CHAPTER 8

Amsterdam 1605

While waiting for an audience with Maurice of Nassau, who was away on the frontier leading the fight for independence from Spain, Kintaro was free to explore Amsterdam.

His first mission was to seek out Harold Smith, the legendary golf club maker.

Deep in Amsterdam’s industrial quarter, Dougal and Kintaro met Harold in his factory. Kintaro showed Harold the clubs he brought from Japan who admired the forged steel precision. Day after day they huddled in Harold’s workshop refining the perfect clubs, combining Japanese and Dutch craftsmanship.

They also experimented on various golf balls made of hemp and leather. Kintaro had brought some hemp seeds from Japan and started a crop on the ship.

Harold, also a keen golfer, was left-handed and designed his own special clubs. Together with Dougal they ventured out to the city’s frozen mudflats where weekend golfers had carved out a rough golf course.

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There they met a young lady named Charlotte who said she could get them a game on the renown Royal Course. She seemed particularly attracted to Kintaro who invited her to a party on the ship unaware that she was a spy for Maurice of Nassau.

–> Chapter 9