It's Official: Musselburgh Links Oldest Course in the World

The Old Golf Course at Musselburgh Links just outside of Edinburgh, Scotland, has been officially recognized as the oldest surviving golf course in the world by the Guinness World Records.

Historians uncovered the earliest record of golf being played on any surviving golf course from an Account Book of Sir John Foulis of Ravelston, an Edinburgh lawyer. The earliest game played on Musselburgh Links took place on March 2, 1672, where Foulis documents that "he lost at golfe at Musselburgh…£3.05.0." This documentary evidence was included in The Golf Book of East Lothian, published in 1896 and written by John Kerr, the minister of Dirleton.

Musselburgh has long been known as "The Cradle of Golf." Mary Queen of Scots is believed to have played the course in 1567; its origins, however, are probably in the 12th or 13th Century.

The first tournament for women was held on the course in 1811 and it was one of the three founding venues for the British Open along with Prestwick and St. Andrews. Musselburgh Old Course held the Open six times between 1874 and 1889. Many golfing legends have played there, including Open champions Willie Park Sr. - winner of the first Open Championship in 1860, Willie Park Jr., Old Tom Morris, Young Tom Morris, Willie Fernie, Mungo Park, Jamie Anderson, Bob Ferguson, David "Deacon" Brown and J.H. Taylor.

Damian Field, a spokesman for Guinness World Records, said: "We hope that golf continues to be played and enjoyed there for many years to come."

The Old Golf Course, which is now managed by Enjoy Leisure on behalf of the East Lothian Council, was originally a seven-hole course. The eighth and ninth holes were added in 1838 and 1870, respectively.

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