Jamboy golf

Have you seen a Jam Boy photo? Or you’ve heard of Jam Boy slavery? Now, I’m not talking about the Korean Jam Boy on Tumblr or a howling monkey Jam Boy. I’m talking about Jam Boy golf.

Phew! That was a lot of jam boys mentioned just to introduce the main issue.

This expo doesn’t intend to give off a jam boy meme. If you take this content as a jam boy meme, that’s entirely up to you.

Many sources tell us that a Jam Boy is a character introduced in the colonial areas of the 1800s. The term was coined as part and parcel of leisure culture.

From what we’ve heard, when the aristocratic folks went to play golf, local young men slammed themselves in Jam, and would accompany the golfers for a certain distance.

These native young men were called Jam Boys, and the reason they were covered in Jam was to attract mosquitoes and flies to themselves, so the golfers could focus.


Jamboy Golf: Is it a real thing?

Jamboy golf
mary1826 / Pixabay

The Jam Boy was brought to notice for the first time in the 1800s at a time when the British Empire occupied India.

When the British Middle Class set out for a round of golf, they’d usually being two men along – the caddy and a Jam Boy.

The duty of the Jam Boy was to ensure insects didn’t stand in the golfer’s way. And to do this, they covered themselves in Jam to attract the insects. At the end of the game, the Jam Boy could take the Jam on his clothes home to his family.

People guess the call-in phrase golfers used for Jam Boys at that time to be – Take a look at all those mosquitoes; I can barely sight the fairway, fetch the Jam Boys at once!

So, I guess you could say it was a real thing, maybe not now, but it once was. Probably!

Jamboy Golf: Myth Overview

Urban dictionary defines Jamboy as a way of fending off irritating flies while enjoying a game of golf.

So, where does the term Jam Boy come from?

Gentry golfers would daub Jam or another fruit mixture on a few young ethic lads and make them tag along in a row. Flies would then stick to the young chaps like a magnet, allowing the good white folks a stress-free round.

Then they’d get to keep the Jam as a reward, and take it home to relish with some side dish or preferably, plantain chips. This was the fruit of their labor.

Here’s a not-so-relatable phrase to better explain the situation:

Alfred: Again, I say Bob, I hope those plaguey flies don’t mess up our round today.

Bob: Have no fear Alfred, I’ve chartered us a few Jam boys. They should do their magic!

Jamboy Golf: Controversies

We have heard claims that before the Civil Rights movement, on Southern US golf courses, some blacks would coat themselves in Jam to fend off flies from the white high-placed golfers.

The Jamboy Golf Myth is a story Known to live amongst locals of Nashville, Tennessee. Referring to blacks as Jamblers is also a practice related to Jamboy Golf.

Many claim that the term, Jamblers, originated from the practice of – covering blacks in jam to make them fly-baits on golf courses, while the white golfers would be relatively pest free.

Even though there is no proof of whether Jam boys existed, many believe it is something that has long died.


Final Thoughts

Considering Black newspapers we’re pretty apt when it came to reporting Southern violence back in the days, it is unlikely that something as demeaning as Jam-boying would have gone unnoticed by them.

“But I guess a myth remains a myth. We can only attribute our assumptions to unbelief, but it won’t change whether it happened or not.”

I’d only say – choose what works for you.