15 Oldest Golf Clubs in the World

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Imagine if you could play golf on the same grounds as some of the greatest players of all time. Golf clubs aren’t just places to swing clubs – they’re living testaments to the sport’s history. Let’s explore 15 of the oldest golf clubs in the world.

Royal Burgess Golfing Society (Scotland, 1735)

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Steeped in Scottish tradition, the Burgess Society predates the written rules of golf. Its original members, wealthy Edinburgh merchants, played on the Bruntsfield Links, which is now a public park. The membership is fiercely selective, requiring sponsorship from existing members and excellent golfing skills.

Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers (Scotland, 1744)

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Home to the legendary Muirfield course, this club has hosted 16 Open Championships, and has witnessed golfing greats like Tom Watson and Nick Faldo lift the Claret Jug. Members enjoy exclusive access to Muirfield and the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of golfing legends.

Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (Scotland, 1754)

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The R&A is more than just a club, it governs the rules of golf worldwide. Their prized possession, the Old Course, is a sacred place for golf lovers, where they can enjoy a one-of-a-kind game. Some of the famous members of this club include Tiger Woods and Annika Sörenstam.

Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society (Scotland, 1761)

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Initially formed by Edinburgh apprentices, this club offers a charming blend of tradition and accessibility. They play on the historic Bruntsfield Links, the heart of public golf in the city. The public links course also offers an active social scene and access to a historic course and a vibrant golfing community.

Royal Musselburgh (Scotland, 1774)

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This club claims to have hosted Mary, Queen of Scots, for a game of golf. With its challenging links layout and breathtaking views of the Firth of Forth, it is a memorable place for golfing enthusiasts. Its rich history and stunning scenery make it a top pick for any golf lover.

Fraserburgh Golf Club (Scotland, 1777)

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This is one of Scotland’s oldest clubhouses, dating back to 1777. The links course challenges your skills with its hilly land and deep traps. This golf club provides an unmatched links experience, but membership is limited.

Royal Aberdeen (Scotland, 1780)

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Renowned for its fast-drying fescue fairways and firm greens, this links course has hosted numerous prestigious tournaments, including the Scottish Open. Alex Salmond, the former Scottish First Minister, Colin Montgomerie, and Paul Lawrie are among its famous members.

Glasgow Golf Club (Scotland, 1787)

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Located within Glasgow city limits, this club offers a convenient escape for busy professionals. Originally an all-male club, it welcomed its first female member in 1993. It is convenient for city dwellers and home to members like Alex Ferguson, the legendary football manager, and Eric Liddell, the Olympic champion runner.

Port Erroll, Cruden Bay Golf Club (Scotland, 1791)

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This hidden gem along the Aberdeenshire coastline offers a scenic links course featuring rolling hills and stunning coastal views. It provides exclusive access to an attractive course and a peaceful golfing experience. The names of club members aren’t publicly shared.

Golf de Morfontaine (France, 1884)

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Harry Colt designed this historic course for Duc de Guiche. Located in the middle of the Chantilly Forest, it offers a unique blend of French and British golfing traditions and architectural styles. It’s one of the most exclusive private clubs in Europe.

Shinnecock Hills Golf Club (New York, 1891)

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Shinnecock Hills has hosted numerous US Opens, witnessing iconic moments like Payne Stewart’s dramatic 1999 win. It’s one of the five original clubs that formed the United States Golf Association that was established in 1894. This club has helped define the sport in the US.

Merion Golf Club (Pennsylvania, 1892)

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This club features high greens, deep traps, and a challenging layout inspired by British courses. Its iconic par-3 11th hole is considered one of the world’s most difficult and has witnessed thrilling moments in golfing history. Some of its well-known members include Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, and Jack Nicklaus.

The Royal Melbourne Golf Club (Australia, 1897)

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Home to two renowned courses, the Composite and Sandbelt, this club consistently ranks among the world’s best. Its tough layouts and natural beauty attract golfers from around the globe and is considered one of the first golf clubs in Australia. The club is a must-visit for golf lovers.

Pine Valley Golf Club (New Jersey, 1914)

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This club is famous for its minimalist design and layout, which makes it one of the most challenging golf courses in the world. It boasts of a natural beauty and no frills, offering a unique golfing experience.

Baltusrol Golf Club (New Jersey, 1922)

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This prestigious club has hosted numerous major championships, including the US Open and PGA Championship. Its diverse course offerings cater to various skill levels, while its rich history and commitment to inclusivity attract a diverse membership.


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