Geology provides the playgrounds
Golf would never have happened were it not for the ‘links’ landscape which is so characteristic of the east coast of Scotland. These links are usually narrow strips of low raised beach with sand dunes blown over them. It would have been natural to have the tees on top of sand dunes, the greens on grassy hollows between dunes, the fairways on the flat ‘machair’ of the raised beach, and the bunkers being wind-blown sandy hollows. The narrow strip of raised beach also encouraged squeezing in 9 holes ‘out’, and 9 holes ‘back’.
Rocky high ground which could not be cultivated lends itself for recreational use. The undulating heather-clad Southern Upland hills, such as the Lammermuirs, and the lower craggy igneous rocks, such as North Berwick Law, are both popular walking areas. The Southern Upland Way traverses the area from east to west.
Flat areas formed by river alluvium and terraces or raised beaches along the coast form natural venues for bowls or cricket which require a level pitch. Most football and rugby grounds, too, are found along the river alluvium, their very name commonly indicating this, as Philiphaugh at Selkirk, Netherdale at Gala, and Riverside Park at Jed-Forest.