What King of Scotland banned the game of golf as an unwelcome distraction from archery practice?

Category: Golf History
golf wiki king of england banned golf
National Archives of Scotland


How well do you know your British monarchs? The year was 1457.


King James II

More interesting reading and links of interest

  • At the time military training - and specifically archery - was compulsory for all males over 12 years of age due to the prospect of war with England.
  • As well as golf, football (soccer) was also banned.
  • Both activities were played in a range of public spaces including streets and churchyards – yep, golf was played in the streets!
  • It seems the ban was not widely successful in stopping early golfers from enjoying the past-time as it was repeated in 1471 and again in 1491.
  • To get around the ban some golfers of the time used sabbath sticks. Clubs were disguised as walking sticks, the club head comfortably fitting into the palm of the golfer's hand, until when the golfer was unobserved, the stick was reversed and a few strokes were played.
  • Read the original wording along with a translation.