Video: Why St Andrews is recognised as the home of golf

18th hole at The Old Course, St Andrews
18th hole at The Old Course, St Andrews
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St Andrews was the first club to reduce a round from 22 to 18 holes and introduced the rules of the modern game.

Golf has been in the blood of the people of St Andrews for more than 500 years.

The home of the modern game, golfers around the world see it as a point of pilgrimage to visit the blustery links on the east coast.

As the game gained popularity in the East of Scotland during the 15th Century, King James II outright banned it so men could sharpen up on their archery skills.

King James’ successors upheld the ban for 45 years until James IV, a fan of the sport himself, overturned the ban.

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The old course at St Andrews dates as far back as 1552, when Archbishop John Hamilton decreed that golf was a game all of St Andrews should be free to enjoy.

A precursor to the Royal and Ancient, the Society of St Andrews Golders was formed in 1754 and King William IV was to become their patron 60 years later.

The Society recorded the rules of the modern game and were gradually invited to oversee the sport as it gained global popularity.

The Old Course at St Andrews has hosted more Open Championship tournaments than any other course. The 2021 tournament will soon bring the tally to 30, with the world’s top players descending on the home of golf every five years for the prestigious competition.