Of course we’ve always loved golf

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The greatest tournament in golf has returned to the home of the game this weekend as Scotland hosts the 2014 Ryder Cup.

Players from America are battling the best in Europe – including home favourite Stephen Gallacher – on the greens and fairways of Gleneagles, and thousand of fans have poured in from around the globe to be a part of it.

Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus signs autographs during the practice rounds before The Open at Muirfield in 1966

Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus signs autographs during the practice rounds before The Open at Muirfield in 1966

As well as being a base for many of those set to enjoy the event, the Capital is hosting its own “fan zone” in St Andrew Square, and where better for fans to get into the spirit of golf than a city with a proud history of the game.

American legend Jack Nicklaus was among the star names when the world’s greatest golfers competed for The Open Championship at Muirfield in July 1966, and he was followed by eager autograph hunters. 
A few years earlier in 1963, Edinburgh University gym had been helping students hone the finer points of their swing in a specially constructed practice arena. And fortunately it didn’t fall prey to the weather – unlike Baberton Golf Club which was forced to close for a spell in April that year due to excess water on the greens.

As well as the array of courses around the Lothians and the edges of the city, the game in one form or another has also found its way to the heart of the Capital, and on a glorious summer day in 1968 the crowds in Princes Street Gardens were able to enjoy a spot of pitch and putt in between the sunbathers.

And while it might be seen as a serious game, Scottish entertainer Larry Marshall was happy to keep crowds at Duddingston amused during a showbusiness golf match in July 1968.

Golfer Dai Rees coaches Edinburgh University students in 1963

Golfer Dai Rees coaches Edinburgh University students in 1963

Flooding stops play at Baberton in 1963

Flooding stops play at Baberton in 1963

Pitch and putt in Princes Street Gardens in 1968

Pitch and putt in Princes Street Gardens in 1968

Larry Marshall takes part in a showbusiness golf match at Duddingston in 1968

Larry Marshall takes part in a showbusiness golf match at Duddingston in 1968