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Golf and Scotland go hand in hand


The Isle of Jura is said to be one of Scotland’s last remaining places of true wilderness. Resting off the mainland’s west coast, this small island is populated by more deer than people and is riddled with history. Its Iron Age forts still hold strong and ancient burial grounds and standing stones can all be found here. But, what’s really interesting about this small Hebridean Island is that it’s set to be the new location for a private 18-hole golf course.

The Australian millionaire financier, Greg Coffey bought the island’s Ardfin Estate in 2010 and plans have now emerged for a golf course to be built on part of the land. The Estate spans over four and half thousand hectares and includes 10 miles of coastline and seven islands. It’s a large piece of land and there’s clearly enough space for a golf course, but what this news really highlights is Scotland’s rich golfing history. Even a tiny island with a population of 200 is going to have a golf course. That being said, if the plan goes ahead the course will be private, but locals still appear to be generally in favour of the project. As a way to create jobs and with the sport ingrained in the Scottish culture, why would they object?

What this really shows us is how deep Scotland’s golfing history goes. If even a tiny, wild island is possibly going to see a golf course built there, then clearly the country has a strong golfing culture.

Sport in general is a Scottish way of life. Their proud athletic history is legendary across the world and the country even lays claim to the invention of many sports. Not surprisingly, golf is one.

While games involving clubs and balls have always been present among societies throughout history, the modern game of golf can be traced back to at least the fifteenth century in Scotland. In 1452, the first officially recorded mention of golf occurred when King James II banned the sport as it was seen to be a distraction from the military’s archery practice. It wasn’t until the Treaty of Glasgow was signed in 1502 that the game was allowed to be played again.

However, even during this period, the townspeople of St Andrews continued to play the game and the Links at St Andrews are renowned internationally as the Home of Golf. Today, the Old Course, first used in around 1400AD, can still be played and for anyone with a love of golf, this is a dream destination. Located only half an hour from Dundee Airport, the Links at St Andrews is an easy pilgrimage for any golf devotee to make.

But anywhere you choose to play in Scotland is going to be a world-class, cultural experience. And with a huge array of cheap flights from all over the UK available from companies like Flybe, you can easily spend a weekend swinging clubs and walking the greens on Scotland’s best courses.

Gleneagles is another internationally famous course known as the home of the Johnnie Walker Championship annually played there. Every year the world’s best golfers descend on the course to play for the glory and the £1.4 million in prize money. The course’s prestigious reputation is further highlighted by its selection as the location for the 2014 Ryder Cup. Under an hour from Edinburgh Airport, Gleneagles is easy to reach and is the perfect place for a luxurious getaway. Stay in the Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire and be surrounded by grandeur, charm and the immaculate golfing greens.

One thing’s for sure, the golf course planned for the Isle of Jura has a lot to live up to.

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