Golf in the UK

Why golf is considered the national sport of Scotland? (Part 2)

It is true that Scotland spends all four seasons in one day. To chance optimistic, chaotic Scottish elements make the game more interesting. High prevailing winds (especially on coastal courses) and an ever-present breeze pose a welcome challenge, while likely the rain is destined for the course!

This being said, the moments are nothing but brilliant rays dancing on rolling terrain, enchanting landscapes and impressive sceneries of Scotland (it happens more than you think), making playing golf is less than a sport and many moments of divine intervention.

Plenty of ancient and classic, new and exciting others, Scotland boasts over 550 courses, arguably the best in the world. Draped with prestige and riddled with tradition, perhaps the most famous is the Old Course at St Andrews, with its big green twin; Famous 700-year-old Swilcan Bridge; and of course, The Road Hole (one of the most famous holes in golf history).

The first golf match

Considered internationally as a ‘golf course’ and regarded as a mandatory pilgrimage site, Links at St Andrews organized the first match. It has hosted the Open Championship 29 times and also affects the rules of golf by setting an 18-hole precedent. Scattered across the country, Muirfield, Royal Dornoch, Carnoustie, Kingsbarns and North Berwick are just a few of Scotland’s fascinating courses.

The layout of a course is just as important as the rules and location. Although mostly subjective, a multitude of aspects must be considered when choosing a ‘good course’; such as the direction of the green, the bunker and the slopes, the variety (ie there is a combination of doglegs, straight, long or short holes); and whether the course is mountainous, flat, coastal or inland.

Scotland is blessed with many courses designed by great Scottish golf architects James Braid, Old Tom Morris and Tom Bendelow, whose work today, still reigns supreme. However, another reason why golfers flock to Scotland as there is no tomorrow.

At the end of the day, when it comes to this Scottish national sport, it’s important to note at least one thing – you can take a golfer out of Scotland but you can’t take Scotland off the golf course!


Why golf is considered the national sport of Scotland? (Part 1)

Every year, Scotland welcomes eager golfing enthusiasts from afar, each exploding in anticipation to play some of the most iconic courses in the world. So more than a native sport, golf in Scotland and golf in the world share a sacred and unbreakable bond. After all, this bonnie land is the birthplace of sport.

It’s quite spectacular to think that if you rewind time and see Scotland centuries ago (particularly the 15th century), golf will still be ingrained into Scottish social psychology. Although the sport was banned in 1457 – but it was considered an undesirable distraction – enthusiasts were excited when it was raised to around 1503. That same year, King James IV was arrested when buying the first club: ‘and the ball for the king he played with’.

The history of golf in Scotland

History alone explains why golf is Scotland’s official legal sport. Look at Musselburgh Links, The Old Golf Course. This legendary course, located on the outskirts of Edinburgh, is organized as both the oldest golf course in the world and the oldest golf course to be played continuously.

In 1567, Mary, Queen of Scots is said to have played a round there, while records also show that golfers have been serving since 1672. Not only are these nine 34-hole holes organized six Opens, but it has left an invaluable contribution to the game’s rules.

Musselburgh Links created the 108mm or ‘four and a quarter’ diameter rule for the equipment used to create the width of the hole. R & A followed in 1893 and made it a mandatory measure for all courses.

Speaking of the rules, the oldest golf rules were founded in 1744 for the Honorable Company Of Edinburgh Golfers, the oldest organized golf club that can be verified there, in the first tournament. Their fairies in Leith. The oldest of the four major golf championships, the first open championship was held in Scotland at Prestwick Golf Club in 1860.

However, Scotland’s relationship with golf is not limited to ancient courses, historical plays or regulations. Course architecture, professional players and the weather are also of great significance.