Golf Clubs and Courses in Scotland - Spreading The Game Outwith Scotland

Spreading The Game Outwith Scotland

When James VI succeeded to the thrones of England and Ireland in 1603 (see Union of the Crowns) a large number of his Scottish courtiers followed him to London. The King resided at Greenwich Palace, and there is documentary evidence that some of these Scottish noblemen played golf on Blackheath, on the hill behind the palace. Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, the king's eldest son, was playing golf in 1606. The Royal Blackheath Golf Club traces its origins from these Scottish noblemen, thus claiming a pre-1745 foundation date. Although it is certainly the oldest English golf club, and the oldest outwith Scotland, there is no evidence that it is the oldest golf club in the world, as is sometimes claimed.

The first record of North American golf was a consignment of 96 golfclubs and 432 golf balls which was shipped from Leith to Charleston, South Carolina, in 1743; and on 29 September 1786 Scottish merchants established the South Carolina Golf Club in Charleston, the first golf club in the United States.

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