Known around the world as the ‘Home of Golf’, Scotland has long been a dream destination for anybody who has ever picked up a club.
Dating back to the late Middle Ages, the game was first established and developed in Scotland, although there is some discussion about where it was actually invented.
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 the best known of over 550 public and private courses in Scotland and participation in golf remains high, with little of the elitist that exists elsewhere in the world.
Many of the courses on offer date back to the very foundations of the game, with holes that have remained relatively unchanged for lifetimes.
Here are the 10 oldest courses in Scotland, which track the history of the game, according to Scottish Golf History.
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1. St Andrews - 1552
There is evidence of golf being played on the site of the St Andrews Old Course as far back at 1552, making it the oldest in the world. By 1754 the course consisted of 12 holes, ten of which were played twice, making a round of 22 holes. Today the Old Course - along with the other five links courses around the town - remains a public course which anybody can play.
Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. Musselburgh Old Course - 1672
There is documentary evidence of golf being played on Musselburgh Oold Course as early as 2 March 1672, making it the second oldest course in Scotland. It was an original Open Championship venue, hosting the event on six occasions between 1874 and 1889.
Photo: Google Maps
3. Elie and Earlsferry - 1787
Golf was first played in Elie and Earsferry, in the East Neuk of Fife in 1787, although the current club was formed in 1858, making it the third oldest in Scotland. Today, the starter on the first hole uses a periscope salvaged from the HMS Excalibur to make sure the coast is clear for golfers to 'play away'.
Photo: JPI Media
4. Fortrose - 1793
The first documentary evidence of golf being played over Fortrose Golf Course, formerly called Chanonry after the promontory near Inverness on which it sits, dates back to 1702. By 1793 the Fortrose Golf Society had been formed. The course was expanded to its current 18 holes in 1924.
Photo: Google Maps