Following a preliminary announcement last month at a gathering of the world’s ancient clubs by Musselburgh Old Course Golf Club (M.O.C.G.C.) ‘The Club at the World’s Oldest Golf Course’, has launched a unique and timely opportunity for golfers worldwide to obtain ‘Associate Membership’ and become a part of golfing history.

Associate Membership provides full access to the historic clubhouse for the Member and their guests, provides handicap administration if required and the opportunity to play the world’s oldest golf course. Associate Members receive a prestigious wooden presentation box containing items, all of which bear the clubs crest; a replica ‘gutta-percha’ golf ball, leather membership bag tag, leather keyring, pitch mark repairer/ball marker, personalised certificate of membership and a superb booklet on the legendary happenings that make it the place of pilgrimage it is today.

Documentary evidence records golf being played on Musselburgh Old Course in 1672, earlier than any other course. Mary Queen of Scots is believed to have played the course in 1567; its origins however are probably in the twelfth or thirteenth century. The first tournament for women was held on the course in 1811 and it was one of the three founding venues for ‘The Open’ along with Prestwick and St Andrews; Musselburgh Old Course holding ‘The Open’ six times between 1874 and 1889. Many of the golfing legends have played there, including Open Champions Willie Park Snr. winner of the first Open Championship in 1860, Willie Park Jnr., Tom Morris Snr. and Tom Morris Jnr., Willie Fernie, Mungo Park, Jamie Anderson, Bob Ferguson, David ‘Deacon’ Brown and J H Taylor.

M.O.C.G.C. was formed by a group of local men in 1982 determined to retain the venues prestige and create growing awareness of Musselburgh’s important role as a pioneer for the modern game of golf. Like St. Andrews, Musselburgh Old Course has been in the custody of the local authority East Lothian Council since 1892 sharing a similar vision and has maintained the relatively unchanged course in pristine condition. M.O.C.G.C. own and occupy the clubhouse originally built for the world’s oldest golf club in 1873 ‘The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh (1735)’. The clubhouse has recently been restored and refurbished and is a thriving ‘Members Club’ with regular competitions on the course for men, women and juniors. M.O.C.G.C. is proud to have a very strong junior section and the current East Lothian Ladies County Champion in its ranks.

Fittingly, Tom Foggo, Captain of the world’s oldest club – The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh, became the first Associate Member, with other early-confirmed memberships rapidly coming from Scotland, England, U.S.A, Canada, Japan, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland.

In announcing the availability of Associate Membership, M.O.C.G.C. secretary Robin McGregor advised:

“The world’s oldest golf course has a history second to none, it has been played by ‘Kings, Queens, Butchers, Bakers and Candlestick Makers’ – we aim to continue these values for all at an affordable level and for as many as we can accommodate. We would like the privilege of being able to play golf on the world’s oldest course and enjoy the benefits of our historic clubhouse to be available to all who love the game of golf and value its traditions. We have had worldwide interest from golfers wishing to visit M.O.C.G.C. and play the world’s oldest course and Associate Membership will make this possible.

“We are an ambitious Club with very achievable plans for the future. Associate Membership is a package of outstanding value and early applicants are virtually assured membership. Our plans when achieved have the potential to benefit the town of Musselburgh, East Lothian, and many of the other superb golf courses and facilities in the area. We are delighted that this announcement has been so well received”

“Anyone wishing to become an Associate Member (cost is only £85.00 + £5.99 postage & packing) should visit our website mocgc.com for full details, or contact me directly on +44 (0) 131 665 6981.