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Ten Truths from Auld Scotia

Over the last few weeks Scotland has been very present in the news with yet further talks and debates on her possible independence, or impending independence, depending on your point of view. This week saw Scottish tradition come to the fore once again as we celebrated the life and works of the national bard, Robert Burns at traditional Burns Suppers up and down the country on his birthday, the 25 January. We moved from the highs of the haggis and whisky-fuelled celebrations to the tense yet ultimately deflating Scottish tennis performance at the Australian Open by Andy Murray – so near yet so far, again – maybe next time? Do not despair though as with all the media attention focussing on Scotland recently there have been numerous interesting articles published , some serious and some not so much! We stumbled across an article in the Daily Telegraph entitled ’50 Fascinating Facts you should know about Scotland’. Although I’d love to spend hours extolling the virtues of our fine land, I’ve picked out just a few light-hearted favourites to share with you;

1. The shortest scheduled flight in the world is one-and-a-half miles long from Westray to Papa Westray in the Orkney Islands of Scotland. The journey takes 1 minute 14 seconds to complete.

2. Scotland has approximately 790 islands, 130 of which are inhabited.

3. Like Rome, Edinburgh was built on seven hills and the capital has more listed buildings than anywhere in the world.

4. Scotland had its own monarch until 1603. After Elizabeth I died, James VI of Scotland also became James I of England, ruling both countries.

5. St Andrews Links is considered the “home of golf”; the sport has been played there since the 15th century.

6. Queen Victoria is reputed to have smoked cigarettes during her visits to the Highlands of Scotland to keep away midges.

7. The very first recorded appearance of the elusive Loch Ness Monster occurred in 565 AD, when a “water beast” attacked one of St. Columba’s followers in the loch.

8. Scotland’s smallest distillery, Edradour in Pitlochry, has 100,000 visitors per year but produces just 90,000 litres of malt whisky.

9. There are as many Scottish people living in North America as in  Scotland, with censuses in the United States and Canada identifying around five million people claiming Scottish ancestry.

10. It is home to 19 universities and institutes of higher education, including St Andrews, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge met.

How they managed to narrow it down to just fifty facts I’ll never know but if number five has whetted your appetite then contact us at the Old Course Experience for more information on how to guarantee your place on the hallowed fairways of the Old Lady.

(LR)

Sources: The Daily Telegraph online http://tgr.ph/zKYtTl

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Five Fun Facts For A Royal Game

1. There are over 60 ‘ Royal’ golf clubs in the world with the majority to be found in the United Kingdom.

2. The Duke of York was Captain of the Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews from 2003-04 during its 250th anniversary year.

3. Golfing great, Ben Hogan, had an older brother called Royal!

4. No fewer than three Kings in the fifteenth century banned the playing of golf due to its distracting their men from practicing archery (James II, 1457/ James III, 1471/ James IV, 1492)

5. Prince William is said to have a ‘Harry Potter-style’ scar on his forehead that resulted from his being struck by a seven iron while playing the game with friends when he was nine.

I’m always glad that the more recent Royal Family has had a change of heart from that of their ancestors when it comes to golf and even from some of the facts above it is clear to see that they too have their own tales to tell from the Home of Golf. Why not share some of your own stories on our Facebook discussion board?

(LR)

www.oldcourse-experience.com

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