Musselburgh gets Guinness seal of approval

Old Links IS the oldest!

Bob Warters
Sun, 22 Mar 2009
Musselburgh gets Guinness seal of approval

oldest golf course
Musselburgh Old Links today

It's official! The Old Course at Musselburgh Links is the oldest in the world.

Guinness World Records - the official record regulators for anything from the world's tallest building to the smallest creature - this week certified the historic nine-hole layout, located within Musselburgh Racecourse as the first to be used for golf.

Damian Field, an official from the organisation, accompanied by personnel from East Lothian Council and SportsPlus confirmed: “The Musselburgh Links, The Old Golf Course in Musselburgh, Scotland, UK, is the oldest golf course in the world.

“Documentary evidence proves that golf was played on Musselburgh Links as early as March 2, 1672, although Mary, Queen of Scots reputedly played here in 1567.”

Authenticating the record is documentary evidence found in the account book of Sir John Foulis of Ravelston who records losing at “golfe” at Musselburgh on March 2, 1672.

Said Field, presenting a certificate to Old Course starter Kenny Armstrong: “We would like to congratulate Musselburgh Links on being recognised as the oldest golf course in the world. We hope that golf continues to be played and enjoyed here for many years to come.”

You can still play with hickory clubs at Musselburgh

Secretary of the Musselburgh Old Course Golf Club Robin McGregor commented he was 'thrilled the Old Course was starting to receive the attention it richly deserves.”

Managed by SportPlus on behalf of East Lothian Council, the Old Course was initially only seven holes until two more were added in 1838 and 1870 respectively. It also hosted The Open Championship on six occasions between 1874 and 1889.

For the home golf legends Willie Dunn, (who won the first unofficial US Open in 1894), John Gourlay and John Carey it still retains the traditions of yesteryear and visitors can hire hickory-shafted clubs to play the course.