Montrose Golf Links
James Graham was the first golfer on record to hire a caddie here in 1628!
In the 1860s, Montrose had 25 holes! Contrast this with Blackheath which had 7, Prestwick which had 12, and St Andrews, just 18.
Charles Burgess was the professional at the club. He migrated to America where his pupil, Francis Ouimet, would go on to win the US Open in 1913. Francis Ouimet would later become the first American to Captain the R&A!
Golf Course Review
Montrose Golf Links is found in the town of Montrose in Angus, Scotland. On the eastern coast of Scotland overlooking the North Sea, the course is located between Dundee and Aberdeen. The links are found between the mouths of the North and South Esk Rivers.
Montrose Golf Links Early History
Montrose Golf Links is thought to be the 5th oldest golf course in the world. The 1562 Course is proudly named after the first instance on record of golf being played over the links. The reference to the golf was made by James Melville in his personal diary. Golf was formally organised on January 1, 1810.
Some of the game’s greatest architects have worked on Montrose Golf Links. Old Tom Morris was responsible for the course played in 1888. The most famous landmark of his layout is the hollow or gully which is still seen between the 16th hole and 3rd green. The next architect to make changes was Willie Park Jr. Only the 4th hole survives as a testament to his work at Montrose Golf Links.
Next up was Harry Colt in 1913. Harry Colt made 11 new holes and major changes to most others. Since 1919, only slight changes have been made. These include changes to the 2nd and the 6th to the 9th. The course is not a traditional out and back design, rather it is a T-shaped routing.
1562 Course Breakdown
Hence, the architects and their corresponding holes are:
1 – Harry Colt
2 – Martin Hawtree
3 – Harry Colt
4 – Wille Park Jr
5-18 – Harry Colt
The Royal Montrose Golf Club
On April 11, 1845, the Montrose Golf Club was granted Royal patronage by Prince Albert. The club was then officially known as The Montrose Royal Albert Golf Club. In 1986, the Montrose Royal Albert Golf Club, the Montrose Victoria Golf Club, and the North Links Ladies’ Golf Club amalgamated and rebranded as the Royal Montrose Golf Club.
The only two clubs which predate it are the Royal Perth Golfing Society and The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews (R&A). Uniquely, they too do not play on their own courses. Like the R&A, it has played on the same linksland since its inception – making it the second oldest club behind the R&A to do so.
To learn more about the Crown and golf, read Scott Macpherson‘s book, Golf’s Royal Clubs.
Montrose Golf Links - Videos
watch montrose golf links 1562 official promo video
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Featured Architect: Alister MacKenzie
As taken from his book, Golf Architecture, Alister MacKenzie felt the following were essential: The course, where possible, should be arranged in two loops of nine holes. There should be a large proportion of good two-shot holes and at least four one-shot holes. There should be little walking between...