leith links

Leith Links in Edinburgh is the location of the earliest recorded golf game played with rules.  The first recorded rules of the game of golf were created by the golfers playing at Leith Links in 1744. A plaque at the location says the following :

Leith Links
The Home of Golf

Historical home of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. The game was played over a five hole course, each hole being over 400 yards long. In 1744 the first official rules were drawn up for a tournament on Leith Links and these rules, 13 in all, formed the basis for the modern game of golf.

playing leith links ?

Sorry - you can't !  Leith Links is now a public park, with football, rugby, cricket pitches, public footpaths and allotments. Houses, shops,  and a busy road now stand where some of the original holes were sited. To find the location of Leith Links on Google Maps click here.

history of leith Links

You can read the original rules as preserved by the Leith Links Rules of Golf Society by clicking here.

Mary, Queen of Scots probably played here, and it is known that James VII and Charles I enjoyed games at Leith.

The Gentlemen Golfers of Leith were established in the early 18th century. The name was then changed to The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers and they spent almost 100 years on Leith Links. In 1836, they moved to Musselburgh, and in 1892 moved to Muirfield, where they owned their own clubhouse and course for the first time. Muirfield is now a well known championship golf course.

The first known international golf match was played at Leith Links between two Scotsmen (the Duke of York, who was the brother of the King Charles II and who would succeed him as James VII of Scotland / II of England and who was then in residence in Edinburgh as the King’s Commissioner at Holyroodhouse and a local golfing cobbler versus two English noblemen who were challenging them about whether golf originated in England or Scotland - they challenged the Duke to a game of golf to settle the dispute - the Scots won and the cobbler used the winnings to buy a building which was called "Golfers Land" - you can still see a plaque at the location or online by clicking here !

To find the location of the Golfer's Land plaque on Google Maps, click here

staying nearby

Edinburgh and East Lothian have a large number of excellent hotels and guest houses.

things to see in the area

Edinburgh Castle is well worth a visit. You will see the Scottish Crown Jewels. The Royal Mile is the road which stretches from the Castle to The Palace of Holyroodhouse, which is the Queen's Official residence in Scotland. The Scottish Parliament is also at hthe bottom of the Royal Mile. Towards the bottom of the Royal Mile, on your left as you face in the direction  of Holyrood Palace, and outside the old "Jenny Ha's" bar, you will see the plaque about Golfer's Land that is mentioned above. To check the exact location on Google Maps, follow this link.

Edinburgh has numerous excellent restaurants. There are many arts and theatre events on in Edinburgh and Edinburgh is famous for the Edinburgh Festival, the Festival Fringe and the Edinburgh Book Festival which take place over the summer months.

You can also visit The Royal Yacht Brittania, at Leith Docks.