The game of golf is woven into the fabric of Scottish history, with certain specific events directly resulting in the modern sport that is now played by millions around the world
Known around the world as the ‘Home of Golf’, Scotland’s part in developing the game dates back to the late Middle Ages – even if there is some debate about where it was actually invented.
There’s certainly no arguing that Scotland is where the sport was developed and today the R&A, based in St Andrews, governs the sport worldwide alongside their sister operation in the USA.
The St Andrews Old Course is one of the most famous courses in the world, and is just one of over 550 public and private courses the country boasts.
Meanwhile participation in golf remains high, with little of the elitism that exists elsewhere in the world.
So, how did Scotland play such an important part in the game that is today enjoyed by an estimated 24 million people.
Here are 10 of the most important dates.
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1. 1457: The first mention of golf
The word golf first appeared in an Act of the Scots Parliament on March 6, 1457, during the reign of James II. Along with football, the pastime was banned, with those partaking liable to be arrested by the king's officers. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. 1502: A royal foundation
The earliest reference to a legal game of golf in Scotland is a document from 1502 recording the purchase of a set of golf clubs by King James IV from a bowmaker of St Johnston (now Perth). It's thought he played on a piece of ground nearby called North Inch. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. 1592: Religion stops play
The Edinburgh burgh records for 19 April, 1592, includes golf in a list of activities that should not be indulged in on a Sunday. Later church records show parishioners confessing to playing golf on the Sabbath. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. 1606: Exporting the game to England
Scoatland didn't keep the game to itself for long. When James VI succeeded to the English throne in 1603, several of his courtiers joined him in his new home at Greenwich Palace. They started playing golf on Blackheath Hill, behind the palace, and were soon joined in 1606 by the king's oldest son, the Prince of Wales. Photo: Canva/Getty Images