Scotland and golf are synonomous which is why Scotland is known as the home of golf. No matter what standard golfers are, they have to make the pilgrimage to Scotland, where there are almost 500 spectacular and beautiful golf courses, many of them near to Gleneagles holiday cottage. Some of the most popular and famous, of course, are the links courses that have evolved on sandy coastal strips which, centuries ago, were beneath the sea. Here the course is fashioned out of the natural terrain rather than having design imposed upon it.
Be it Gleneagles golf course, only 15 miles from Kippenross House, St.Andrews, where you can almost see the ghosts of the past marching down the wide, undulating fairways; or Prestwick, the birthplace of golf's most prestigious prize, the Open Championship; or the great Open courses of Muirfield, Turnberry, Carnoustie and Royal Troon; or some humbler course, there is no finer part of the UK in which to have a golfing holiday. All are easily accessible from this luxury holiday cottage. There are also many excellent local courses - Dunblane golf course borders our land so you could be spending your vacation on the edge of an excellent golf course! This luxury holiday cottage is a perfect place for your golf holiday in Scotland.
Variations on the game of golf as we know it today were being played all across Europe as long ago as the 14th century, and possibly even in Roman times. Yet it is the Scots who must be credited with establishing the official game, and encouraging its development all over the world. It was in Scotland that the passion for golf was born.
Every golf club has some link with the traditions of the sport. Everyone has a tale to tell of the great men who were the founding fathers of a great game. Scotland's rich history is peopled with giants like Allan Robertson, probably the first professional and certainly the first man to reduce St Andrews to fewer than 80 strokes, Old Tom Morris, the most famous name in Scottish golf, and his son, Tom, the only man to win the Open Championship four times in succession; the first time at the age of 17. Other greats include Willie Park, the first winner of the Open, and James Braid, who won the Open five times and planned hundreds of golf courses.
The first mention of golf in Scotland was in 1457 when King James II declared that it should be banned in case men were tempted not to practise their archery, which was more useful in the defence of the Scotland against the English. In 1491 James IV's parliament ordered: In na place of the Realme there be used Fute-ball, Golfe, or uther sik unproffitable sportis. But some historians claim that golf was played at St Andrews some two centuries earlier when shepherds, who grazed their flocks on the commonland along the coast, took to hitting pebbles with sticks at targets to alleviate their boredom, the name golf coming from to gowff, a verb in their Scottish dialect meaning to hit. James was eventually won over by the game and by 1513 was reportedly ordering some golf clubs to be made for him.
In 1553, the people of the St Andrews were given the rights by Archbishop John Hamilton to play golf on the links. Fourteen years later Mary, Queen of Scots perhaps set the trend for fanatical golfers by playing there only hours after the murder of her husband, Lord Darnley.
Legend has it that in 1641 Charles I escaped a golfing defeat at Leith Links. He was trailing by six holes with eight to play when news came of the Irish rebellion. He naturally had to take leave of his opponent immediately to attend to matters of State. Such was the growing popularity of the game of golf that those who put a round ahead of a sermon on a Sunday morning could be fined 40 shillings for incurring the minister's displeasure.
As with all games, there came a time when the participants wanted more than just the challenge matches with hundreds of pounds at stake. They needed champions, and in 1744 The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, who then played on Leith Links and now reside at Muirfield, petitioned the Edinburgh Council to provide a Silver Club for competition. John Rattray, a surgeon and a partner of Bonnie Prince Charlie in the Jacobite rebellion, was the first winner. He escaped a beheading, some say, because of his prowess as a golfer. And, not far from Leith, the first ladies competition was staged in Musselburgh in 1810.
In the late 1800s, wealthy middle-class Englishmen began to follow the example of the Royal Family by taking their Golf holiday in Scotland. The expansion of the railroad system at this time allowed people to get to the seaside links, and the English were so infatuated with the game of golf that they took it home with them. In 1744 the Gentlemen Golfers of Leith, led by Duncan Forbes, drew up the first Articles & Laws in Playing at Golf. Although later revised and updated, these original rules set down by the Scottish Professionals of the time, formed the framework for the modern game of golf.
The early days of golf in Scotland were an expensive affair. They played with the feathery ball, which was made of a top-hatful of feathers stuffed into a hand-stitched leather casing. At half a crown [121Ú2 pence], it was more expensive than a club and deterred many from getting involved. Allan Robertson made a good living manufacturing the balls in the kitchen of his home at St Andrews, aided by his assistant Old Tom Morris, but when the rubber-moulded gutta-percha ball came on the market in 1848, Robertson declared: Its nae gowff.
It was the gutty which started the golf holiday boom in Scotland. More began to play and its popularity really took off with the launching of the Open Championship by the Prestwick Club in 1860, which turned the top golfers of the day into national heroes. By that time Old Tom Morris had moved to Prestwick as greenkeeper on the salary of £50 a year, and he was favourite to win. His mentor Allan Robertson had been regarded as the champion player, and he and Morris featured as partners in many foursomes matches played for stakes as high as £400. Yet they never played each other in competition.
Old Tom, an impressive figure with a full beard, was beaten in the inaugural championship by a foreigner from the East Coast, Willie Park, but he made his mark over the next seven years, winning it four times. Then he handed over to his son, Young Tom, who in winning his first Open recorded the first hole-in-one and unbelievably reduced the then 578-yard first at Prestwick to three strokes with a gutty ball and hickory shafts.
Young Tom made the Championship belt his own by winning three years in succession. In 1870 there was no championship, and then a year later todays Claret Jug was put up as thetrophy and he won that too. What Young Tom might have achieved is anyones guess. His father once said, I could cope with Allan [Robertson] masel, but never wi Tommy. Tragically, Young Tom died some say of a broken heart on Christmas morning 1875 at the age of 24, three months after his wife had died giving birth.
Scotland's grip on the Open lasted 30 years before an English amateur, John Ball, broke the sequence. If any Scotsman took over the mantle of the Morrises, it would have been the Fife-born James Braid, who formed the great triumvirate with Harry Vardon and J.H. Taylor. He won five times between 1901 and 1910. But since those days only five Scots have won the Championship: Jock Hutchison and Tommy Armour, who were by then American citizens, George Duncan,Sandy Lyle and most recently Aberdeens Paul Lawrie at Carnoustie in 1999. Lawrie came from 10 shots back in the final round to force a three-way play-off with Frances Jean Van de Velde and American Justin Leonard. His triumph was the first by a Scot on home soil since Willie Auchterlonie in 1893.
Although the ultimate prize has eluded generations of Scottish golfers down the years, there have been many fine exponents of the game in John Panton, Eric Brown, Brian Barnes, Bernard Gallacher, who went on to captain the Ryder Cup team three times, and todays superstars Sam Torrance, captain of the 2001 European Ryder Cup team, and Colin Montgomerie, who was Europes No.1 for a record seven years. They are the direct descendants of a great golfing tradition in which you can participate by playing the finest courses in the world.
Gleneagles, one of the top golf courses in Scotland is only 10 minutes away from Kippenross House and offers the chance to play golf on the world's finest courses. As well as the challenge of the King's, the secluded charms of the Queen's, or the nine hole Wee Course, there is now the superb PGA Centenary Course designed by Jack Nicklaus. Gleneagles has been selected as the host venue for the 40th Ryder Cup match in 2014. This prestigious event will be held on The PGA Centenary Course at Gleneagles. You can book to play at Gleneagles without having to stay at the hotel itself, so renting a holiday cottage in the area makes perfect sense - one day at Gleneagles and another on a highland hilly course and a third on a links golf course by the sea. Coming to Scotland for a golf holiday is for many the ultimate holiday experience. There is some great golfing accommodation available in Scotland - this luxury golf holiday cottage near Gleneagles is of course one of the finest Scottish cottages to rent with 100s of golf courses withing a 2 hour drive - and at least 50 within 1 hour!
This luxury holiday cottage is the perfect central location for your golf vacation in Scotland - ideally placed to play at famous Scottish golf courses. If you want a fishing holiday in Scotland then press here Fishing in Perthshire, Scotland. We look forward to welcoming you for a golfing holiday at our golfing holiday cottage .