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Musselburgh Links

Coordinates: 55°56′48″N 3°2′11″W / 55.94667°N 3.03639°W / 55.94667; -3.03639
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Musselburgh Links, The Old Golf Course
Old Starters Building (A new starters building was built in 2011).
Club information
Musselburgh Links is located in Scotland
Musselburgh Links
Coordinates55°56′48″N 3°2′11″W / 55.94667°N 3.03639°W / 55.94667; -3.03639
Operated byEast Lothian Council
Total holes9
Events hostedThe Open Championship (six times between 1874 and 1889)

Musselburgh Links, The Old Golf Course in Musselburgh, East Lothian, Scotland, is generally accepted as being one of the oldest golf courses in the world.[1][2] The course is not to be confused with The Royal Musselburgh Golf Club or the Levenhall Links.

Musselburgh Links is a publicly owned course, administered by East Lothian Council. Two golf clubs, Musselburgh Old Course Golf Club and Musselburgh Links Ladies Golf Club, are based at the course. The course has nine holes, and is a par 34.


Musselburgh was once certified as being the oldest golf course in the world by Guinness World Records; recently this 'record' was reassigned to St Andrews. There is documented evidence that golf was played at the links in 1672, while it is claimed that Mary, Queen of Scots, played nearby (at Seton) in 1567.[3]

Musselburgh Links was originally seven holes, with an 8th added in 1838 and the 9th in 1870.[4]

Musselburgh was one of the three courses which staged The Open Championship in rotation in the 1870s and 1880s, alongside Prestwick and the Old Course at St Andrews. It was selected because it was used by the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers,[5] and the course hosted six Opens in all, the first in 1874 and the last in 1889.[6]

Year Winner[note 1] Score
R1 R2 Total
1874 Scotland Mungo Park 1st 75 84 159
1877 Scotland Jamie Anderson 1st 82 78 160
1880 Scotland Bob Ferguson 1st 81 81 162
1883 Scotland Willie Fernie 1st 75 83 158 PO
1886 Scotland David Brown 1st 79 78 157
1889 Scotland Willie Park, Jr. 2nd 78 77 155 PO

When the Honorable Company built a private club at Muirfield, Musselburgh dropped out of the rotation for the Open.

On 14 July 2010, the course became a temporary heliport, when fog in Edinburgh forced the helicopter used by Elizabeth II and Prince Philip to land in front of the first tee.[7]


The course left a lasting legacy to the game's rules. The four-and-a-quarter-inch (108 mm) diameter of a golf hole was the width of the implement used to cut the holes at Musselburgh; in 1893, the Royal and Ancient adopted the measurement as a mandatory requirement for all courses.[4]


  1. ^ Superscript number beside the player's name is the number of the Open Championship in their respective careers.


  1. ^ "It's official:Musselburgh golf course is worlds oldest". East Lothian News. 20 March 2009. Retrieved 10 July 2009.
  2. ^ "Recognition for the world's oldest links, at last". PGA Tour. 24 March 2009. Archived from the original on 2 April 2009. Retrieved 29 July 2009.
  3. ^ Links plays into the record books BBC. Retrieved September 24, 2011
  4. ^ a b "Course History". Musselburgh Links. Retrieved 17 December 2012.
  5. ^ "Musselburgh and Seton House". Scottish Golf History. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  6. ^ Sullivan, Paul (13 July 2022). "Some Classic Golf Courses Have Fallen Off the Open Schedule". The New York Times. Retrieved 17 July 2022.
  7. ^ "Unexpected Royal Visitor". Musselburgh Links. 2010. Retrieved 17 December 2012.

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