The History Of Golf And The Golf Course
In 1502 the game made a major advancement when King James IV took up the sport. When this occurred, its status and popularity quickly spread throughout England and her possessions. King Charles 1st, who was born in Scotland, later gave the game additional prominence during his reign in the 1600s. This royal endorsement carried over to other monarchs such as Charles the 1st and Mary Queen of Scots who introduced the game to her French countrymen when she returned to France to study there. It is even said that the term caddies is derived from the name given to Mary's French soldiers who were known as cadets.
The premier golf course at the time was located in Leith near Edinburgh England. Even Charles the 1st played this famous course and it is said he was on the course when he was told of the 1641 Irish rebellion. The Leith course was the site of the first international match when George Patterson and the Duke of York played against two English noblemen. By the year 1744 the first official club was formed there and named The Gentlemen Golfers of Leith. It hosted a yearly competition with the prize of a silver club being presented to the winner. Duncan Forbes a Scottish politician and judge created the first ever rules for the game there. He was also President of The Court Of Session and an avid member of the Gentleman Golfers of Leith. The rules stated that the ball had to be teed off within a single clubs length of the hole on the course. The rules also demanded that the tee be placed on the ground and that, once struck, the ball could not be changed. They went on to assert that stones or other obstacles could not be removed for the purpose of play. In 1759 stroke play was introduced and in 1764 the fist 18-hole course was constructed and is the standard that survives to this day.
In 1888 the St. Andrews Club came into being. It has become the premier club in the world not only because of the fine grounds and immaculate course but also because of its publication of official rules that are the standard used today, its royal patronage and its promotion of the game worldwide as a proper sport.