The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh

181 Whitehouse Rd,

Barnton, Edinburgh EH4 6BU

  • Office

    +44 (0)131 339 2075
  • Pro shop

    +44 (0)131 339 6474
  • Fax

    +44 (0)131 339 3712
  • Golf pro

    Steven Brian (Royal Burgess Society Professional).

About the course

  • The Course:

    18 holes. Tree-lined & open parkland. Gently undulating terrain - a few slopes to climb

  • Surroundings:

    Woodland and residential.

  • Designer:

    Original layout at this location designed by Old Tom Morris (1894). Subsequent improvements made by Willie Park Jr, Harry Colt, Philip Mackenzie Ross and James Braid.

SSS or slope






How to get there:

4 miles NW of Edinburgh

From the centre of Edinburgh take the A90 to the city's north-western suburbs, direction Barnton. In Barnton, at the intersection of the A90 (Queens Ferry Rd) and A902 (Maybury Rd), head north on White House Rd. After 150 yds, golf entrance is on your right.

The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh

4-star: Above average course - well worth a visit.

Est. 1735

The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh: Established in 1735, Royal Burgess is arguably the world's oldest golf club ... the argument is mainly with the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, at Muirfield, and Royal Blackheath in London (see 'Historical Notes' below).

Still located next to its original neighbour (Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society) this Old Tom Morris / James Braid layout is a quintessentially British parkland golf course. The nicely undulating terrain provides for a pleasant mix of holes, with some played either up or downhill, and several others occupying a less undulating, flatter plateau. The most significant elevation change comes at the testing downhill par-4 11th, where a blind drive over a marker stone sets you on your way.

In this partly open, partly tree-lined setting, a wonderful variety of trees and occasionally bushes separate the generally good-width fairways. On a few holes, recently introduced water ditches will need to be crossed, while grass-walled bunkers may not always be too conspicuous, but will certainly need to be factored into your course management, especially on approach shots to the often large and rolling-edged greens.

Although there is nothing much to see beyond the mainly tree-lined course perimeter, Barnton (as it is often called) is an absorbing layout that will pleasantly test your golfing skills. Back in the clubhouse there's the chance to explore the long history of this oldest of golf clubs.

List of courses: Home of Golf


Who can play and when?

Visitors welcome on weekdays and weekends (after midday).

Must book in advance.

Green fees

Visitor fee, 18 holes: £175 (all days); UK golf club members £100.

Contact club for full details, discounts, packages, etc. [Last updated: 2023].

Other information

Players generally walk this course. Golf carts available for hire.

Practice facilities


Did you know?

First established in 1735, Royal Burgess Golf Society can lay claim to being the world's oldest golf club, according to the authoritative website Scottish Golf History (.org). This website lists the oldest golf clubs/societies based on three criteria: i) a formally organised group meeting regularly for the purpose of golf; ii) dated evidence of the club/society's existence, and iii) its continuity of existence.

HISTORICAL NOTES: Royal Burgess Golfing Society traces its origins back to 1735 (this foundation date was recorded in Edinburgh Almanacs from around 1834 onwards). This would make the Society the world's oldest golf club, although the name Edinburgh Burgess Golfing Society was not formally adopted until 1787. Two other contenders also claim to be the world's oldest existing golf club. The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (based at Muirfield), has club records going back to 1744, while Royal Blackheath in London, claims to have been established in 1608.

What is clear is that a society of burgesses (property owning citizens) originally played golf on the Bruntsfield Links in Edinburgh city. The course comprised 6-holes, had been played on since the 15th century, was less than a mile south of Edinburgh Castle, and is now a 36-hole pitch & putt facility.

By 1874, with Bruntsfield Links becoming too congested, the Edinburgh Burgess members moved out to Musselburgh, east of the city. Here they shared a 9-hole course with The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society (who had also moved from the Bruntsfield Links) and Musselburgh Golf Club (later Royal Musselburgh). By 1894 Musselburgh also felt overcrowded, so Edinburgh Burgess moved across the city to their current home in Barnton. Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society also made the move to Barnton, and now reside next door to Royal Burgess.

George V conferred the Royal prefix on the club in 1929, at which time the club's name was changed from the Edinburgh Burgess Golfing Society to the Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh. By royal prerogative, 10 Scottish golf clubs use the "Royal" title, namely: Aberdeen, Royal & Ancient (St Andrews), Burgess, Dornoch, Duff House, Montrose, Musselburgh, Perth, Tarlair and Troon.

Published ranking

Scotland's 100th best course (Golf World, 2022).


  • Edinburgh Marriott Hotel4-star

    111 Glasgow Road, Edinburgh EH12 8NF

    +44 (0)131 334 9191

    Visit website

    The Edinburgh Marriott is located on the A8, just 2 miles from Edinburgh Airport and 3 miles west of the city centre. You can enjoy Edinburgh's famous festivals and historic sites with a convenient local bus service to the city centre, which runs regularly from the hotel.

    • Golf at this hotel:


    • Golf within 5 miles:

      Dalmahoy; Royal Burgess; Bruntsfield

    • Golf within 20 miles:

      Royal Musselburgh

  • Marriott Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club4-star

    Kirknewton, Edinburgh EH27 8EB

    +44 (0)131 33 1845

    Visit website

    With its wonderful scenery, baronial manor house and distant views of Edinburgh Castle, Marriott's Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club is a resort location, set in 1,000 acres of parkland, but just 7 miles from the centre of Edinburgh.

    • Golf at this hotel:


    • Golf within 5 miles:


    • Golf within 20 miles:

      Royal Burgess; Bruntsfield; Royal Musselburgh

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