In 1456, King James II of Scotland decreed that 'futeball and the golfe be utterly cryit down' because they interfered with yeomen's archery practice.
The ban lasted until 1502, when King James IV signed the Treaty of Glasgow, making peace with England and giving archers more spare time.
The first officially documented golf match was between James IV himself and the Earl of Bothwell on 4 February 1504.
A golf hole is 4.25in in diameter because that was the size of a piece of drain pipe used to repair a hole at St Andrew's many years ago. The 18-hole course also originated at St Andrews. Until 1764, there were 12 holes, with a round teeing off from hole one, then 11 holes out and retracing the path with 11 back. The over-short first four, which became the last four on the way back, were then combined into two holes each way. Result: 18 holes.
A golfer's caddie takes his name from the French word cadet, meaning a boy, or youngest son: he was the one who carried the bags. The French, however, have contributed more to the game of golf than just this word. On 7 February 1928, French golfers voted to sentence a blackbird to death for stealing 30 golf balls from the Saint-Germain course near Paris.
In Ohio, statistics show that 6 per cent of all deaths by lightning occur when the victim is playing golf.
The worst ever round in a US Masters tournament was the 23 over-par 95 hit by Charles Kunkle in 1956.
The title of worst golfer, however, goes elsewhere: in the Bob Hope Desert Golf Classic in 1971, Vice-President Spiro Agnew hit three spectators with his first two shots.
Putts missed through nervous tension formed the subject of a paper in the journal Sports Medicine in 2002 entitled: 'A Multidisciplinary Study of the "Yips" Phenomenon in Golf'.
Best golfing funeral: Mr Thomas J. Caradonia, 70, from Houston, was buried in August 1984 wearing full golfing regalia and holding a putter in his right hand.
'Excessive golfing dwarfs the intellect'
Sir Walter Simpson, The Art of Golf (1887).
'Golf is a good walk spoiled'
'I'm sure Jimmy would have wanted us to do that. He would have done the same.' Spoken at a golf club in Fife in September 1996 by a golfer who played on with three regular partners after a fourth
Jimmy Hogg, 77 - had dropped dead at the first tee.
About one in 12,000 tee shots ends in a hole-in-one.
On 6 February 1971, Alan Shepard became the first person to hit a golf ball on the Moon.
He took two swipes with a 6-iron. He mis-hit the first, which went only about 100ft, but the second stayed in the air for 30 seconds and travelled a distance of 200yd.
In 2008, a snake that swallowed four golf balls thinking they were chicken eggs was saved by emergency surgery.
A couple had placed the balls in their chicken shed at Nobbys Creek in New South Wales, Australia, to encourage their hen to nest.
The golf balls were later sold for charity for £630 in an eBay auction.