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A Wee Bit of Trivia

In the wake of the The Open Championship, I think it’s relevant to give credit to an extremely important historic female whose name I did not hear mentioned during coverage of the tournament.

We’ve heard about the likes of Old Tom Morris born in St. Andrews approximately 200+ years ago, but nothing of Mary, Queen of Scots.  What you find out about her online can be contradictory.  However, there’s not much question the Queen was likely the first woman to regularly play and support golf.  Around 1560, she lived in St. Andrews and is said to have played what would become the Old Course.  Some articles said she likely had military cadets carry her clubs.  From that practice, having cadets about to serve as guards and carry her clubs, would come the word caddy, the articles say.  She was French by her first marriage to France’s then king so I think “cadet” if given a French accent might be “cah-day”.  It is also written that she formally supported, the articles use the word “commissioned”, the development of the links where the Old Course is located.

Golf originated on the eastern coast of Scotland in and around St. Andrews, an area close to the royal capital of Edinburgh. In those early days players would attempt to hit a pebble over sand dunes and around tracks using a bent stick or club.  During the 15th century, a century before Mary began to play, Scotland prepared to defend itself, yet again, against an invasion by its ‘Auld Enemy’ to the south. The nation’s enthusiastic pursuit of golf, however, led many to neglect their military training.  It was such a concern that the Scottish parliament banned the sport in 1457.  The ban was lifted following the signing of of the Treaty of Perpetual Peace between Scotland and England in 1502.

From then on there was no stopping the game we all love.

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