golf. Lower classes played on open land; early illustrations of the sport show men playing among herds of sheep.
The biggest obstacle to golf being played by lower classes was the price of the golf ball. The early balls were made of feather and leather.
In their earliest form, they were extremely difficult to make, and the makers could only produce about four or five per day per man. In the mid 1600s, they could cost as much as 2s 6d per ball (worth £9.45 today, or about $14).
Balls became slightly cheaper to make by the mid-18th century, but would still cost too much to make golf balls accessible to the lower classes.
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