Description of golf from 'Vocabula'

Part of page of printed book in Latin and English

A section from the 1713 edition of David Wedderburn's text book 'Vocabula'.
[National Library of Scotland reference: L.C.445[2]]

This phrase-by-phrase translation of everyday words from Latin to 17th-century Scots provides the first detail description of how golf is played. 'Baculus' means 'club'.

The passage appears in a Latin text book first produced in 1636 by Aberdeen schoolmaster David Wedderburn.



'Baculus, pila clavaria, a Golf Ball; Fovea, a Goat [bunker]; Percute pilam baculo: Nimis curtasti hunc missum, This is too short a stroak; Pila tua devia est: Procul
excussisti pilam, This is a good stroak. Statumina pilam arena, Teaze [tee up] your Ball on the sand; Statumen, The Teaze; Frustra es, That is a miss, vel irritus hic conatus est. Percute pilam, sensim, Give the Ball but a little chap. Apposite, That is very well. Immissa est pila in Foveam, The Ball is goated. Quomodo eum hinc elidam. Cedo baculum ferreum. Let see the Buncard Club. Iam iterum frustra es, That is the second miss. Tertio, quarto, etc. Bene tibi cessit hic ictus, That is well sticken. Male tibi cessit hic ictus. Huc recta pilam dirige: Dirige recta versus foramen, Strike directly upon the hole. Percute pilam sursam versus, Strike up the hill: Percute deorsum versus, Strike down the hill: Ah praeterlapsa est foramen: Factum quod volui, I would not wish a better stroak; Immissa est in paludem, It is in the Myre: Recta evolavit, It hath flown directly on. Baculi caput, The head of the Club. Baculi caulis, The Club shaft. Baculi manubrium, the handle where the wippen [grip] is, Baculi filum, The wippen.'

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