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2-fore!-1 Golf in Scotland: East

32 Courses in Prestonpans, Lothian, Fife, East Lothian , East Lothian, Aberdeen, Scotland, Selkirk, Jedburgh, Scotland, Selkirkshire, Scottish Borders , Aberdeenshire, Roxburghshire, Kincardineshire, St Andrews, Edinburgh, Scotland, Portlethen, Angus, West Lothian, Hawick, Dumfries & Galloway, Leslie, Dumfriesshire, Perth, Scotland, Borders, Roxburghshire, Forfar, Falkland, Berwickshire, Dunning, Cupar , near Edinburgh

Golf in the East of Scotland - The Historic Heart of Golf

Scotland is widely accepted as being the 'Home of Golf'. And, here is the East of Scotland is where it all began.

Records of golf in Scotland date back to the 15th Century, appearing twice in an Act of the Scottish Parliament in 1457. The Act supported, or ordered the support of archery practice, while condemning or forbidding football and golf. Offenders were to be arrested. Then in 1502 King James IV bought a set of clubs from a bowmaker. By the mid 1500s official permission was given for golf to be played at St Andrews, and records show people playing golf at Carnoustie. Many golf links courses that grew along the Eastern coastline during that era continue to challenge golfers today!

The modern game of golf was developed here in Scotland. The first golf courses and golf clubs were established here, the first written rules and the 18 hole golf course originated here. Tournaments and competitions were held between different regions and today Scotland has more courses per person than any other country in the world. There are more than 570 golf courses in use across Scotland.

Four of the best golf courses in East Scotland

St Andrews (Old)

In 1553 the Archbishop of St Andrews confirmed the right of the people of St Andrews to play golf on the links. In 1754 the Society of St Andrews Golfers was founded, and a decade later the course was extended to 18 holes. In 1834 William IV gave royal endorsement to the club, which then became the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. The world's first ladies golf club was also founded here, in 1867.

The Old Course itself is legendary, a place where the past, even the ancient past (the Swilcan Burn - bridge over the burn is thought to have been built by the Romans) impacts on you now, in the present, every step of the way. And for the record, no other course has hosted more Opens than the Old Course at St Andrews. Its 29th Open and the 144th Open Championship returned "to the Home of Golf" in 2015.

Carnoustie (Championship)

Records show that golf was being played at Canoustie in 1527. The first course, built in 1842, was expanded to 18 holes in 1857 and then extended further in the 1920s. Today, this seven times Open Championship course is considered to be one of the most challenging in the British Isles. Carnoustie is not the "nicest" golf course, not the prettiest nor the most scenic by any means, but certainly one of the toughest, most demanding golf courses around, and the epitome of a true test for any golfer.


Muirield is the course of the world's oldest golf club, "The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers" (HEGC), formed in 1744. The club played at Leith Links until, In 1891, the Muirfield course opened for play. The Muirfield course was the first to vary in design from the usual straight out, straight back layout pattern. Instead, Muirfield was designed with concentric rings, the outward nine running clockwise and the inner nine holes running anti-clockwise. Springy turf, highly creative bunkering, snarly roughs, stone walls, smallish greens and a downhill putt: All golfers find their own challenges here.

North Berwick (West)

The West course at North Berwick Golf Club still plays on its original fairways and is the third oldest course in the world to do so. The West course began as a six hole course and then was expanded in the late 1800s. Some of the holes of this course are outstanding, and have been replicated in other golf courses around the world. Not only are there glorious sea views everywhere, some of the shots you will make are out over the beach itself. Just don't trip over any of the magically appearing "speedbumps" on the ground, nor disappear into a fallaway bunker, and you should have a most enjoyable round!