The settler coloniality of golf: Kalin Bullman, Not the hole story: exclusivity at the Colwood Golf and Country Club, 1913-1934, MA Dissertation, University of Victoria, 2018


Abstract: The purpose of my study is to explore the early history of the Colwood Golf and Country Club as a way of understanding one aspect of settler colonialism – that is to study how certain tracts of Indigenous land were transformed into a rigidly controlled space where the natural environment was manipulated to exclude certain undesirable plants and non-human creatures, just as the social environment restricted access to a self-defined elite with prescribed cultural norms including behaviour, language, and protocols. Established in 1913, the Colwood Club became an important sporting space for upper-class individuals, and through its organisation, rules, by-laws, and entry process, the Colwood Club was fashioned as an exclusive space in Victoria’s sporting culture and remained so into the 1930s. Through formal and informal measures, the Club’s leadership and membership erected and strengthened various barriers that kept various individuals from joining based on their class, character, gender, race, and religion, among other criteria. Because of these measures, the Club’s property, which included a golf course and a clubhouse, became a restricted and controlled space in which a select number of individuals could enjoy the privileges that the Club offered. By doing a microhistory of the early years of the Colwood Golf and Country Club, I explore both the restrictive measures put in place by the Club and certain cultural concepts that influenced the decisions to make the Club an exclusive space, and demonstrate how this reflected larger trends in Victoria’s upper-class society.

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