Golf is one of the oldest modern sports in the world, dating as far back as the 15th century, and boasting a long and fascinating evolution that eventually culminated in the game that we have today. Along with the game itself, a number of prestigious golf courses have been built along the way, many of them almost as old as golf itself.
For those that dream of one day heading out and playing on courses that harken back to a simpler time, these are some of the very oldest courses that can be found in the world of golf.
1. Elie And Earlsferry
This coastal town can be found not far from St Andrews, and is home to the famous Ellie Harbour beach, which is a pristine stretch of coastline that’s immensely popular among beach lovers. First opened to the public in 1589 and overlooking one of the most beautiful parts of the country, this course is a true one-of-a-kind experience that anyone that have a passion for the game will want to check out at least once in their lives.
The layout at the moment was first revealed in 1895 and has changed little in the years since. Consisting of 18 holes in total, it’s a bastion of golf history that attracts hundreds of players throughout the year.
2. St Andrews
The undisputed original home of the game, the Old Golf Course, found in St Andrews, is officially recognised as the very oldest in the world. It was constructed in 1552 and can be located in the town of St Andrews, which is located right next to the ocean, and is around a 2-hour drive from Edinburgh.
There are seven different courses to choose from, which includes the Old Course, and remains an extremely popular spot for golfers of all shapes and sizes, many of which fly from all corners of the world to experience the origins of the game. Along with the course, it’s also possible to find shops and clubhouses in the immediate area, making a great area to enjoy the scenery or dabble in a bit of election betting.
As one of the oldest towns in Scotland, Fortrose is also one of the most scenic, and is home to hundreds of years of history. A four hour drive from Edinburgh, the town also boasts the internationally renowned Fortrose golf course, which is an 18 hole course opened in 1702.
Like the previous entries, Fortrose offers a magnificent view of the ocean as well as the mountains, and visitors to the course will be able to spend some time at the golf club, which was established in 1889.
4. Musselburgh Course
It’s believed that the first game of golf that took place on this course was in 1672, but there are claims that Queen Mary of Scots played here a century earlier.
It’s a historic course that can be found within half an hour of Edinburg. The nine-hole course is truly unique and has been home to over six Open Championship events.