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main image Prestwick golf course, Prestwick, Ayrshire
First mentioned in the 15th century, golf was especially suited to coastal 'links' – flat, sandy pastures on raised beaches.

A popular game over several centuries, it was not until the mid to late 19th century that golf flourished. This photograph shows the course at Prestwick, where the first Open Championship was held in 1860. The sea is behind the photographer.

Coastal and inland courses were laid out, for both private clubs and municipal authorities. Besides the bunkers and raised tees, the club house was the game's most significant contribution to the landscape.

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