I had a lovely time recently handing out the trophies at the Leith Rules Golf Hickory Open and Handicap competition. It was great to chat with everyone and learn more about the events they run and their work to increase recognition of Leith's role in the history of golf.
Leith Links was one of the earliest locations where golf was played, and golfers who played there were the ones who wrote the first recorded rules of golf. The original rules show the kind of obstacles faced in those early days - such as "If a Ball be stopp'd by any person, Horse, Dog, or any thing else, The Ball so stop'd must be play'd, where it lyes." The full rules from March 1744 be viewed here - quite a minimal list compared to today's equivalent!
Leith is also where the first "Open" competition took place back in 1744.
The Leith Rules Golf Society are doing some grand work to raise awareness and commemorate this important part in golf's story.
They have plans for a statue of John Rattray which they hope will be set in a beautifully landscaped precinct at the site of the original first hole on the Links. John Rattray was captain of the club, won the first 'open' and signed the first rules. The design is by renowned Fife sculptor David Annard - and the society are crowdfunding to make it happen.
More information on the proposed statue and the fundraising efforts here: http://www.leith-rules-golf.co.uk/statue.htm
I'm happy to support their efforts which are great for tourism and celebrating a lesser-known part of the area's cultural history.