St Andrews Royal and Ancient Golf, the Old Course and Swilcan Burn bridge, with the clubhouse in the background. Photo by Optograph.
Scotland hosts more courses per person than anywhere else in the world, 550 at the last count, an appropriate top score for the country that invented the sport.
Golf has been played at St Andrews for 600 years, evolving from a track through the heather in 1400 AD to seven public courses now – the largest golfing complex in Europe. All 18 hole courses can be booked in advance if you want a serious golfing vacation.
The accepted history is that golf originated in Scotland in the 12th century, with shepherds banging stones into rabbit holes around St. Andrews.
The first permanent golf course originated there, as did the first written rules, the first 18-hole course, the first golf club memberships and the first golfing tournament – between different Scottish cities. Booking St Andrews Links.
However, the first game of golf recorded was played on the Bruntsfield Links, in the centre of Edinburgh, in 1456. Tourists can play there easily today, it’s a very small and informal course surrounded by Victorian buildings housing flats (apartments) and B &Bs. Just show up at the little green hut, rent your clubs and try not to hit the ball through a window or car windscreen. The main hazard on the course is dogs running off with the ball! Plan a Golf Holiday