Photo of Musselburgh Links (The Old Golf Course)

Musselburgh Links (The Old Golf Course)

Stables Pavilion, Balcarres Rd,

Musselburgh, East Lothian EH21 7SR

  • Office

    +44 (0)131 665 5438
  • Fax

    +44 (0)131 665 5438

About the course

  • The Course:

    9 holes. Seaside links. Gently undulating terrain - easy to walk.

  • Surroundings:

    Horse racing course.

  • Designer:

    Unknown

Back
tees
Club
tees
Front
tees
Yards
2874
2665
Par
34
34
SSS or slope
34
34

At the same location:

Musselburgh Links (The Old Course) is the home course of Musselburgh Old Course Golf Club (MOCGC), founded in 1982 and now the only Golf Club attached to these Links. Although the Links clubhouse/Starter's cabin has few facilities, MOCGC has its own clubhouse adjacent to the course, which was originally built in 1873 for The Edinburgh Royal Burgess Golfing Society.

The authentic and original period clubhouse offers a full range of bar, catering and changing facilities, which can be used by individual visitors, as well as groups and societies, by prior arrangement with the Secretary. If you want to become a part of golf's earliest history, MOCGC also now offers very competitively priced Associate and Overseas memberships. Details can be found on the Club's website, www.mocgc.com.

Location

Latitude:

55.948060

Longitude:

-3.045450

How to get there:

5 miles E of Edinburgh

On the eastern outskirts of Edinburgh, at the junction of the A1 and A720 (Edinburgh by-pass), follow the A1 direction Berwick-upon-Tweed. After 1.7 miles take the A6094 direction Wallyford. After 1 mile at roundabout turn left onto the A199 Haddington Road. After o.7 mls go straight across roundabout, staying on the A199 (now called Linksfield Road). After o.6 mls turn right into Millhill Wynd, direction Musselburgh (Old course). After 200 yds turn right into Balcarres Road. After 300 yards golf is on your right.

Musselburgh Links (The Old Golf Course)

3-star: Good course – an enjoyable test for your game.

Est. c.1500

Musselburgh Links (The Old Golf Course): Musselburgh Links is the world's oldest playing golf course, previously hosting The Open Championship on no less than six occasions. Although only a nine-hole course, these delightful golf links are assured their place in golfing history. To delve into the history of Musselburgh's Old Course is to get in touch with the very beginnings and roots of golf. But Musselburgh Links is more than just a trip down Memory Lane.

The out-and back design (you could also say a trip down to Mrs Foreman's pub and back) makes for a thoroughly enjoyable and at times challenging golf outing. The course is now encircled by Musselburgh horse racing track, but the rails and racing paraphernalia do not seem to get in the way of enjoying this pleasant and nicely maintained links layout. In true links fashion, the gently rolling fairways are characterised by crisp turf, the greens here are firm and fast and the pot bunkers small and strategically placed.

Good-shot making will be needed to stay out of the ball-swallowing lush grassy rough that lies beyond the rails (i.e. the race track). A round here at Musselburgh Links is not about taking on a modern, "monster-length" layout, as much as enjoying the erstwhile pleasures of a simple, unpretentious 9-hole course that has been played on for more than 500 years.

HISTORICAL NOTES: During the 1800s three prestigious golfing societies moved to the Musselburgh Links, forced from their previous Edinburgh homes by the growing popularity of golf in the city, and consequent overcrowding on their original courses.

The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers arrived in Musselburgh in 1836, arriving from the city's congested Leith Links (which is now a public park). The Edinburgh Burgess Golfing Society (nowadays Royal Burgess) arrived in 1874 from their former Bruntsfield Links home, which was less than a mile south of Edinburgh Castle. They were soon followed in 1878 by the Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society itself. However, these three 'migrants' were temporary visitors.

As congestion on the Musselburgh Links developed in the 1890s, the Honourable Company (1891) moved to a new Tom Morris designed 18-hole course (called Muirfield) on the Archerfield Estate at Dirleton. The Edinburgh Burgess Society (in 1894) and Bruntsfield Links Society (in 1898) moved in the opposite direction, crossing the city to new and adjoining courses in Barnton.

List of courses: Home of Golf

Visitors

Who can play and when?

Visitors welcome on weekdays and weekends.

Must book in advance.

Green fees

Visitor fee, 9 holes: weekdays £14; weekends £15. Hickory shafted or modern golf clubs available for hire.

Credit cards accepted (not Amex). Contact club for full details, discounts, packages, etc. [Last updated: 2018].

Other information

Players generally walk this course.

Practice facilities

Limited

Did you know?

These same Musselburgh Links, on which golf was certainly played in the 1500s, hosted The Open Championship on six occasions between 1874 and 1889. During this period the championship was rotated between Musselburgh, Prestwick and St Andrews. For more details view Top Golf Tournaments at The Royal Musselburgh Golf Club.

In the 1980s a group of local enthusiasts formed the Musselburgh Old Course Golf Club (MOCGC), bringing a much needed revitalisation to the course in the process. | In the Starter's cabin you will find an excellent collection of golfing souvenirs, commemorating this the world's oldest playing golf course.

To experience golf as it was in earlier times, you can rent from the Starter and play with a set of authentic hickory-shafted clubs.

Where2Stay

  • The Woodside Hotel2/3-star

    30 Linkfield Road, Musselburgh, Edinburgh, Midlothian EH21 7LL

    +44 (0)131 665 0404

    Visit website

    A family run hotel, the Woodside Hotel overlooks the Musselburgh racecourse and the famous Musselburgh Links golf course. The hotel is only 5 minutes walk from Musselburgh town centre, and only a short drive from the beaches and East Lothian's golf courses. All 12 rooms are ensuite and are comfortably furnished and decorated.

    • Golf at this hotel:

      Musselburgh Links (Old course)

    • Golf within 5 miles:

      Royal Musselburgh

    • Golf within 20 miles:

      Dalmahoy; Craigielaw; Luffness New; Gullane (Nos 1, 2 & 3); Muirfield; Archerfield; North Berwick; Glen.

  • Malmaison Hotel3-star

    1 Tower Place, Leith, Edinburgh EH6 7DB

    +44 (0)131 468 5000

    Visit website

    Overlooking the port of Leith, this former seamen's mission is now home to the stylish and modern Malmaison.

    • Golf at this hotel:

      No

    • Golf within 5 miles:

      Musselburgh Links (Old course); Royal Musselburgh

    • Golf within 20 miles:

      Dalmahoy; Craigielaw; Luffness New; Gullane (Nos 1, 2 & 3); Muirfield; Archerfield.

Find a course

Or

Where2Golf Spotlight

Tournaments:
Solheim Cup: can Europe defend the most prestigious team trophy in women’s professional golf, when the 17th Solheim Cup is played out at the Inverness Club in Toledo, Ohio (Sept 4-6).

Italian Open: Nicolai Højgaard recorded his first European Tour win (Sept 5), just a week after his twin brother Rasmus landed the European Masters title (Aug 29); the first brothers to win back-to-back on the European Tour.

Who's Who:
Patrick Cantlay: moved into the world top 5, after winning the final two FedEx Cup playoff events and scooping the $15 million first prize.

Trish Johnson: kept the Senior LPGA Championship trophy in European hands, with her second win in this event in its four-year history.

Latest Golf Course Updates

Golf World Top 100: Best Golf Courses in Europe. From France to Spain to the Netherlands and Norway, the Golf World Top 100 panel reveals the places you have to play (published 20 October 2021).

New 27-hole golf complex to be built in southern Belgium
A new golf complex in southern Belgium, close to the border with Luxembourg, will start construction in June 2021.

Marco Simone Golf & Country Club "makes its tournament debut with the hosting of the Italian Open on the European Tour" by Richard Humphreys

Gamble Sands opens short course:
David McLay Kidd’s 14-hole QuickSands short course has opened for play at Gamble Sands in Brewster, Washington.

Travel

Discover the world's finest heathland courses located in Surrey / Berkshire

Popular videos

You can subscribe to the Where2Golf channel on YT if you like to see more video content. You'll find a "Subscribe" button on any of our YouTube videos. Or if you want a quick and direct access subscribe here. Once done, any new published videos will show up in your Subscriptions feed.

Ryder Cup 2021 at Whistling Straits

What is the Golf World Top 100?

The Dutch Open 2021 at Bernardus