The Castle Course tartan tale

Some of the earliest accounts from the 16th Century refer to Scottish tartans as ‘mottled’ and ‘marred’, but perhaps the best description comes from the Gaelic word ‘breacan’ meaning chequered, a fitted description for tartan’s aesthetic: the check-like pattern – the ‘sett’ – which is repeated.

For centuries, tartan was primarily the garb of Highlanders in the north of Scotland and for some time was synonymous with clan kinship and bloody battles over territory. In fact, in an attempt to bring warring clans under government control, tartan was outlawed in Scotland by the Dress Act in 1746. During the ban, Scottish romantics wore tartan as a form of protest and, with this, a cultural renaissance and new identity was forged for Scotland’s national dress and most beloved textile.

Since then tartan’s popularity has fluctuated with the times, but in recent decades its reinvention has propelled its popularity beyond borders to a near omnipresence within some of the world’s most esteemed fashion houses and annual appearance on catwalks the world over.

Here at the Home of Golf, an official, bespoke St Andrews Links tartan was designed in 1997. Registered and authenticated with the Scottish Register of Tartan, the men’s check featuring a traditional green base to signify the famous Links, while the ladies’ tartan uses purple to mirror the heather found across the Links landscape.

For more than 20 years the collection has grown in popularity, and much like the landscape upon which it drew inspiration it has evolved too. This year it has evolved again with the creation of a new tartan at the Home of Golf, one which celebrates The Castle Course.

A standalone site, located just a few miles from the Old Course, The Castle offers golfers a unique experience, thanks to its remarkable cliff-top location and spectacular views across St Andrews Bay, as well as a memorable golfing challenge and fantastic hospitality.

Inspired by The Castle celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2018, the team at St Andrews Links Retail were inspired to create an official registered tartan for The Castle Course with historic Scottish design firm, House of Edgar.

The Castle Course Collection in The Castle Course Shop

Working closely with the St Andrews Links Retail Team they have delivered a distinctive check, which boasts a striking scarlet red stripe alongside grey, black and white tones. Armed with the tartan the team have created a range of eye-catching products befitting of the unique golfing challenge and memorable experience offered at The Castle Course.

Head of Retail Kevin Liddle said: “The retail store within the clubhouse has become a vital component in our business over the past decade, providing our team with a fantastic opportunity to introduce new products and collections for customers to try. “We pride ourselves on being creative, ensuring that every attention to detail is paid to manage and maintain quality of the products we offer. With The Castle Course celebrating 10 years we felt it was the perfect time to explore a new tartan with a new colour palette that could expand that offering and create exciting new product lines, unique to The Castle Course. “With our registered tartan we have been able to create a bright and vibrant collection, using the latest performance fabrics, that really reflect the incredible golfing experience on offer at The Castle Course.” 

A selection of Castle Course tartan accessories

The debut Castle Course Tartan collection features a range of men’s and ladies wear, including performance polo-shirts, t-shirts and layering pieces. Accessories featuring the tartan, which includes towels, headwear, divot tools and markers are also available.

To view the collection visit the shop located within The Castle Course clubhouse or visit our online store.

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