Mary Stuart, Queen of Scotland, was playing golf at St Andrews a few days after the death of her husband, Lord Darnley the previous Sunday (10th).Life was pretty shit for her. She had returned to Scotland from France and her Scottish subjects didn’t seem to appreciate the sacrifices she had made. There was even talk that she was implicated in her husband’s murder.On top of that she was having a bad round and needed cheering up.
She had just three-putted the easy 9th and her drive at the long tenth had ended up in the long, thick purple thistles. Her caddies had been sent in to find it and she’s set her watch for 5 minutes. Having found it she had hacked out then managed to hit her approach to the front of the long double green. She played well normally and had an advantage over many of her opponents – she was considerably taller, almost 6 feet, and so generated a fair amount of power, she had played a good deal of golf in France and Scotland. Also she was Queen. This tended to work in her favour when raising her eyes at her opponent looking for a three feet gimmee.
She walked toward the green with her company of courtiers, doctors, advisors , media consultants, psychologists, astrologers and cooks.She was nearing the ball when suddenly James Hepburn, 5th Earl of Bothwell approached her on horseback. He had a rod in his hand. It looked like a putter.
“Where did you find this?” she asked as he presented it to her.
“It’s local. It’s a present, your majesty from your loyal priest here at St Andrews.“
“Really?” she said as she held it and practiced a few swings.
“It has a history your Majesty, and he really would like it returned to the church.”
She sank the 44 feet put. Unsurprisingly the club was never returned.