Apr 3rd, 2016
King James VI Golf Club
The perfect partner for North Inch Golf Club?
Words: John Dean
There’s plenty that’s unique about King James VI golf club. We also think that it would be the perfect partner for North Inch, which was recently saved from closure, and is reputably the oldest golf course in the world.
Firstly, it’s the only golf club in the world that you can’t actually drive to. And why? Because it’s also the only golf club in the UK that’s set entirely within it’s own island. The course can only be accessed by a ‘side-walk’, which is part of a train bridge that crosses the River Tay. We love little idiosyncrasies like that.
The club was founded in 1858 at Perth’s South Inch, but then relocated to Moncrieffe Island in 1897 to a purpose built course designed by the legend Old Tom Morris.
The club takes its name from the fact that King James VI of Scotland, who later became King James I of England and Ireland, learnt to play golf on Perth’s Inches. Inch is derived from the Gaelic ‘innse’, which means an island.
In 1884 a team from King James VI took part in the first inter-club golf match played in Ireland, when they took on the Royal Belfast Club. King James members later set up some holes on a barren stretch of coastline near a village called Portrush, so they were the first people to ever play on what is now a world-famous links course. You really couldn’t make this stuff up!
King James VI shared the 10-hole North Inch course with various other local golf clubs until 1897, when it migrated to its current setting on Moncreiffe Island.
We first came across King James VI when we were researching on North Inch golf club, which is reputably the oldest golf course in the world. Old Tom Morris designed the existing layouts of both golf courses, and both have tremendous histories.
What is more, the clubs are only three miles away from each other. Surely it must make sense for the two clubs to work together and make the most of their long and proud histories?