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Clubs and balls.

The clubs of the sixteenth century (the earliest of which we have documentation,) were much longer than the current iteration with flatter, skinnier wooden heads, the shafts were made of wood such as ash. As technology improved and the mechanical revolution allowed for such, some clubs began having metal heads, but these were rare, as they had a tendency to cut the featherie ball (see next paragraph.) With the advent of the gutta percha ball metal heads for shorter shots began to evolve, with the longer clubs still having heads made of persimmon wood. Wooden shafts, made of hickory, began to disappear in the 1920's, and by 1935 were a rarity, steel shafts taking over. In the 1970's alternate shafts made of graphite appeared, and in the 1980's the 'woods' began to have metal heads.

At the beginning of Golf, there were two types of balls: wooden and featherie. The featherie, a ball made by stuffing boiled goose feathers into a leather covering was superior, but it was expensive (a skilled ball maker could only make two or three in a day,) and it split or was ruined by wet conditions easily. In the late 1840's balls made of gutta percha appeared. This rubbery substance was superior in that the balls could be made less expensively and were more durable. The Haskell ball, a thin cover surrounding a mass of rubber (similar to rubber bands,) surrounding a (usually) metal ball, appeared in 1902. Beginning in the 1970's the modern two-piece ball appeared, although it has greatly evolved using different materials for the interior and more resistant materials for the cover.

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Q: What was used in golf before golf balls and clubs?
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