[This is a fast-access FAQ excerpt.]
does not stand for "Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden". It is a
Scots word mentioned in 1457 in reference to the game. Possible
cognates are Scots gowf="to strike", Dutch kolf="club for
striking balls", Swedish kolf="butt-end", and Old Icelandic
kolfr="bolt". The postulated Proto-Germanic root is *kulb-.
The English word "club" comes from the possibly related
Proto-Germanic *klumbon="heavy stick".