Charles I popularised the game in England and Mary Queen of
Scots, who was French, introduced the game to France while
she studied there. Indeed the term 'caddie stems from the
name given to her helpers who were the French Military, known
in french as cadets.
premier golf course of the time was Leith near Edinburgh.
Indeed King Charles I was on the course when given the news
of the Irish rebellion of 1641. Leith was also the scene of
the first international golf match in 1682 when the Duke of
York and George Patterson playing for Scotland beat two English
Gentlemen Golfers of Leith (1744) was the first club and was
formed to promote an annual competition with a silver golf
club as the prize. Duncan Forbes drafted the club's rules,
must tee your ball within one club's length of the hole.
tee must be on the ground.
are not to change the ball which you strike off the tee
are not to remove stones, bones or any break club for
the sake of playing your ball, except on the fair green,
and that only within a club's length of your ball.
your ball comes among water, or any watery filth, you
are at liberty to take out your ball and bringing it behind
the hazard and teeing it, you may play it with any club
and allow your adversary a stroke for so getting out your
your balls be found anywhere touching one another you
are to lift the first ball till you play the last.
holeing you are to play your ball honestly for the hole,
and not to play upon your adversary's ball, not lying
in your way to the hole.
you should lose your ball, by its being taken up, or any
other way, you are to go back to the spot where you struck
last and drop another ball and allow your adversary a
stroke for the misfortune.
man at holeing his ball is to be allowed to mark his way
to the hold with his club or anything else.
a ball be stopp'd by any person, horse or dog, or anything
else, the ball so stopp'd must be played where it lyes.
you draw your club in order to strike and proceed so far
in the stroke as to be bringing down your club; if then
your club shall break in any way, it is to be accounted
who whose ball lyes farthest from the hole is obliged
to play first.
trench, ditch or dyke made for the preservation of the
links, nor the Scholar's Holes or the soldier's lines
shall be accounted a hazard but the ball is to be taken
out, teed and play'd with any iron club.
The club was later renamed the Honourable Company of Edinburgh
Golfers with a clubhouse erected in 1768 (moved to Musselburgh,
Lothian in 1836).
first reference to golf at the historic town of St Andrews
was in 1552. The clergy allowed public access to the links
a year later. In 1754 the St Andrews Society of Golfers was
formed to compete in it's own annual competition using Leith's
rules. Stroke play was introduced in 1759 and in 1764, the
18-hole course was constructed which has of course become
a de-facto standard. The first women's golf club in the world
was formed there in 1895. King William honoured the club with
the title 'Royal & Ancient' in 1834 and the new famous
clubhouse was erected in 1854. The Royal and Ancient Golf
Club of St Andrews (R&A) became the premier golf club
because of it's fine course, the publication of rules, it's
royal patronage and it's promotion of the game as a proper
Of course, by this time golfers were using proper clubs and
balls. Club heads were made from beech or the wood of fruit
trees such as apple. Some club heads for were made from hand-forged
iron. Shafts were usually ash or hazel. Balls were made from
tightly compressed feathers wrapped in a stitched horse hide
sphere. The sport was somewhat exclusive due to the expense
of the handcrafted equipment. After 1826, perimmon and hickory
were imported from the USA to make club heads and shafts respectively.
Today these antiques are highly prized by collectors