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Golf society reveals Auld Enemy clash of 1681

A society set up to promote Leith's unique affinity with golf has revealed how the grandfather of Bonnie Prince Charlie played his part in the world's first international on Leith Links.

The Duke of York - who later became King James VII - is said to have teamed up with a common cobbler named James Paterson to play against two English nobles in 1681.

The latest newsletter circulated by the Leith Rules Golf Society states that the English team were unaware that Mr Paterson was in fact an accomplished golfer and "regarded locally as a champion".

In one of the earliest sporting battles between Scotland and England, the Scots won - thanks to Mr Paterson's talent.

The revelation comes as the organisation promotes the fact that Leith Links hosted the first ever officially recorded game of golf, in 1744.

The newsletter says: "It is not possible to trace this game to the very first time a ball, clod or rock was swept across a field with a stick to find a rabbit run.

"But as a formal game with consistent rules, the beginnings of golf are clear."

Source: Evening News, Monday, 19th November, 2007