Swing through golf's early history

Mary Queen of Scots golfing
Mary Queen of Scots on the links
at St Andrews.
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A newly revised golf history book reveals some curious facts and remarkable claims about the game's early days.

A Swing Through Time 1457-1744, by Olive M Geddes, looks at the earliest written records of golf in Scotland.

The book uses documents and books from collections at the National Library of Scotland and elsewhere. It explores golf's journey from its 'dark ages' to the formulation of the first 'Rules' of golf by the Company of Gentleman Golfers in 1744.

Among the discoveries we make along the way are that:

Cover of 'A Swing Through Time'
  • Golf was outlawed by the Scottish Parliament in the 15th century, as was football, because it was seen as dangerous and a nuisance.
  • According to her enemies, Mary Queen of Scots went golfing a few days after her second husband's murder.

Published by the National Library of Scotland and NMS Publishing, the book is available in leading bookshops. Read more about A Swing Through Time in our press release.

31 May 2007

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