Which is the Oldest Course?

Much of Scotland’s history has been as wild and changeable as its weather…but on a more light-hearted note, the oldest golf course in Scotland; ‘The Home of Golf’, is often fiercely disputed.

Musselburgh (near Edinburgh) can prove existence in 1674 and it is even suggested that Mary, Queen of Scots played there in the late 1500’s.  The Old Course at St. Andrews has records of golf played there in 1574 and is the most widely known ‘Home of Golf’.  Stirling, with it’s much fought over castle, insists that King James IV played a round of golf there in 1506 with the Earl of Bothwell, so it is assumed there was some sort of course there at that time.  Now Perth golfers have come up with some interesting facts to claim the title as theirs.

It is well-known that golf was banned in 15th Century Scotland and all men were encouraged to practice archery in readiness for any invasion by their neighbours in England.  James IV was crowned at Scone Palace, near Perth in 1488, and by 1502 (in a more peaceful period) he had decided that an invasion was unlikely and golf could again be played.  The King was a keen sportsman and took up the game himself.  He commissioned a set of clubs from a local bow-maker and is reputed to have used them on the town’s North Inch course the same year.

By Yvonne Shaw.  Yvonne has been with PerryGolf for over 10 years and is a member of our admin team.