Scotscraig Golf Club was founded in 1817 by some members of the St. Andrews Society of Golfers (later to become the Royal and Ancient Golf Club) who wished to play more golf than the Society's occasional meetings afforded them.
One of these members was William Dalgleish of Scotscraig, a section of whose lands was the Garpit, part of which included a racecourse.
Within the area of the racecourse, golf was already played over 6 holes, but no record exists to show how long this had been done.
The original minute of the Club states - "A party of gentlemen having met in August 1817, it was agreed upon that a club under the name of Scotscraig Golf Club should be established; that there should be two meetings annually, the one in Spring and the other in Autumn and that at the latter, a golf medal should be played for. A gold medal having been procured, it was appointed to be played for on Tuesday, September 29, 1818".
Competitions of the new Scotscraig Golf Club were decided over three rounds of the Garpit's six holes.
Captain Playfair, later to become Sir Hugh Lyon Playfair, Captain of the Royal and Ancient and Provost of St. Andrews, won the first competition for the Gold Medal with 105 strokes over three rounds of the links.
William Dalgleish was appointed as the first Captain of Scotscraig Golf Club at this meeting.
The dress code for players at this time was a red jacket trimmed with a green velvet collar.
It was also agreed that the golfing uniform should include a buff coloured uniform vest with small buttons similar to that worn on the jacket, and it was further approved that the penalty for players not suitably attired was 2 bottles of port.
In 1818, the Club officially appointed two of the best known names in golf.
Hugh Philip (official club maker) and David Robertson (official feathery ball maker). David's son Allan became the world's first ever golf professional.
In 1835, the Club went into abeyance for 52 years following the Garpit links having been ploughed up.
On the 5 th May 1887, Admiral Maitland Dougall presided over a meeting in Templar's Hall in Tayport to re-constitute Scotscraig Golf Club, and was appointed Captain of the Club.
Having retained custody of the Gold and Silver medals, Admiral Maitland Dougall presented these back to the Club.
At this meeting the rules of golf as prescribed by the Royal and Ancient Golf Club were adopted, with the addition of some local rules.
In April 1888 the "new" course was officially opened, with members being permitted to use the nearby fever hospital as a locker room and meeting place.
The layout of the course was altered in time for the 1893 medal, having been extended to 9 holes.
The holes in playing order were:-
In 1891, the Newport Golf Club was declared defunct, and the Newport and Walker medals were presented to Scotscraig Golf Club.
The last decade of the 19 th Century saw a steady increase in membership of the Club, and was met with a growing need for a proper clubhouse. At about this time, Tom Morris was invited from St.Andrews to advise on the amount of ground required to extend the course to 18 holes.
In the autumn of 1896, it is minuted that "the elegant and picturesque clubhouse just erected on Tayport Links for the Scotscraig Golf Club, was formally opened by Sir John Leng MP".
The total cost of building the Clubhouse was £699.15s.10d, plus £101.7s.7d for furnishings.
In September 1909, Mr. A.H. Robertson is recorded as the earliest hole in one at Scotscraig, and in this year, ladies were permitted to play as limited members. It took nearly 100 years for ladies to become full members. This was approved by the members at the Annual General Meeting in 1997.
In 1923, the course was redesigned with the assistance of James Braid, one of the "Triumvirate". The course still retains many of Braid's traditional architectural features, namely large rolling greens and well positioned bunkers.
Scotscraig today is largely unchanged, and presents a fair but serious challenge to all golfers.
Scotscraig Golf Club has been honoured over the years by the successes of its members, exemplified by A.F.Macfie, winner of the first British Amateur championship at Hoylake in 1885; J.Gordon Simpson, a Scottish Internationalist; and more recently by John Ferguson who won the British Boys' Championship in 1956.
In more recent years, the course has been used for Final Qualifying for the "Open" when played over the Old Course at St. Andrews , in 1984, 1990, 1995, 2000 and 2005.
The history of Scotscraig Golf Club is displayed in a permanent exhibition within the clubhouse covering the period from 1817 to the present date, and visitors and guests are most welcome to view the exhibits.