When it comes to sport in Scotland, most Scots will tell you that the nation’s three most favourite sports are golf, horse racing and football. But while you’ll often find Scots researching who are the Grand National runners for 2017?, as well as watching teams like Celtic and Rangers on the TV, golf is a sport that many like to play themselves. If you are interested in finding out more about why golf is so popular in Scotland, read on, as we’re about to tell you!
Scotland is the Birthplace of Golf
The modern game of golf was born in Scotland, and the first 18 hole course and the rules were both formed in the country. It is widely believed that St Andrews is where the first reference of golf was found, and this dates back all the way to 1552. That said, it wasn’t until almost 200 years later in 1754 that the St Andrews Society of Golfers was formed, and 1764 when the first course was built. Whichever date you choose to focus on, it should be clear why Scots love golf – it is a sport all of their own, a part of their culture, and a key national sporting icon for the country.
It’s Home to Hundreds of Courses
If you speak to any Scot about golf, they’ll likely tell you that almost every town has its own golf course. And, while this isn’t strictly true, the country is currently home to over 550 courses, with 67 of those being in Edinburgh and 94 in Glasgow! Even the islands in the north of Scotland have 14 golf courses between them! This makes it easy for anyone who enjoys the sport to play on the weekend without the need to travel long distance.
It’s All Inclusive
Golf is an all inclusive sport, meaning it can be played by women, men, and children. This makes it ideal for enjoying as a family activity as well as with friends. A day out on a golf course enables you and your friends/family to get some physical exercise and fresh air, and enjoy a bit of friendly competition. You don’t even need to be able to play at the same level to enjoy a game of golf, and those who are more advanced can help others to progress their skills.
It Can Be Played in the Evening
Another reason why golf is so popular in Scotland is because it is not purely a day time activity. Many of Scotland’s golf courses are lighted, so they can be enjoyed in the evenings as well, even after the sun goes down. Golf is a fantastic way to relax and de-stress after a long day of work, and this is something that many Scots take advantage of. And, if you’ve never yourself experienced golf in the evening, you really don’t know what you’re missing out on. The rules are the same, but the experience can only be described as magical.
It’s Good for Your Health
Finally, it’s also good to note that golf is a sport that is also good for both your mental and physical health. We touched above on the mental health benefits of golf, these predominantly being that the sport helps you to relax and de-stress. However, there are also plenty of physical health benefits too. Golf can help to improve your balance and flexibility, and it can also help your cardiovascular health – helping to strengthen your heart and your lungs.
Whether you are a Scot yourself, or are considering taking a golf holiday somewhere, Scotland’s golf courses are a fantastic place to spend your time.