Golf originated from a game played on the eastern coast of Scotland, in an area close to the royal capital of Edinburgh. In those early days, players would attempt to hit a pebble over sand dunes and around tracks using a bent stick or club. During the 15th century, Scotland prepared to defend itself, yet again, against an invasion by the ‘Auld Enemy’. The nation’s enthusiastic pursuit of golf however, led many to neglect their military training, so much so that the Scottish parliament of King James II banned the sport in 1457.
Although people largely ignored the ban, it was only in 1502 that the game gained the royal seal of approval when King James IV of Scotland (1473 -1513) became the world’s first golfing monarch. The popularity of the game quickly spread throughout 16th century Europe thanks to this royal endorsement.