It's official: Musselburgh golf course is world's oldest

Musselburgh's historic links have finally secured official recognition as the "oldest golf course in the world."

Representatives from Guinness World Records visited the Honest Toun to hand over a certificate acknowledging its unique place in the history of the game.

The news has been welcomed by local residents and users of the famous Old Course, who say it confirms what they have always believed.

A certificate authenticating the record was presented to golf course starter Kenny Armstrong by Councillor Stuart Currie, Depute Leader of East Lothian Council..

The official world record is documented as:

"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 2 March 1672 ,although Mary Queen of Scots reputedly played here in 1567."

The record is validated by entries in the Account Book of Sir John Foulis of Ravelston, including one dated March, 1672.

This entry is also referenced in "The Golf Book Of East Lothian" compiled and documented by John Kerr, the Minister of Dirleton, published in 1896.


Guinness World Records spokesman Damian Field said: "Guinness World Records 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 there for many years to come."

Community councillor Alan Hay, who has pushed for greater recognition for the links, hopes confirmation of the record will end the conflict between Musselburgh as the "Cradle of Golf" and St Andrews as the "Home of Golf."

He told the News: "Musselburgh Old Course is the jewel in the golfing crown and hopefully this will force the R&A to sit up and ask what they are going to do to promote it, instead of leaving it to local people and the council.


"Musselburgh and St Andrews are not in competition with each other and we should all be working together to promote Scotland and golf, especially in Homecoming year."

"I am delighted that the Old Course has been given the official recognition it deserves. Now we have to capitalise on this and use it to bring in visitors and create jobs."

Full report in Musselburgh News, March 20, 2009

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