The Thistle Golf Club was established in Edinburgh in 1815. They played on the Leith Links, sharing it with the Honourable Company.
[1802 Edinburgh Burgess]
RULES OF THE GAME OF GOLF
TO BE OBSERVED BY THE MEMBERS OF
THE THISTLE GOLF CLUB, 1824
I. You must tee your ball, not nearer the hole than two club-lengths, nor farther from it than six, and your tee must be upon the ground.
II. The ball farthest from the hole, to first played.
III. You are not to change the ball struck from the tee, before the hole is played out; and if at a loss to know the one ball from the other, neither of them to be uplifted, till both parties agree.
IV. You are not to remove stones, bones or any break-club, in order to play your ball, except upon the fair green: if a ball stick fast in the ground, it may be loosened, but not lifted from the ground.
V. The player, in every case, shall be entitled to lift his ball, drop
it at such distance as he thinks proper, behind the hazard, and lose one
stroke; but where he cannot get behind the hazard without going off the
green, he shall be entitled to drop his ball on the green, in a line
with the place where it lay.
N.B. According to the usage of Leith Links, holes made for putting, or are known by the name of made holes, are not considered hazards - should a ball get into one of these, the player is entitled to drop it behind the hole, and play with an iron, without losing a stroke.
VI. If a ball be half covered, or more, with water, on the green, the player is at liberty to take it out, drop it behind the hazard, and play it with an iron, without losing a stroke; and where the ball is completely covered with fog or grass, so much thereof may be set aside, as that the player may have a view of the ball before he plays.
VII. If a ball lie within the hollow, formed in cutting any of the water-tracks on the green, it may be taken out, dropped behind the track, and played with an iron, without losing a stroke.
VIII. In all cases where a ball is to be dropt, the party dropping, shall front the hole to which he is playing, and drop the ball behind him, over his head.
IX. When the balls lie within six inches of each other, the ball nearest the hole to be lifted, till the other is played.
X. In the case of more than two balls being played in the same party; or of the match being decided by the number of strokes, as in playing for medals or prizes; if one ball lie betwixt the other and the hole, the ball nearest the hole must be first played.
XI. If a ball be stopt by accident, it must be played as it lies; but if stopt by the adversary, or his cady, the party who stopt the ball to lose the hole.
XII. If a ball be lost on the green, the player shall drop another at the place where his ball was supposed to have been lost, and lose one stroke; but if it can be ascertained, that the ball was lost in any of the tracks on the green, another may be dropt behind the track, and played with an iron, without losing a stroke.
XIII. If in striking, the club break, it is nevertheless to be counted as a stroke, if you either strike the ground, or pass the ball.
XIV. At holing, you are not to mark the direction to the hole, you are to play your ball honestly for the hole, and not play on your adversary's ball, not lying in your way to the hole; but all loose impediments may be removed in putting.
XV. Mistakes relative to the reckoning of any particular hole cannot be
rectified after the parties have struck off for the next hole.
N.B. It may not be improper here to mention certain points of etiquette,
which it is of importance should be observed by all who are in the habit
of attending matches at Golf. It is understood that no looker-on is
entitled to make any observation whatsoever respecting the play - to
walk before the players - to remove impediments out of their way - or,
in short, to interfere in the most distant manner with the game while
playing. The player is at liberty, at all times, to ask advice from his
partner or cady, but from no other person.