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Golf in Scotland was first recorded in the 15th century, and the modern game of golf was first developed and established in the country.

The game plays a key role in the national sporting consciousness.

The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, known as the R&A, is the world governing body for the game (except in the United States and Mexico).

They merged in 2015 into a new organization, Scottish Golf.

To many golfers, the Old Course at St Andrews, an ancient links course dating to before 1574, is considered to be a site of pilgrimage.

Where he played is not known, but it is likely to have been on the open ground called the North Inch at Perth.

It is recorded that Robert Maule of Panmure played golf at Carnoustie in the mid 16th century, as a wager for drink.

Therefore, golf courses, whether public or private, are far more common in the Lowlands than in the Highlands and Islands, where shinty (a game which may share a common ancestry with golf) It is frequently used to market the country to potential visitors, for example for the Homecoming year in 2009, and golf tourism accounted for approximately 2% of overall Scottish tourism spending in 2004.

One page that explains the history of golf in Scotland starts off by stating that, "There has been much debate as to the origins of the game and, in some cases, how it was originally played.

In 1764, several of the holes were deemed too short, and therefore combined.

The number was thereby reduced from 11 to nine, so that a complete round of the links comprised 18 holes.

The St Andrews Links occupy a narrow strip of land along the sea-shore).

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