The Early Game
The origin of golf lays somewhere before the advent of gun powder, on the shores of Caledonia, near the links of Leith. There the feathery was struck by the horn club and the game was practised rigorously by many persons of the land. The game, that of shepherding a ball to a hole over vast pastureage summons nomads to the course, to the tee, to the match----where gathered, each gathers onself for the play ahead.
From the coast and down from the Lammanmuir and Pentland hills they would come and meet at Whitekirk, Musselburgh, Inverkeithing and Oakley. Away from the lives that afforded each a living-- out to the links the golfers would go and spend many an hour. Caddies ran ahead and kept witness the fate of one's feather-ball. In the course of play, often unexpected and deftly played shots left one wondering whether what was just seen was the result of fortune; or, a canny act of presence--at times coming in moments of great need.
Great matches were decided along these estuaries where puffins, kittiwakes, cormorants & gannets shared residence.
And so the game is played today, most aspects being the same; its appeal very wide.
Robt. Oakley, '92