Golf Games The modern game of golf is generally considered to be a Scottish invention. A spokesman for The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, one of the oldest Scottish golf organisations, said “ Stick and ball games have been around for many centuries, but golf as we know it today, played over 18 holes, clearly originated in Scotland. The word golf, or in Scotsgowf , is usually thought to be a Scots alteration of Dutch “colf” or “colve” meaning “stick, “club“, “bat“, itself related to the Proto-Germanic language*kulth- as found in Old Norsekolfr meaning “bell clapper”, and the GermanKolben meaning “mace or club”. The Dutch term Kolven refers to a related sport where the lowest number of strokes needed to hit a ball with a mallet into a hole determines the winner; according to the “Le grand dictionnaire françois-flamen” printed 1643 is stated the Dutch term to Flemish: “Kolf, zest Kolve; Kolfdrager, Sergeant; Kolf, Kolp, Goulfe. The first documented mention of golf in Scotland appears in a 1457 Act of the Scottish Parliament, an edict issued by King James II of Scotland prohibiting the playing of the games of gowf and futball as these were a distraction from archery practice for military purposes. Bans were again imposed in Acts of 1471 and 1491, with golf being described as “an unprofitable sport”. Golf was banned again by parliament under King James IV of Scotland, but golf clubs and balls were bought for him in 1502 when he was visiting Perth, and on subsequent occasions when he was in St Andrews and Edinburgh Mary, Queen of Scots played, and she was accused of playing “pell-mell and golf” at Seton Palace after her husband Lord Darnley was murdered in 1567, when she ought to have been in solemn mourning .George Buchanan wrote that she had been following her “usual amusements in the adjoining fields that were plainly not adapted to women. An entry in the Town Council Minutes of Edinburgh for 19 April 1592 includes golf in a list of pursuits to be avoided on the Sabbath.On 13 February 1593 the Duke of Lennox and Sir James Sandilands decided to go down to Leith to play golf. On the way they met members of the Graham family who were feuding with Sandilands, and fought with pistols instead.