Page last updated at 18:07 GMT, Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Links plays into the record books

Musselburgh Links
The earliest known game of golf was played at Musselburgh Links' Old Golf Course

Musselburgh Links' Old Golf Course has been officially certified as the oldest golf course in the world by Guinness World Records.

Documentary evidence proves "golf was played on Musselburgh Links as early as 2 March, 1672, although Mary, Queen of Scots, reputedly played here in 1567".

The record is the documentary evidence found in the Account Book of Sir John Foulis of Ravelston.

In his entries the earliest game is 2 March, 1672.

This passage is referenced in the "The Golf Book Of East Lothian", compiled and documented by John Kerr, the minister of Direlton, published in 1896.

The Old Golf Course, which is managed by SportPlus on behalf of East Lothian Council, has always had a renowned history and heritage with the game of golf.

This is great news for the golf course and East Lothian in this year of Homecoming
Stuart Currie
East Lothian Council

Initially a seven-hole course, until the eight and ninth were added in 1838 and 1870, Musselburgh Links was an original Open Championship Venue, hosting the competition on six occasions between 1874 and 1889.

It was also home to a number of golfing heroes including Willie Dunn, (who won the first unofficial US Open in 1894), feather ball maker John Gourlay and John Carey (known as Fiery) one of the most famous caddies in the history of golf.

Damian Field, Guinness World Records spokesman, said: "Guinness World Records would like to congratulate Musselburgh Links on being recognised as the oldest golf course in the world.

"We hope that golf continues to be played and enjoyed there for many years to come"

Stuart Currie, East Lothian Council depute leader, said: "This is great news for the golf course and East Lothian in this year of Homecoming.

"This achievement just demonstrates the rich history of golf in our county and why it is such a fantastic place to play whether you are young or old, or from near or far."

Robin McGregor, secretary of the Musselburgh Old Course Golf Club, said: "We are thrilled The Old Course is starting to receive the attention it richly deserves."

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