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Golf club

Burrell Collection Photo Library

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Golf club

A golf club labelled "heavy iron in use about 1800."

The first record of golf in Glasgow is from 1589, when the Glasgow Kirk Session instructed that "no golf, carrict [or] shinnie" was to be played in the yards of the Cathedral or Blackfriars Parish Church. This was followed by an edict from the Kirk Session in 1595, stipulating that "there be no bickering nor play either by old or young in games of Golf, Bowls etc. on Sundays, they are forbidden." In 1642 the University of Glasgow attempted to regulate the behaviour of students by banning several sports and games, but "Gouffe, Archerie, and the lyk" were approved.

The game at this time was probably a very simple affair played with sticks and a ball, but special golf clubs were being manufactured by 1674. The first eyewitness account of a game of golf on Glasgow Green was published in 1721 in a poem written by James Arbuckle, a Glasgow student. The Glasgow Golf Club, the first in the west of Scotland, was founded in 1787 and played on a seven-hole course on the Green. A clubhouse was built there for the members. The club seems to have been dormant 1794-1809 during the wars with France, and disbanded in 1833. However, it was revived in 1870 and has played on a number of courses in the city before moving to Killermont in Bearsden in 1904.

Reference: 920

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Glasgow Museums

Keywords:
archery, Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow Golf Club, Glasgow Green, golf, golf clubs, golf courses, heavy irons, parks, Queen's Park, shinty, students, University of Glasgow



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