University Of St. Andrews (!): Golf Balls ‘Are The Product Of Colonial Exploitation’
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From The Telegraph:

Golf balls ‘are the product of colonial exploitation’

The game was ‘imposed’ around the world by the British Empire, says University of St Andrews
By Craig Simpson
25 August 2022 • 5:36pm

Golf balls were the product of colonial exploitation, according to the University of St Andrews – with the game “imposed” around the world by the British Empire.

The Fife town of St Andrews is known as the “home of golf” for its 600-year playing history, but the prestigious local university has now examined the sport’s contentious links in a new exhibition.

Golf is connected to imperial “exploitation”, according to display information, because balls were once made using rubber harvested from colonial territories.

The game itself was also “imposed” across the Empire, the St Andrews exhibition claims, as British enthusiasts established clubs from South Africa to Hong Kong.

Cricket – similarly carried across the globe by amateurs from the UK – was also an imposition, according to display information that states: “By recreating and imposing British sports in colonised countries, golf and cricket were spread around the world.

“Natural resources from colonised countries were exploited to make sporting equipment. …

The University of St Andrews holds antique examples of these “gutta” balls in its collection, which is now being redisplayed and re-examined in order to highlight any potential connections to British colonialism.

The exhibition is funded by Museum Galleries Scotland, which has also supported a Scotland-wide review of national ties to the slave trade. Its display highlights the financial connections between St Andrews and figures who profited from the slavery.

The Re-collecting Empire exhibition, running at St Andrews affiliated Wardlaw Museum until October, also includes displays arguing that European textile mills created wares inspired by styles “that originated overseas” in the colonies – and therefore “exploited the originating culture”.

The Re-Collecting Empire exhibition, which runs until Oct 22, is part of St Andrews pledge to continue “examining the legacies of Empire in our collections and exploring how we can build a more equitable future”. It is part of a broader trend of academic “decolonisation” accelerated by Black Lives Matter protests in 2020.

Dr Emma Bond, exhibition consultant and St Andrews academic, said: “The Re-collecting Empire exhibition opens at a time when museums and galleries across the UK and beyond are rethinking how best to care for objects in their collections that were acquired during periods of colonial rule.”

I think you could do an interesting exhibit on the relationship in quite a few countries between British sports like horse racing and golf and local politics. In places like Buenos Aires, the Jockey Club, with its race track and 36 holes of Alister Mackensie golf, was usually the redoubt of Anglophile liberals. But it’s complicated and blacks don’t matter much at all in the story, so nobody cares in 2022.

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