National Golf Day
National Golf Day is set aside to mark the “official” start of the more golfer friendly season. This day is significant and honoured especially in Scotland, the Home of Golf.
National Golf Day
You can find golf courses all over Scotland even in the most obscure places. Maybe you have already walked across a golf course "by accident"? This short article tells you why golf has become so popular in Scotland.
If you haven’t had the time or motivation yet this year, then it’s high time to get those clubs out of the shed and dust them off, because today is National Golf day. National Golf Day is set aside to mark the “official” start of the more golfer friendly season. This day is significant and honoured especially in Scotland, the Home of Golf.
The game in its origins goes back to the 15th century. In 1457 James II is said to have forbidden the game to be played in Scotland, because his majesty felt it distracted his men from practicing their important archery skills. This is the first account of the sport being called “golf”. There are various other games, which could also lend to being the origin of golf. These were played by the Romans, Chinese and possibly even the Persians.
You can find golf courses all over Scotland even in the most obscure places. On a golf course there is a set number of targets you have to reach, the so called “green”. Each green has one hole with a diameter of 4.25 inches. This goes back to when golf was a young sport and holes were of a random size. There are a couple of myths surrounding this , but 4.25 inches was the diameter of a standard drainpipe in Musselburgh at that time, where the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers was situated, who together with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews were responsible for setting down the first 13 rules of golf. Today the rules and decisions for international golf are set by the R&A in St. Andrews.
Off Scotland’s east coast is the town of St Andrews, world-famous for its golf. The “Old Course” dating back to 1574, is a place of pilgrimage for many golfers. In 1764 the course was reduced from its original 22 holes to today’s standard of 18 holes. When you visit Scotland and come to St. Andrews, make sure to stop by at the Old Course, even if you’re not a golfer. It’s quite impressive to see, and who knows, you might even be tempted to take a swing or two.
Being a good golfer requires a diverse set of skills: a good sense of distance, depth visibility, understanding of wind direction and velocity, and technique. Not to mention knowing your own ability and years of practice. But even these are not always enough. Golf is very psychological and challenges even the coolest minds. One bad hole can be enough to totally put you off your game. Although golf in Scotland is known as a grass roots sport, it isn’t accessible to everyone. The cost for lessons, clubs, bags, balls, shoes and green-fees can add up. Many of the local golf clubs sponsor special junior leagues to help popularise golf and encourage youngsters to take it up.
If golf is so expensive and nerve-wracking, then what makes it so popular? Golfers claim it’s the only game that makes you feel completely alive. When you have a bad day, you keep going back, because you believe you can do it better and when your game is good, the feeling of achievement is like a high. You keep coming back for more.