Illustrated page showing King James IV and Queen Margaret

James IV. From the Forman Armorial, a manuscript dating from around 1562.
[National Library of Scotland reference: Adv.MS.31.4.2]

James IV – a golfing king

While Parliament banned golf in his name, we know that James IV of Scotland (1473-1513) was himself a golfer.

Costly hand-crafted clubs were bought for the King when he was in Perth in 1502 and later when he was in Edinburgh and St Andrews.

Specially made clubs

These clubs were probably specially made for him by a local bow-maker, who would have had the necessary skills, material and equipment.

The clubs were suited to play on open spaces such as the Inch at Perth, and on the links near Edinburgh and at St Andrews.

They would not have been appropriate for the game as played in the streets and churchyards by ordinary people.

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