The first written mention of golf in Britain goes back to 1457, when a Scottish Act of Parliament prohibited the game for distracting too many of the country’s archers. While people all over the world have probably been hitting a rock with a stick since the time of cavemen, ironically, it was Scotland that subsequently formalised the sport and introduced it to the wider world. Britain as a whole has some of the best courses on the planet, and remains passionate about the pastime.
Why just play golf when you could play at the home of golf? The Old Course at St Andrews, on Scotland’s eastern coast, is known as the home of modern golf. As the first 18-hole course in the world, its influence has been immeasurable. Teeing off here is a unique experience, and if you book well in advance, it’s easier to reserve a slot than you might think. The ultimate museum for golfing heritage, the British Golf Museum is just a few yards from St Andrews - so here you really are right in the thick of all things golf!
Britain has a wealth of other legendary courses. To cherry-pick a handful, The Royal County Down Golf Club in Northern Ireland has been named the world’s best course by US magazine Golf Digest, while Scottish courses such as Muirfield and Royal Dornoch also enjoy global renown. Special mention goes too to the glorious Royal Birkdale, northwest England, which was voted the number one golf club in England, and is counted amongst the best in the world.
You’re never far from a golf course in Britain. The country has more than 2,500, with world-class options to be found in spectacular parts of the British countryside. Whether you want to play a full 18 holes, practise your swing in a driving range or just share stories with local golfers in a clubhouse, the options are near-endless.