99. Royal Musselburgh. 26th July 2019.

This ‘Royal’ 6th oldest club in the world is a bit like playing ‘Trigger’s broom’

Round £65. Par 70. Value (out of 5) – 2.5

When reading the history of the Royal Musselburgh GC on its website here I couldn’t help being reminded of the classic comedy sketch below….

This ‘Only Fools and Horses’ sketch came to mind whilst researching Royal Musselburgh GC

….don’t confuse the pedigree of the Golf Club, ‘founded’ in 1774 , with the pedigree of the Golf Course, which is much less prestigious, in my opinion. When you play Royal Musselburgh you’re actually playing a course opened only in 1925; although a pretty good course, it’s on a flat piece of land and it’s over-priced for the course quality, the price undoubtedly influenced by the ‘Royal’ patronage and the Golf Club heritage. In fact, the first 150 years of the history of ‘Royal Musselburgh’ is related to play at Musselburgh Links at the racecourse! Hence the comparison with Trigger’s ’20 year old’ broom! Please forgive my imagination.

The par 4 third hole at Royal Musselburgh, a typical hole on this flat track.

Musselburgh is the largest of the towns in East Lothian, situated on the coast about 5 miles from Edinburgh and close to the start of the great North Berwick coastal run of courses which includes Muirfield. There are actually three ‘Musselburgh’ courses: ‘Musselburgh Links’, which is in Musselburgh and recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the oldest course in the world; plain old ‘Musselburgh’, which is actually in Monktonhall; and ‘Royal Musselburgh’, the subject here, somewhat nearer to Prestonpans than Musselburgh! I blogged about Musselburgh here and Musselburgh Links here.

The 6th hole at Royal Musselburgh, one of only 3 par threes on the course.

Although only open since 1925, the course does owe its design to the great James Braid, albeit I couldn’t help thinking that the remit was to make a challenging, but not too challenging a course. It is set on ground leased from the Prestongrange Estate, and its clubhouse is within part of Prestongrange House, which is an impressive building from the outside. The fairways are quite wide and the rough under the trees was cut short allowing balls to be easily found. It’s not surprising that Royal Musselburgh is attractive to society or group visits.

The 14th,the shortest of the par 3s, where club selection is crucial at this, “The Gulley”, hole.

The course has only three par 3s and one par 5, and with several similar par 4s, it was a little repetitive, for my liking. It was though in very nice condition when I played and the greens were very true. I actually played the best of the season, scoring 87 for 36 points, including a birdie at the stoke index 3, par 4 15th hole, including hitting one of my longest drives for years – it was the first time I’d played with my new fitted driver and the technology has helped!

The tough 18th hole at Royal Musselburgh, with a well protected green, with views of Prestongrange House to the right of the hole.

My advice would be it’s a nice course to play if you can get a good discount, otherwise play the two other Musselburgh courses, which have much more to offer, by way of both history (The Links) and quality.


Course Type: Parkland

Par 70 (1 par 5, 14 par 4s, 3 par 3s)

Distance: 5880

Moly’s Gross score87

Moly’s scorecard of 87, best score all year made possible by first new driver bought for years.

About Moly McMillan

Moly McMillan lives in Broughty Ferry on the east coast of Scotland. He is a self employed business consultant and devotes some of his time to achieving his life long ambition - to play every golf hole in Scotland, every single one!
This entry was posted in 18 holes, 1901 - 1945, 2.5 star, 3 star, Course Architech, Course Owned By, Course Quality, Course Type, Edinburgh & The Lothians, Holes, James Braid, Overall Value, Parkland, Price, Private, Region, When Course Established, £60 - £79. Bookmark the permalink.