If you love the game of golf, you will know at least a little bit about its history. But maybe you would like to take it just a little bit further and try for yourself how golf was originally played. Well, I had the chance!
Kingarrock Golf Course lies within the grounds of the Hill of Tarvit Estate only ten miles from the famous Old Course at St Andrews where it all began. It is here in the middle of the stunning Scottish countryside that you have the opportunity to play a fantastic 9-hole golf course, use the original hickory clubs and learn about the fascinating history of this place.
In 1904 Frederick Sharp, youngest son of a Dundee Jute prince, and a financial tycoon in his own right, bought Wemyss Hall, Cupar in order to be near to St. Andrews, where he was a keen member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club and served on both the General and Rules Committees.
Nobody knows when the Sharp family first built their own course, but 1924 is the date of the only map that has been discovered so far. The sad and tragic deaths of father in 1932 and son in 1937 at the Castlecary Rail Disaster, together with the onset of World War 2, resulted in Kingarrock being ploughed up for the war effort and being used for farming ever since.
In 2002 a group of Trust members and enthusiastic golfers decided to invest their time and money in assisting the National Trust in bringing the old family course back to life and the Kingarrock Golf Course re-opened for the first time in over 70 years on the 28th June 2008.
The 9-hole course measures 2,022 yards and you can play it between Easter and the end of October, 7 days a week. When you check in at the Forester’s Cottage you will be given a very warm welcome by David Anderson, the General Manager, and his wife Michelle. You will choose your set of original hickory clubs including a Spoon, Driving Iron, Mid Mashie, Mashie Niblick and Putter, an old golf bag, together with balls and tees that represent the early 20th century golfing experience. And off you go!
The sensation of playing golf with these ancient instruments is just indescribable. With a pencil bag over your shoulder and a few clubs only it gives you a strange sense of freedom. You are given three golf balls to play with. Don´t worry, you won´t lose them. The balls are specially manufactured to be used with the hickory clubs and to resemble the original golf balls which travel between 15-25% less distance than the modern ball.
The round was great fun! Topped with a glass of ginger beer, strawberries and home-made shortbread I could not have had a better day. Check my Gallery to view a few images.
Posted on July 12, 2011 by admin@golfcomms