Few sports have fuzzier histories than early golf. Its history has many missing links, and these spread wider than the widest golf fairway. These unstoried gaps occur in what's known as ?The Divot Age?, which spans from golf's beginnings to the first half of the 18th Century.For centuries, St. Andrews, Scotland, has been called the ?cradle of golf.' Actually, the author's historical research has clearly determined that golf did not begin in Scotland. But, for hundreds of years, most Scots and millions of people all over the world regard the question of golf's Scottish origin as definitely settled - but is it?If there were balls and sticks, then there was some form of a ?game.' Nearly every country has some claim to the creation of golf. Scotland, of course, has its claim. But so do Holland, Belgium, and even, France.Short of twitting Scotsmen about wearing skirts, the surest way to infuriate them is to suggest that golf, originated somewhere other than in Scotland. Yet, that is precisely what some golf historians, including this author, have been doing for some time.There certainly is no shortage of accounts claiming to explain the evolution of the game. Believe it or not, thorough the author's research he has determined for certain where and when golf began. And he knows how it evolved. The author claims the origin of golf was NOT lost in the obscurity of antiquity, because he has solid proof proving his assertion. His research of ball and stick games has uncovered new evidence that France, not Scotland, is the birthplace of the golf. His research has convinced many that the roots of the game of golf lie in the Loire Valley of northwestern France, in the region of Flanders, an area mostly comprising the northern part of Belgium, but also including a southern part of the Netherlands and a small area of northern France.History often weaves strange webs and leaves many details unchallenged. No question that St. Andrews has played a significant role in golf history; its famous mainstream characters? lives are interwoven in the record. However, can't you just imagine that there was a cast of characters who never made the headlines of the day, but impacted the sport as much, if not more? Would you want these unheralded personalities to be utterly lost to history? Or would you rather, like this author, prefer to wonder and explore what color and vitality they added to the game and its legends?Take a journey back almost 300 years to the early 18th Century. Get set to become acquainted with a lively group indeed - the Divot Age Gang, with names close to every true golfer's heart - Stymie, Mulligan, and Bogie. Think of them initially as rogues of the golf fairway if you will, and the rest of the puzzle picture will soon take shape as you read on. Rest assured, to bring you the novel, BOGIE, the author engaged in extensive research, but in the end succumbed to interweave fact and fiction, legend and myth, so that ultimately some mysteries and clues of the past would linger on.So, if you love the game of golf, be you player or mere observer, kick back, and prepare to relive the early days as seen through the eyes of some of the sport's most unlikely characters.Hellman, Charles S. is the author of 'Bogie - Golf... As It Was', published 2003 under ISBN 9780935938012 and ISBN 093593801X.