Feb 7th, 2016
What is the oldest golf pub in the world?
We think it's 'Ye Olde Golf Tavern'
Words: John Dean
We got called out on Twitter the other day when we wrote about what we thought was the oldest golf pub in the world, and the fact that it was going to be closed down.
That was 'Mrs. Forman’s' in Musselburgh, which is home to one of the oldest golf courses in the world. The Old Course at Musselburgh hosted the Open Championship on six occasions between 1874 and 1889, and documentary evidence proves that golf was played on Musselburgh Links as early as 2 March 1672 although Mary, Queen of Scots reputedly played there in 1567.
And yes, there was a pub near this the oldest course, but the pub didn’t come along until 1822, which is rather after the event. So what is the oldest golf pub in the world?
Well, a bit of digging –and the Twitter call-out – has pointed us in the direction of the appropriately named ‘Ye Olde Golf Tavern’ in Edinburgh.
Located on the edge of the Bruntsfield Links it was founded in 1456. The Tavern was previously known as the Golf Hotel.
As purpose built golf clubhouses did not exist at that time, local inns served the same purpose, and 'Ye Olde Golf Tavern' was used as Bruntsfield Links Society clubhouse from 1788 until early in the nineteenth century when they moved to Musselburgh.
Bruntsfield Links is now one of Scotland's few free public golf courses, and is looked after by the City Council's local green keeper. Visitors can play the oldest short course in the world, and clubs and balls can be hired from the pub, sorry Tavern.
Well, we hope we’ve now got our facts right. So the world’s oldest golf pub is ‘Ye Olde Golf Tavern’ and it is right by the oldest short course in the world. Unless, that is, someone knows differently.....