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How golf was invented: a historical perspective

Have you ever wondered how golf was invented?

This question also got me intrigued enough to do some research and find out where golf came from. It came from another game; the game that golf emerged from was one where people had a hill of sand, also known as a sand dune.


The goal was to hit a pebble over the hill of sand or hit a pebble along a path; they would either use a stick or a club, so from today’s way of playing golf, it is a lot different, but that’s not surprising and just shows how much golf has evolved.

Where was golf invented?

Golf originated in Scotland near the coast, towards Edinburgh, during the 15th century. This was the same century as The Trial of Joan of Arc and The War of the Roses. This is when Scotland had to prepare itself against the invasion by the

Auld Enemy (The English): Golf became a very popular activity at this time, which led to people missing their military training. King James the Second (The King of Scots) decided to do something about this; he got parliament to ban the sport in 1457.


Parliament made a written announcement that said, “No part of the country should football, golf, or other such pointless sports be practiced but for the common good and for the defense of the country.” This is the first written mention of the game of golf.


A lot of people did ignore this ban, but it wasn’t until later in 1502 that the game received the approval of King James the Fourth. King James the Fourth became the first ever golfing monarch.

Golf’s popularity spread very quickly throughout the 16th century thanks to the royal endorsement. King Charles brought the game to England, and Mary Queen of Scots brought the game to France. In golf, you may have heard the term caddie.


This came from Mary Queen of Scots; while Queen Mary brought the game over, she was also studying in France. The term caddie comes from her French military aide called the cadets who helped Queen Mary carry the equipment, hence the name caddie.

My conclusion

All in all, golf has come a long way from the 15th century to now. We’ve gone from hitting pebbles to hitting golf balls, which is a lot better for us as we will get more distance, which should mean fewer shots, so this is a big advantage.

Scotland has given us a great sport, the game of golf. It also has some famous golf courses, such as The Old Course in St Andrews and Royal Dornoch. There are loads more. Check out Scotland’s golf courses here.

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