Coach Hire Scotland can provide transport for your Golf Tour in Scotland. A1 Minibus and Coach Services LTD.
other countries, especially the Netherlands, also
make claims to the obscure origins of golf. The game of golf
though is inextricably linked with Scotland. The word golf,
in Scotland also known as gowf, and in times past as goft, golf,
and gouff etc, almost certainly comes from a medieval Dutch
word, kolf, meaning a stick used in some kind of similar ball
game. How the modern game developed is the subject of international
dispute. Its popularity in Scotland from early times was helped
on the east coast by the links, that is, stretches of undulating
sandy ground which provided ideal terrain for the game, and
many of the best golf courses are to be found there to this
day. Golf Scotland Books.
was played at all levels of society in Scotland. The expenditure
of King James IV on a visit to Falkland
included the purchase of ‘golf clubbes and balles that
he playit with’, and subsequent monarchs, among them Mary,
Queen of Scots, were also keen players. An Act of Parliament
of 1457 tried to prevent ordinary people from playing golf and
football, in favour of archery practice. Later prohibitions
were of Sunday golf, with the stricter observance of the Sabbath
after the Reformation.
the 18th century the golf game in Scotland became more structured.
The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, originally just
the Gentlemen Golfers, tounded in 1744, is widely accepted as
the world’s first golf club; it is now based at Muirfield,
East Lothian. Ten years later, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club
began as the Society of St Andrews Golfers. For the following
century and more, different clubs played by different rules.
Even by 1860, when the Open Championship was first held, golf
had not become the standard 18 hole contest of today, but gradually
the authority of the Royal
and Ancient Golf Club was accepted. The R & A, as it
is better known, is one of the 2 governing bodies of the popular
sport of golf, along with the United
States Golf Association.
1848 the golf
was a leather case stuffed tightly with feathers: it was fragile
and expensive. Then a ball of gutta percha, a kind of rubber
from the East Indies, was introduced, It was much cheaper and
enabled the game to grow rapidly. In 1885 there were 161 clubs
in Britain; 20 years later there were 1,939.
first Open, held at Prestwick,
Scotland, was won by Willie Park, but subsequent playings were
dominated by a father and son. Tom Morris senior, or Old Tom,
won the 2nd, 3rd, 5th and 8th Opens; Young Tom Morris won the
trophy in 1868, 1869 and 1870, thereby winning the Championship
Belt outright. Without a trophy, the Open was not held the following
year, but in 1872 it returned with a new prize, the claret jug,
which is still competed for. Young Tom won it that year too.
The names of those early champions are still revered, and the
Open enjoys a
secure place as the greatest tournament in the golfing world.
Yet, although Scotland continued to produce great players, and
participation in the sport continued among men and women alike,
there was a gradual decline before and during World War I. The
recession of the 1930's and the period of austerity during and
after World War II also had a depressive effect.
the introduction of the rubber-cored ball, invented
in the US in 1902, the game became increasingly popular in America
and after World War I the best Americans were the world’s
leading players, but only a few were able to travel to Britain.
In the 1950's, improved economic conditions, particularly the
boom in transatlantic air travel, led to the transformation
of golf into the global game it is today.
St Andrews Open of 1955 was the first to be televised, and 5
years later at the same venue the American Arnold Palmer attracted
a great following.
The Open Championship is held annually on one of a number of
British courses, of which the Scottish venues are St Andrews,
Muirfield, Carnoustie, Troon and Turnberry. The Old
Course at St Andrews is recognised as golf’s spiritual
home, and the Open departs from its usual rotation to return
there for special anniversaries. It is not the most intriguing
or complex of courses, but its setting and its historic significance
ensure it continues to attract sporting tourists from all over