| Golf Travel

With over 50 golf cour­ses in its midst, the King­dom of Fife can count it­self a fully-paid-up mem­ber of the aris­toc­racy of the royal and an­cient game, much more than sim­ply the Old Course and St. An­drews. As Mike Wil­son writes, there can be no bet­ter place

HK Golfer - - Contents - By Mike Wil­son

The King­dom of Fife is much more than sim­ply the Old Course and St. An­drews.

Over the years, many coun­tries have laid claim to golf’s birthright, Hol­land and even China, but there is but one au­then­tic con­tender, Scot­land. His­tor­i­cal records re­veal that the game en­joyed to­day by al­most 75mil­lion peo­ple world­wide was first played on the east coast of Scot­land, in the King­dom of Fife, dur­ing the 15th cen­tury.

St. An­drews is at the epi­cen­tre of Scot­tish (and global) golf, a world-renowned univer­sity town, where Prince Wil­liam first met Kate Mid­dle­ton, now his wife, the Duchess of Cam­bridge. It’s mag­nif­i­cent - if ru­ined - Cathe­dral pre­dat­ing golf by 350 years, home to the Royal and An­cient Golf Club of St. An­drews and the R&A, the global gov­ern­ing body for golf apart from the USA.

The Old Course com­pletes with solemn iconog­ra­phy. The first tee and 18th green presided over by the aus­tere R&A club­house, the Swilken Bridge, the Road Hole Bunker and the Val­ley of Sin all add credo to the world-ac­cepted nar­ra­tive that this is not only the #1 golf course in the world. But, ar­guably, the most com­pelling and au­then­tic site of par­tic­u­lar sport­ing in­ter­est any­where on earth.

Lo­cal Parish records con­firm that, on 14th May 1754, twenty-two ‘No­ble­men’ and ‘Gen­tle­men’ con­trib­uted to the pur­chase of a sil­ver golf club, ‘To be played for an­nu­ally over the Links of St. An­drews.’ But, to­day, 264-yearon, St. An­drews it­self of­fers ten world-class golf cour­ses, eight of which are open to all, sub­ject to reser­va­tion, whilst the other two are read­ily avail­able to vis­i­tors.

For a small town such as St. An­drews to have two dis­tin­guish­ing fea­tures - golf and ed­u­ca­tion

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