Part of an illustrated plan showing links with buildings nearby.

The links at St Andrews, around 1580.
Full image of J Geddy's plan of St Andrews >

Painting of William Inglis on golf course with golf club and red jacket

'William Inglis', Captain of the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, by David Allan, 1787.
By courtesy of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery.

Golf in Scotland: A swing through time

The origins of golf are a matter of mystery and controversy.

Shown here are some of the earliest sources for the history of golf in Scotland. They shed light on the birth of the game, its language, techniques and equipment.

Social side of golf

They also tell us much about the social standing of golf as it developed from an outlawed activity to the world's most internationally important game.

World's first golf club

Documents and texts from the National Library of Scotland's collections and other sources give an insight into the early days of the game.

Read how golf became organised with the formation of the world's first golf club and the formulation of the earliest surviving 'rules of golf' in 1744.