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Golf in the UK

Four of The Best Golf Courses in England

When mentioning the best golfing destinations in the world, besides the US, people usually jump straight to Scotland or Ireland, despite the fact that their neighbour also offers some of the most topographically diverse golf around. With a variety of world-class golf layouts, including plenty of parkland and heathland offerings, England has a lot of golf course well worth the visit. Here is the list of England’s best golf courses with a few notable omissions.

Hotchkin Course, Woodhall Spa

The Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa is frequently considered as the best inland golf course in the UK. Located amongst glorious pine, this heathland layout is the finest of Lincolnshire and has been the headquarters to the English Golf Union since 1995.

Old Course, Walton Heath

It is hard to believe that the Old Course in Walton Heath is only a few miles from the M25. Once out there, you will soon be in golfing paradise amongst the beautiful heathland. Although the first 9 can play tough into a stiff, links-like wind, there are more chances to get a couple back coming home. The par-5 16th is argued to be the signature hole. The approach requires pinpoint accuracy with heather on the left and a huge bunker sucking up anything slightly right or short at the edge of the green.

Royal Lytham & St Anne’s

Situated only 10 miles from Royal Birkdale, the richness of world class links golf does not relent at Lytham & St Annes. Bordered on the west by a picturesque railway line, Blackpool Tower looms in the background. The Guardian Victorian clubhouse peers over the 11-time Open Championship layout.

Royal Birkdale

Another course on the Open rota, Birkdale held the championship for the 10th time in 2017. The famous Southport venue has also hosted the Ryder Cup twice and can be a torrid experience if the wind is blowing. Whatever the weather is like (and it really does vary here), Royal Birkdale is a challenging spot to play golf. Expect stunning views from the towering dunes that line the fairways as you plot your way round this true test of links golf.

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General

The history of golf in the UK

The beginning of golf is filled with mystery. However, we have to make it clear that Scotland is the most responsible for setting the ground on which golf is based. It can’t be negated that golf is an ancient game. Although it didn’t happen suddenly, it was the result of similar activities evolving over a long period of years. Early English version was called “Cambuca”, which was using a wooden ball. There are many evidence of the existence of golf that is linked to Scotland.

King James II

Golf gained popularity in Scotland quickly but King James II banned the game in the 15th century. When Scotland was in the war with England, and the military spent more time playing golf than practicing archery, which was a vital in defending the country. Surely, golf enthusiasts often ignored the ban, so the king had to make similar declarations two more times in the next few years. 40 years later, the ban was withdrawn as the nobleman started playing golf. In 1502, Scottish King James IV received a set of golf clubs from one the man who was producing bows and strings at that time.

Queen of Scotland

The next King James V of Scotland also played golf and was a frequent guest of Gosford in East Lothian, where he had his own private Links golf field. People assume that his daughter Mary, the Queen of Scotland, started playing golf when she was a little girl. Later, she continued to play golf at school in France. In 1567, she was criticized for playing golf right after the death of her husband, Lord Darnley.

Golf clubs

In 1735, The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh – the first official golf club – was founded. Then, The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers was created in 1744, and ten years later, the most famous golf club in the world, The Society of St. Andrews Golfers in 1754. Historians believed that Scottish masonry lodges were financially supporting the first golf clubs. The first golf club outside of Scotland, Royal Blackheath, was formed in England in 1766. At the end of the 18th century, there were ten golf clubs in England and Scotland.

Rules Committee Meeting

We had to wait about 200 years for any standardization of the sport, in the form as we know today. It took a lot of time to make any written rules. On May 14, 1754, the first session of the Rules Committee in Golf was held by The Society of St. Andrews Golfers. There were 21 representatives of gentlemen, all for the purpose of adopting Specific Rules and Laws related to Healthy Golfing. Those people could not even dream of what they actually started, but it was enough that they were all passionate about golf.