Scotland's Oldest Clubs
The Royal Musselburgh was formed in 1774 and was based at the Musselburgh Links until 1925. The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers were resident from 1836 to 1891 whereupon they made Muirfield, in Gullane their new home. The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh moved to Musselburgh links in 1873, from the over-crowded Bruntsfield Links in Edinburgh. They remained until 1895. The Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society joined them in 1875 and left to follow The Burgess Golfing Society to a new course on the east side of Edinburgh shortly thereafter.
There were approximately sixty smaller clubs and societies which played their spring and summer meetings over Musselburgh Links, including The Edinburgh Thistle, The Musselburgh Ladies Club, The Musselburgh Merchants Golf Club (pictured), The North Esk Golf Club, Musselburgh Zingari Golf Club, The Edinburgh Clerk Club, The Baxter Club, The Edinburgh Northern Merchants Club and The Levenhall Golf Club. The Members ticket for The Honestas Golf Club 1897/98 is pictured below.
A notable first for Musselburgh Links came in 1811. The world’s first golfing competition for women took place on New Year’s Day in that year when the town’s fishwives competed for a Creel and Skull. The Links also hosted one of the first Scottish Amateur Championships, which took place in 1898.
During the last quarter of the Nineteenth Century the four Clubs formed a Green Committee to take over control of the golf course. Each Club had two representatives on the Committee and had to contribute funds according to the size of their membership.
Up until then, The Honourable Club and The Musselburgh Club (later The Royal Musselburgh) bore practically the whole expense of the upkeep of the course.