The origin of the game of golf has more than 600 years of history. Books and pictures show the Dutch, the French and the Belgians played a game which appears to be similar to golf by striking a feather-stuffed ball with wooden sticks.
It has been established that the game of golf was invented and organized by the Scots at the start of the 15th century.
At that time, the game became so popular in Scotland that soldiers were spending too much of their time playing instead of practicing archery. The Scottish parliament in 1457 passed a law prohibiting the game. Scottish people ignored this by playing the game on seaside courses called links, and then in the 16th century James IV of Scotland reinstated this fascinating sport.
Golf became established in Great Britain around the 17th century when James VI of Scotland (later James I of England) was attracted to golf.
The most famous golf course in the world, “The Old Course”, located in St Andrews was used from the 16th century and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club at St Andrews (the governing body) was founded in 1754.
During the 19th century, the gutta-percha ball was a revolution for the game, which replaced the feather-filled ball which was used for centuries.
Mass of people came to St Andrews with the railway and its first line going to St Andrews in 1852.
Tom Morris and his son Young Tom Morris help the game to develop, who between them won many open championships. Old Tom won the Open in 1861, 1862, 1864 and 1867, while Young Tom Morris won in 1868, 1869, 1870 and 1872. Nowadays, Old Tom Morris is still the oldest winner and Young Tom Morris is still the youngest winner of the Bristish Open.
In 1860 the first British Open was played at Prestwick in Scotland. It was opened to both professionals and amateurs.
Golf had to wait the 19th century where it started to spread all around the world with first golf clubs being built in India, Ireland, France, Australia, South of Africa and in America with the famous Scottish architect Donald Ross.
Nowadays, we can find in Scotland almost 600 golf courses and the highest number of links courses in the world.