January 5, 2012

The Origin of Golf in Middle Earth

At this point in time, the only formal hobby available to us in LOTRO is fishing.  Yet Turbine still manages to give a nod to a lesser-known Hobbit hobby - golf.

According to The Hobbit as well as the timeline from Appendix B of The Lord of the Rings, goblins from Mount Gram invaded The Shire in year 2747 of the Third Age.  The Hobbit defense in the Battle of the Green Fields was led by Bandobras "Bullroarer" Took, the great-grand-uncle of the Old Took, whose name is also found in the place Bullroarer's Sward.

An uncommonly large and brave Hobbit (he was a Took, after all), he charged into the midst of the goblins and, swinging his wooden club, knocked the head off their leader, Golfimbul.  The head went flying and landed in a rabbit hole, and so was born the game of golf.  Oh yes, and the battle was won, as well!  No bogey on the bogey.

If you visit the town of Brockenborings in the northern part of The Shire, you'll see a large statue commemorating the Bullroarer's mighty backswing.

In a series of quests that begin in nearby Scary, you can end up finding what appears to be a goblin tooth in one of the many rabbit holes dotting the Green Fields north of town.  You may even go deep into the Quarry cave, braving the many spiders, and find the remains of Golfimbul's skull.  And in a later quest, your assistance is required to help get back the stolen club that the Bullroarer used.

Those players who are able to go on to Enedwaith will also find a chance to experience a little golf yourselves as emotes that can be obtained from the Grey Company - drive, putt, and chipp.  So next time you take a swing, remember Golfimbul's head flying and go for the hole in one!

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