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Golf Day

"I found that the only way of playing at the Golve is to stand as you do at fenceing with the small sword bending your legs a little and holding the muscles of your legs and back and armes exceeding bent or fixt or stiffe and not at all slackning them in the time you are bringing down the stroak (which you readily doe)"

~ diary of Thomas Kincaid, a medical student who played on the course at Bruntsfield Links, near Edinburgh University, and at Leith Links, 20 January 1687

Heading to the links? The word golf is thought to be derived from the Dutch word kolf, meaning "bat" or "club" from the Dutch sport of the same name. Although stick and ball games have been around for centuries, it is generally accepted that the game of modern golf developed in Scotland from the Middle Ages onwards. Ironically, the first mention of this popular game first appears in Scotland in the 1457 Act of the Scottish Parliament, as an edict issued by King James II of Scotland prohibiting the playing of the games of gowf and futball as these were considered a distraction from archery practice necessary for military purposes. Bans were again imposed in Acts of 1471 and 1491, with golf being described as "an unprofitable sport". Golf was banned again by parliament under King James IV of Scotland (although golf clubs and balls were bought for him in 1502 when he was visiting Perth, and on subsequent occasions when he was in St Andrews and Edinburgh). Even Mary, Queen of Scots was accused of heartlessly playing "pell-mell and golf" at Seton Palace after her husband Lord Darnley was murdered in 1567, when she ought to have been in solemn mourning. Enthusiasts finally managed to lift all bans and spread the popularity of the game by the 19th century beyond Scotland, throughout the UK, British Empire, and the North America. Designed for golfers everywhere, this tartan also honours U. S. Open and PGA champion, Payne Stewart (1957-1999), who was loved by his fans for his bright and “flashy” outfits of tams, knickerbockers (often tartan) and argyle socks. Fore! ⛳ 🏌️‍♂️ 🏌️‍♀️

To many golfers, playing at the Old Course at St Andrews, an ancient links course dating to before 1574, is considered by many golfers to be a site of pilgrimage,  though there are many other famous golf courses in Scotland, including Carnoustie, Gleneagles, Muirfield, Kingsbarns, Turnberry and Royal Troon. 


Scotland has 587 courses. The highest concentrations are around Glasgow (94 courses) and Edinburgh (67 courses), since these two cities and their environs account for the bulk of the population. But the other districts still average about 40 courses each. Even the distant northern islands have 14 options!


Register notes:


Designed by David McGill of International Tartans for anyone involved in the sport of golf. Also known as the Golfing Stewart tartan in the USA in honour of the late American professional golfer, Payne Stewart, who wore tartan plus-fours to promote his Scottish heritage. 


For more about some of the more obscure and antiquated rules of the game, click the portrait of The MacDonald boys playing golf, attributed to William Mosman. 18th century