On 1 January 1810 a golfing society was instituted in Montrose, Scotland, entitled “The Montrose Golf Club”. History tells us it is the ninth oldest golf club in the world.
While Montrose cannot boast the permanency of the Old Course at St Andrews, for instance, there are still parts of the Medal Course which have been played for more than 350 years.
Until the middle of the 19th century the Montrose golfers had to share their links with other sports including football, cricket, archery and horse racing. The right of the citizens to use the links for leisure activities was, and still is, enshrined in law and for more than three centuries golf was free to them.
With the development of the game and the arrival of such refinements as iron cups for the holes, flagsticks to mark their position and even cutting of the grass around the holes, the Town Council and the non-golfers began to insist on charging the players.
The name of the Club was altered to the “Montrose Royal Albert Golf Club” in 1845 when His Royal Highness, Prince Albert, became the Club’s Patron. The Club’s present Patron is His Royal Highness, Prince Andrew, The Duke of York.
In 1864 another golf club was founded in Montrose called “The Montrose Victoria Golf Club”, and in February 1986 The Montrose Royal Albert Golf Club and The Montrose Victoria Golf Club amalgamated to form the Royal Montrose Golf Club. Later that year in June the North Links Ladies Golf Club (originally founded in 1927) merged with the Royal Montrose Golf Club.
The Montrose Medal course is a natural links course that extends to 6506 yards and is a par 71 18-hole course. It ranks among the ten oldest golf clubs and courses in the world, the exact rank being in a bit of debate, depending on what is acknowledged as the date of formation of its golf association. One thing which makes the course unique is that at one time it had 25 holes!
The typical Scottish Links boasts of springy turf and challenging dunes and gorse. The layout is a unique T shape with the first nine holes, played along the shore of the North Sea, having some impressive dunes. The 10th to 13th turn inland and one has to negotiate through some heavy gorse. It then turns towards the sea again and home. The 17th is a world class par three followed by a short par four to finish a round of most enjoyable golf. Montrose Links was a Final Qualifying Course for the Open Championship at Carnoustie in 1999 and again in 2007
The Medal Course at Montrose is a majestic layout in the true traditions of Scottish links golf and has hosted many important events in its history including the Scottish Professional Championship in 1967 and 1970, the Scottish Amateur Championship in 1975, the British Boys Championship and Internationals in 1991