Royal Golf in Scotland

PGA Fellow Professional

Royal Golf in Scotland

Royal Golf in Scotland

Royal Golf in Scotland is a short golf blog post that looks at the golf courses and clubs with Royal approval in Scotland.

To help tie in with the Coronation Weekend I thought I should try to write a golf blog with some connection to Royalty.
Scotland has more than its fair share of Royal golf courses and clubs, so it seemed silly not to start there.

What does it take to have Royal as a golf course or club title?
To have the honour of using Royal in your name, the club would have to invite a member of the Royal family to be a patron, honorary member, or even just apply for the Royal title.
This invite or application must then be granted by the reigning monarch, which is now King Charles.

List of Royal Golf Clubs in Scotland
1. Royal Musselburgh Golf Club

Founded in 1774 the club was granted the use of Royal in its name by Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught. He remained a patron of the club until he passed away in 1942.
“Royal Musselburgh Golf Club” is recognised as the 5th oldest Golf Club in the world. See their website here.

2. Royal Aberdeen Golf Club

The 6th oldest Golf Club in the world is Royal Aberdeen which was formed in 1780. It was previously known as “The Society of Aberdeen Golfers” before they renamed it, “The Aberdeen Golf Club”, in 1815.
It gained its Royal title in 1903 from King Edward VII. You can visit their website here.

3. Royal Dornoch Golf Club

Golf has been played here on the Links since 1616 but the existing club established itself in 1877. “Dornoch Golf Club” received the Royal title in 1906 by King Edward VII and then was retitled “Royal Dornoch Golf Club”
Originally designed and built by Old Tom Morris, some of the course was lost in World War II because an airfield was constructed. The course was later redesigned and is still the course that exists today.
Check out their website by clicking the link.

4. Royal Craggan Golf Club

The mysterious club that not many know about. Originally formed in 1909, the club played on a 9-hole course, at Mar Lodge, which was extended to 18 holes by the orders of the Duke & Duchess of Fife.
The course closed due to World War II and never reopened. Further info can be found here.

5. Duff House Royal Golf Club

Established in 1910, it started its life as “Duff Golf Club” until it gained Royal status in 1925 at the request of Princess Louise, Dowager Duchess of Fife. The only Royal Golf Club in the world where the Royal comes after the name.
It was done this way in homage to the Princess because she was called the “Princess Royal” and not the “Royal Princess”. Learn more about the club by clicking here.

6. Royal Tarlair Golf Club

Without a doubt, this is one of the lesser-known golf clubs with Royal in the title. “Tarlair Golf Club” were granted the use of Royal in 1926 by Princess Louise, Duchess of Fife. Because of this, their name changed to “Royal Tarlair Golf Club”
Other than that, I struggled to find much more information.
The course itself is very player friendly and it is famous for its signature hole, the 13th Par 3, because of its cliff-top location. Check out its not-so-fantastic website here.

7. Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh

Founded in 1735, it is the oldest golfing society in the world.  Originally called “The Society of Golfers in and about Edinburgh”, they later changed the name to “The Edinburgh Golfing Society”. It was later changed again to “The Edinburgh Burgess Golfing Society”.
The Society bought a Golf Course in 1895 which would have given them a Golf Club status but they decided to keep their Society name.
King George V granted the Royal upgrade and because of this they changed the name for the final time to “The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh”. Check them out here.

8. Royal Troon Golf Club

The club was founded in 1878 when they played over 5 holes. The course was expanded by Willie Fernie in 1888, due to popular demand. Troon was redesigned by James Braid in 1923 because of a want to attract The Open.
In 1978, during their centenary year, the club was granted Royal status by Queen Elizabeth II. Take a look at their website by clicking this link.

Golf Clubs that don’t own a Golf Course

Royal Golf in Scotland

9. The Royal & Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews

Without a doubt the most well-known Golf Club in the world. Founded in 1754 and originally named “The Society of St Andrews Golfers”.
The Society was recognised and granted Royal status in 1834 by King William IV and changed its name to “The Royal Society of St Andrews Golfers”. Since 1897 the club has been recognised as “The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews”.
Contrary to popular belief, the club doesn’t actually own or run the famous Old Course. The Old Course sits on Public Land and because of this, it is run by the St Andrews Links Trust on behalf of the local government.
To learn more about the club, click here to visit their website.

10. The Royal Perth Golfing Society & County and City Club

In 1824 the “Perth Golfing Society” was formed. In 1833 King William IV granted Royal Patronage and because of this in 1878, the Society changed its name to “The Royal Perth Golfing Society & County and City Club.
The Society was the very first Society to receive Royal status, even ahead of the Royal and Ancient in St Andrews.
This Society and Club still don’t own their own Golf Course. They originally played Golf on the South Inch & North Inch Courses. They play their Golf on North Inch Golf Course due to the fact that the South Inch course no longer exists.
Check out their website here. The website for North Inch Golf Course can be found here.

11. Royal Montrose Mercantile Golf Club

“Montrose Golf Club” was formed in 1810 and very soon after, in 1845, it changed its name to Montrose Royal Albert Golf Club due to receiving the Royal title from Prince Albert.
In 1864, another Club was founded in Montrose called “The Montrose Victoria Golf Club”. In 1986, the two clubs merged and became “The Royal Montrose Golf Club”
Another Golf Club was formed in 1879 called “The Montrose Mercantile Golf Club” and in 2019 it merged with “The Royal Montrose Golf Club” and became “The Royal Montrose Mercantile Golf Club”
Their website can be found by clicking this link.


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