South Inch Golf Course, Perthshire.

Thanks to Ian Cairns for his permission to use the information below which was taken from his book “Golf over two Inches, the story of Perth’s historical courses, by I H Cairns”.

"The South Inch is thought to be the first place where golf was played in Perth but it may be it was the first place where a course was laid out. It is said that the South Inch was the first laid out course in Scotland. Mary Queen of Scots (1542 - 1587) is reputed to have played on the South Inch. There is a record of golf being played on the South Inch in 1613. However there is no hard evidence such as Kirk Session minutes. Certainly the North Inch was meadow land whereas the South Inch was boggy. Golfers may have naturally favoured the North Inch Golf Course. The first Tee was at the end of the present Scott Street. The course played up towards St Leonard’s Bank and then the second hole and a third midway played towards the Craigie Burn and Croft Park. The fourth played alongside Craigie Burn then the next two holes played back towards the present Edinburgh Road, four then played on what we now know as the Lesser South Inch and finally Holes eleven and twelve played back to Scott Street. Four-holes were initially available, then eight, then twelve, as described, by the 19th century. Finally four of the “twelve” layout appear to have been played twice to give a sixteen hole course.  In previous times the Inches would have surrounded the town. Increasingly, through Victorian times, the town expanded round the Inches. The South Inch in particular became bounded by development. It was still some time before 18-holes became the norm for the sport but golfers would have seen the limits occurring and been aware of the great space afforded on the North Inch. The Perth Golfing Society, founded in 1824, played initially on the South Inch. In 1833 the Society moved to the North Inch and this marked a decline with the course dropping back to eight holes and leading to golf ceasing on the South Inch about 1850. Towards the end Golfers were increasingly cutting their own Holes and this led to the original layout being forgotten".


South Inch Golf Course, Perthshire. Location on the 1884 O.S Map.

Above is the South Inch showing St Leonard’s bank to the west, Scott Street centre north, the golf course has long gone. © Crown Copyright {1884}.


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