Scotland the home of Golf
As we the know all the golf world's attention is on the return of Tiger Woods this week after a few months of sabbatical. Woods will be playing in his first event the US Masters one of the if not the best golf tournament in the World. Whilst all the attention will be on Augusta Georgia please spare a thought for the home of Golf : Scotland.
As well, Woods will be coming back from months of inactivity following his admission of infidelity in his marriage. Woods announced on March 16 that he would return at The Masters, his first event since winning the Australian Masters in November.
Like many thousands of people around I just once would like the opportunity to visit and place on the Old Coarse at St Andrews. One of the most well known courses in the world is The St Andrews Golf Club in Scotland. The game of Golf has been nurtured here for over 600 years. Golfers inlcuding myself from around the world aspire to play at this famous course at least just once.
Golf began to be popular during the middle ages, as the game was banned in 1457 by King James II of Scotland who felt it was distracting young men from archery practice. This ban was repeated by succeeding monarchs until James IV threw in the towel and in 1502 became a golfer himself. In 1552, however, Archbishop John Hamilton's charter recognised the right of the townspeople of St Andrews to play golf on the Links.
For several centuries golf has been played on the isthmus of land in the Eden Estuary known as St Andrews Links. The original track cut through the gorse bushes has now become a golfing mecca attracting pilgrims from around the world who want to follow in the footsteps of their heroes.
Until the 19th Century, St Andrews Links was one golf course. As St Andrews’ popularity as a golfing and visitor destination grew demand for tee times became such that the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews decided to build a second course in 1895. With typical Victorian austerity, the first course became known as the Old and the second as the New. Two years later the Jubilee was built and the face of the Links changed forever.
In 1754, the Royal & Ancient Golf Club was founded under its original name of the Society of St Andrews Golfers. This club, originally composed of 22 noblemen, professors and landowners, now governs the rules of golf everywhere except the USA. The club also runs the Open Championship and important amateur championships. The New Course was built by the R&A in 1895
In 1764 the Old Course consisted of 22 holes, 11 out and 11 back, with golfers playing to the same hole going out and in, except for the 11th and 22nd holes. The golfers decided that the first four holes, and therefore also the last four holes, were too short and that they should be made into two holes instead of four. This reduced the number of holes in the round from 22 to 18, and that is how today's standard round of golf was created.