Did you know?
Golf in Scotland was first recorded in the 15th century, and the modern game of golf was first developed and established in the country. The game plays a key role in the national sporting consciousness. The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, known as the R&A, is the world governing body for the game (except in the United States and Mexico).
To many golfers, the Old Course at St Andrews, an ancient links course dating to before 1574, is considered to be a site of pilgrimage. There are many other famous golf courses in Scotland, including Carnoustie, Gleneagles, Muirfield, Balcomie and Royal Troon. The world's first Open Championship was held at Prestwick in 1860. Although golf is often seen as an elitist sport elsewhere in the world, in the land of its birth it enjoys widespread appeal across the social spectrum, in line with the country's egalitarian tradition. For example, the Old Course at St Andrews is a charitable trust and Musselburgh Links is public courses.
Scotland has 587 courses. The highest concentrations are around Glasgow (94 courses) and Edinburgh (67 courses) but the other districts still average about 40 courses each. Even the distant northern islands have 14 options. Such largesse is possible because Scotland boasts more courses per head of population than any other country