Scotland – the home of Golf


(VOVworld) – When it comes to golf, some people may think it is only a sport for rich people with luxury and expensive services. But in Scotland, everybody can easily play golf. In today’s VOV24/7’s Culture Rendezvous, we’ll talk to Peter Yarrow of Scotland to find out why Scottish people love playing golf and how Scotland becomes the home of golf.

Q: Hello Peter Yarrow! Welcome back to VOV24/7’s Culture Rendezvous! In our previous talk on Scottish culture, you said that Scottish people consider golf their national sport. It must be very popular in Scotland, I guess.

A: Yeah it’s a very popular sport. In many parts of the world, golf is seen as a game for the privileged people. But in Scotland, many children for maybe only 10 or 15$ a year can be a member of their local golf club. You know, I’m an example. My brother and I both started to play golf when we were about 6 or 7 years old. This is the same across much of Scotland.

Q: Really? That is so cheap for everyone to play golf for the whole year.

A: My nephew was at St Andrews University for his study. And as a student of university for about 150$ a year, he could become a member of different golf courses at St Andrews. Then after he didn’t have to pay any money to play on the course, so, you know, he was able to play at some of the top golf courses in the world without having to pay very much. My brother lives in a small town on the east of Edinburgh. In and near this town they have several golf courses. This is played for the population of about 1200 or 1300 people. It is the passion.

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Highland school children take part in a variety of skills challenges at the ClubGolf Scotland day held at MacDonald Spey Valley (Photo: golfnews.co.uk)

Q: Well, I think Scottish people are lucky that the golf there is so easy. Because it’s not cheap to build the course, right?

A: In Vietnam and many other parts of the world, this’s a very expensive sport. Because in so many cases it involves so much land in order to build the golf course, very expensive just to build the course. In Scotland, the golf course is has been around on public land for generations, so they were built at the time when it was not so expensive.

Q: So how many golf courses are there in Scotland?

A: In the whole of Scotland, there are more than 600 golf courses, and with the population of around about 5 and a half for 6 million people, that means one golf course is for every ten thousand people living in Scotland. Certainly there are many famous golf courses: St Andrews, Muirfield, Troon. Turnberry and Carnoustie are among the top golf courses in the world. And all of these courses are beside the sea. So they are either right by the sea with the beach nearby or within only a few hundred meters from the sea. And now, in St Andrews, you have the ancient club, and that is known as the home of golf across the world.

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Nowhere are golf courses as beautiful, exclusive or rich in history as in St. Andrews (Photo: firstclass.lufthansa.com)

Q: Do you have any idea of the most famous Scottish golf player?

A: I guess recently one of the best Scottish players would be Paul Lawrie, but there are many many good players.

Q: Is there any annual official competition for them to compete?

A: In major countries of the world, the annual event is called the Open Golf Championship. Last year it was played at the Turnberry Golf Course which is now owned by the famous politician Mr. Trump.  

Q: What do you think that makes golf more popular in Scotland than other sports?

A: Of course there are people who are passionate about football and rugby. With golf, there is more over a tradition of children playing golf at quite an early age. And because of that, with all the opportunities as well with so many golf courses, it’s a very nice family past time, you know, when I was 10, my dad went home from work and in the summer months it doesn’t get dark in Scotland to maybe 10 or 11 o’clock at night. We could go to golf course and we could play 9 holes of golf. I had a very good family time which is very special.

Q: Thank you, Peter Yarrow, for sharing about the golf playing in Scotland! Don’t forget to tune in to VOV24/7’s Culture Rendezvous next time for more cultural stories. This is Thu Ly. For now, goodbye!


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