Golf History Scotland

Ye Old Golf Tavern

Established (1456) Edinburgh

The first known Golf Club House in the world was at Wright’s Houses built circa 1376 next to Bruntsfield Links.

  In 1717 Golfhall was built where golfers met before and after golf on the Links.

It moved 2 doors down and change name to Ye Old Golf Tavern where it stands today.  

Bruntsfield Links adds 30 holes to the original 6 holes in 1890.

There was mention of golf being played in Bruntsfield as early as 1380's. 

The Burghers (Royal Burgess) Wall Tablet shows golfers at Bruntsfield Links with Edinburgh Castle in the background. 

Golf History Scotland

Trivia

Banning Of Golf

King James II of Scotland banned the game in the Scottish Act of Parliament of 1457

The first documented reference to today's game. Golf was also banned by James III in 1471. James IV in 1491.

 

The Golf Hole

The size of a golf hole has remained the same size since 1893. Robert Gay made the first hole in 1829. 

 

Lofted Clubs

The niblicks (wedge) and Mashie (7 iron) were the first iron headed golf clubs circa 1750.

Traditional sets of irons were invented by Archibald Barrie and were in use circa 1900.

 

Golf Bag

Golf bags were thought of by Tom Morris Jnr when playing a round of golf against an archer.

He thought the quill that carried the arrows could be adapted to carry golf clubs. However, when telling his father

Tom Morris Snr the idea he said "it never catch on". 

 

Caddie

The first named caddie was Andrew Dickson in 1681 when in a competition with the then Duke of York later (James VII)

 

Golf Ball

During the reign of James VI (1566 – 1625) the business of club making had become one of some importance.

On 4 April 1603 William Mayne, Burgess of Edinburgh is appointed maker of bows, arrows, spears and clubs to the King. Golf balls were originally stuffed with feathers and golf clubs were made from wood with a brass head which was perfectly smooth.

 

Bunkers.

Definition of Bunker in Golf  "small, deep sand pit in links land" First mentioned in 1812, but thought to have been on courses when quarrying at Bruntsfield links was a plight of the golfers. 

 

First Putter

The Putting Cleek was made circa 1785 by Simon Cossar a golf club maker in Leith. The putter was made with an iron head attached to a wooden shaft.

 

The Claret Jug

First played for at St Andrews Old Course in 1872. The winner was Tom Kidd a Caddie from  St Andrews Old Course.

 
Ye Old Golf Tavern. Bruntsfield Links Edinbrgh

Golf Travel & Transfers

Transfers from the Airport,

Rail Station or Hotel

Luggage Delivery

Luxury vehicles

Tours

Advance

Enquiry & Bookings

First Instituted

Golf Clubs

The Golf Clubs of note are;

Burghers (Royal Burgess Golf Society)

The Burghers were instituted in 1735 now known as Royal Burgess the Oldest Golf Society in the world.

The Rhind Stone pictured below is of two Burghers golfers with their caddies on the Bruntsfield Links. 

When overcrowding of the golf course became a problem the Burghers (Burgess) moved to Musselburgh in 1874 and then made a final move to their present home in Barnton where they had a new golf course designed by Tom Morris

which opened in May of 1895.

It was 1929 when King George V by royal proclamation allowing the Burgess to change name to

The Royal Burgess Golfing Society as it is today.

 

The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers

The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers instituted prior 1744. The writers’ of the rules of golf. (2nd oldest club) Moved to its present location in 1891. Their first move was to Leith in 1744 where they wrote the rules of golf.

 

Bruntsfield Links Golf Club

Bruntsfield Links Institute 1761. Moved to its present location in 1898. (4th oldest).

 

Other clubs that played and used the clubhouse were, Edinburgh Thistle Golf Club instituted 1870.

Moved to Braid Hills 1890 and still play there. The Allied Golfing club instituted 1856. 

The St Leonards Instituted 1857, The Warrender Instituted 1858

Royal Burgess Golf Club House
Bruntsfield Links Golf Starter's Box Edinburgh

Silver Golf Club 

In 1744 the city gave a silver club to be played for on 1 April annually by the Edinburgh Company of golfers.

The winner to be club Captain for a year and a gold or silver medal to be attached to the silver club

bearing the winners name and date of winning.

The Royal Burgess Golfing Society still play for a silver putter to this day.

Home of Golf

St Andrews is the 3rd oldest instituted golf club, which started in 1754 and has become the home of Golf.

St Andrews is also home to the oldest club makers where the art of ball and club making can still be seen today at the

St Andrews Golf Company which was established in 1881.

No Bags in these days. Golf bags were thought of by Tom Morris Jnr when playing a round of golf against an archer.

He thought the quill that carried the arrows could be adapted to carry golf clubs. However,

when telling his father Tom Morris Snr the idea he said " it never catch on".  

Golf in the Beginning

It is not known when golf was actually introduced into Scotland. However, in historic documents golf was mentioned in 1457 and 1471 under James III.  In the accounts of the Lord high Treasurer under James IV the following entries are found one of which is 1503 “to play at the golf with the Errol of Bothwell”..

 

Golf Clubs and Balls

During the reign of James VI (1566 – 1625) the business of club making had become one of some importance.

On 4 April 1603 William Mayne, Burgess of Edinburgh is appointed maker of bows, arrows, spears and clubs to the King. Golf balls were originally stuffed with feathers and golf clubs were made from wood with a smooth brass head.

When playing the game of golf, before every strike of the ball a shout of ‘Fore’ was shouted out as a warning

to anyone that may be out walking. Clubs and Balls were most certainly made prior to  Feb 4th 1503 as Clubbes and Ballis were in the accounts of the Lord High Treasurer of James IV. 

Golfer's Land Edinburgh Plaque

Golfer's Land

Canongate Royal Mile

Edinburgh

Brown’s Close previously Golfer’s Land is a tenement building purchased with winnings from a 4 ball golf match between Baillie John Paterson and The Duke of York (King James VII) and two English noblemen. Will James was in residence at Holyrood in 1680, two English noblemen attached to the court of the Duke of York (to be King James VII) were challenged by the Duke to a golf match on Leith Links. The Duke’s partner was shoemaker John Paterson a descendent from a long line of golfers. The English noblemen were beaten and the Duke rewarded Paterson with the stakes that had been played for, which enabled Paterson to build a tenement building which he called Golfer’s Land. The building is no longer on the site as it was demolished in 1960. In 1664 Charles I (The Duke’s father) bestowed on the Duke of York the American provinces previously controlled by the Dutch now renamed in his honour, New York. The Duke succeeded to the crown in 1685, and died in 1701. In 1688, his wife Queen Mary gave birth to a son who was later to be father to Bonnie Prince Charlie.

Musselburgh's Golf Champions

5 famous golfers from Musselburgh all champions. 

Willie Park Snr- Mungo Park - Willie Park Jnr - Bob Ferguson - David Brown.

on the other plaque

Willie Dunn Jnr First unofficial U.S Open Champion and Willie Campbell was runner-up He became the first Golf professional at Brookline County Club in Massachusetts USA

Open Golf Champions Musselburgh
First U.S. Open Golf Champion