15th century Rise of the “Hairy” ball

As early as the 15th century, the first balls were developed made of leather. These were filled with cow hair or horsehair, but also with straw. The research couple Geert and Sara Nijs thought the name ‘hairy’ was an appropriate description for these hair-filled leather balls.

At that time, making golf balls was still manual work and the Dutch in particular were very skilled at this.

The ball frutterers from Goirle, who also made balls for ‘bouncing’, became famous with it, although the name ball frutter was not meant to be very flattering at first. Nevertheless, until the beginning of the 17th century, they exported masses of these balls to Scotland.

After these “hairy” balls came the period when the balls were filled with feathers of chickens and geese, the most famous of all golf balls, the “feathery”, but about that another time.