Allan Stark, in the photo above, went to the same high school I did, in Kansas City. He was way, way older than I was then, but we’re the same age now—how did that happen? Almost a decade ago, he and his golf buddy Chuck Hunter started a small tournament, called the 1502. They also created a website, through which, among a few other things, they sell golf hats like the one in the photo above.
What’s the meaning of the logo on the hat? In 1457, the Scottish parliament, at the request of James II, banned golf (and football), out of fear that Scottish soldiers weren’t spending enough time practicing their archery. This wasn’t the first indication that James was a dangerous demagogue; five years earlier, he had dealt with a rival, the 8th Earl of Douglas, by stabbing him twenty-six times and throwing his body out a window.
The golf ban was affirmed twice during succeeding decades. But in 1502 James’s grandson James IV lifted it. (Later the same year, he spent fourteen shillings on golf equipment for himself.) Allan’s hat therefore celebrates the year in which golf ceased to be illegal in Scotland—a turning point in world history. The hats are nice, too! I’m wearing mine right now.
I have one suggestion for Allan and Chuck: add a line of 1457 hats, for people like my wife.