First rules of golf

In March 1744, a number of prominent golfers petitioned Edinburgh Town Council for a silver club as the prize for a new annual golf competition on Leith Links.

The council agreed to sponsor the competition, providing the golfers organise themselves. This led to the formation of the Company of Gentlemen Golfers – the world's first golf club.

Earliest known rules

In preparation for their competition, the Gentlemen Golfers drew drew up regulations for the competition and 13 'Articles and Laws in Playing at Golf'. These are the earliest known written rules for the game of golf.

Although adapted over the years, they are generally recognised as the source of the present day rules of golf.

Part of hand-scripted page

The Silver Club Regulations

This minute book opens with a copy of an Act of Council agreeing to the Gentlemen Golfers' request and their regulations for the new competition.

Full image of the Silver Club regulations >

Man in uniform, holding up stick with silver balls.

Prize of the Silver Golf

David Allan's drawing shows the Silver Club being paraded ceremonially through the streets to Leith.

Full image of 'Silver Golf' drawing >

Man in uniform, holding up stick with silver balls.

Silver Club competition report

The result of the first Silver Club competition, held in 1744, was reported in the 'Scots Magazine'.

Full image of magazine report >