Montrose (Medal) - Angus & Dundee - Scotland

Montrose Golf Links,
Traill Drive,
Montrose,
Angus,
DD10 8SW,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1674 672932

  • Golf Club Website

  • 1 mile from Montrose centre

  • Contact in advance - restricted at weekends

  • Claire Penman

  • Old Tom Morris, Willie Park Jr., Harry Colt

  • Jason Boyd

Did you know that Montrose Golf Links is considered to be the sixth oldest course in the world? Records state that golf has been played here since 1562, but the first golf club wasn’t formed until 1810. In 1845 Prince Albert granted the club royal patronage. Royal Montrose is the 3rd oldest existing royal club in the world; only the Royal Perth Golfing Society and the R&A predates it. There are now three separate golf clubs playing over these ancient links, overseen by the watchful eye of the Montrose Links Trust.

Mother Nature probably designed the original Medal course, and at one stage the layout was unique in that it boasted 25 holes. But in 1901, Old Tom Morris made alterations and two years later Willie Park Junior made further modifications. Despite many more recent developments, several of the Medal's opening holes are played over the same centuries-old linksland.

The Medal is a traditional Scottish links course with delightful crisp turf, dunes, whins (gorse to southerners), deep bunkers and tall wavy grass that changes colour and dances in the wind. The holes are laid out in an unusual T-shaped configuration. The front nine plays mainly along the shoreline and offers excellent views across the North Sea. Holes 10 to 13 turn inland before you head back home, towards the sea.

A golfing trip to Scotland would not be complete without playing this nostalgic links course. It represents a fine golfing challenge; Montrose hosted the Scottish Professional Championship in 1967 and 1970 and Final Qualifying for the Open Championship held at Carnoustie in 1999 and 2007.

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Reviews for Montrose (Medal)

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Description: Did you know that the ancient links at Montrose is the sixth oldest golf course in the world? It has simply been overlooked because its neighbour, the mighty Carnoustie, has overshadowed it. Rating: 4.7 out of 6 Reviews: 20

Only on my 5th golfing trip to the region did I find time to play Montrose. Until then, our stays had been too brief or we had been too busy ticking off the big beasts. But, I am very happy I finally made it to Montrose.

So, why should you find time for Montrose in your schedule? After all, there are at least ten other tracks which are either more convenient (based in St Andrews) or higher ranked.

Firstly, the Medal course at Montrose offers more variety than most other tracks in the region. When I write this I think mainly of the difference between the holes placed on or adjacent to the dune ridge (holes 2-9) compared to the flatter and more gorse-constrained look of the holes in the 10-15 loop. Gorse bushes in bloom are pretty, but if they have to double as hazards, I prefer them late in the round rather than early.

Secondly, coastal erosion is a real issue for Montrose, especially on holes 2 and 6, where we could see how tees literally were falling down on the beach, to be washed away by the next storm. There are stop-gap measures in place which should safeguard the first green and the 2nd tee, but if the process continues the whole front nine is at risk. Therefore, I implore you not to leave Montrose off your itinerary once again, because one day, perhaps already in our life-time, it might be too late....

While I am at it, also consider doing what we did: playing a warm-up round on the shorter Broomfield course in the morning to straighten your driving and polish those tricky 50-100 yard approach shots your links game will need, before tackling the Medal course in the afternoon. The whole day was excellent value for money when we played it last week and we did not have to wait a single moment all day!

4 / 6
Montrose (Medal)
April 27, 2018


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Montrose epitomises everything that is great and superior about links golf. It’s a golf course that has every ingredient required to create a classic true links experience.

This is a layout that will test every department of your game and one you will never tire of playing.

This historically important venue owes much to the marvellous terrain that it is laid out over, pure natural linksland with high quality turf that initially takes you towards, and then along, the rugged coastline before leading you through more sheltered gorseland eventually climbing back to higher ground before culminating in one more descent from a high tee at the 18th as you complete a satisfying journey through the sandhills and whins of Montrose.

The course lays down a strong marker at the very first hole, one that requires a straight drive between fairway bunkers before you play to a raised green at the summit of the gradually rising hill. It’s an imposing hole and one that certainly doesn’t allow you to ease your way into the round, especially when an East wind is whipping in off the North Sea.

The next five holes are exhilarating links golf at its best.

Sadly, the well documented coastal erosion problems that the main course has suffered over recent decades does not appear to be relenting and whilst golf has been played at Montrose for over 450 years it is unlikely some of the holes will see the quincentenary.

Montrose will undoubtedly adapt and change over the coming years but if you want to experience the current course and layout then the erosion gives you a perfect excuse to visit in the near future! Something I would wholeheartedly suggest you do.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

5 / 6
Montrose (Medal)
May 24, 2017


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Wonderful layout uphill to start and then along the coast for some lovely holes. Played it in 2015 and had a pleasant round. Three par 3’s of different challenges which will test the golfer. Some blind holes which look derivable but not recommended without ball spotters. I’m not a fan of gorse ‘in play’ particularly if there is no bail-out and neither will you be if you go left or right of 15th green- depending on your mood/score bash on or layup short. Recommended play 8/10. Ranked 47th is about right.

5 / 6
Montrose (Medal)
April 15, 2016


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Played 36 holes in late March - the morning round off the yellows and the afternoon one off the whites (refreshing to be allowed to choose one's tees).Absolutely loved the course - everything I expect from links golf. Particularly impressed with the bunkering which demanded respect from almost every drive and approach shot. No weak hole on the course - the par 4s varying from the drivable (wind behind) risk/reward 5th to the extremely challenging (wind against) 11th with gorse and bunkers everywhere. The two par 5's are very different but both great fun - trying to reach in two on the 15th was an adrenaline rush!Some have said that the outward nine (following the coast) is more 'interesting'. The front nine has the better 'looks' but I found the back nine more testing. Definitely the best value course I have ever played with a day rate and, with the exception of numerous holidays to Machrihanish, cannot remember a more enjoyable day's golf.
5 / 6
Montrose (Medal)
April 03, 2015


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The layout is a little unusual for a traditional links. The first hole heads to the sea and then holes 2 to 9 run more or less parallel to the seashore. From the 10th to the 15th the course runs inland in a T formation before holes 16-17 are again adjacent to the coastline with the 18th returning inland beside the 1st.

The front nine is rather more interesting because it is in the vicinity of the seaside dunes whereas the home nine suffers a little from rather flat and featureless fairways. The Medal course at Montrose has stood the test of time fairly well.

One of the best holes is the 154-yard par three 3rd. A very deep and wide gully lies between tee and green so there is nowhere to land your ball except on the putting surface. This hole can look a little longer than it looks and, being close to the shore line, it is at the mercy of the sea breeze.

On the back nine, the 11th and 14th and 17th are all par fours of over 400 yards. The 18th is only a medium length par four but there are five bunkers surrounding the green and a further two on the right hand side approach area.

This review is an edited extract from Another Journey through the Links, which has been reproduced with David Worley’s kind permission. The author has exclusively rated for us every Scottish course that he played and featured in his book. Another Journey through the Links is available for Australian buyers via www.golfbooks.com.au and through Amazon for buyers from other countries.
4 / 6
Montrose (Medal)
March 23, 2015


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Played this course in early October on a beautiful day without too much wind. Thought the course was superb in every aspect, tees, fairways, the first rough (as I was lucky enough to stay out of the deep stuff) and the greens. Great mix of holes typical links fairways where there's hollows and mounds everywhere. I will play this course every time I'm in the area. A great challenge and enjoyable scenery.
5 / 6
Montrose (Medal)
October 28, 2014


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Montrose (Medal) Golf Course - Photo by reivewerPlayed Montrose Medal late May 2012 preceeding a trip to Kingsbarns, expecting a mediocre gap filler. Was pleasantly surprised by what turned out to be a challenging yet friendly links experience. For a course that dates so far back the design and layout lends itself well to the modern game, with a number of holes playing over 400 yards (SI1 440) and many holes requiring length and accuracy off the tee. A superb variation in the par 3's ranging from 140 - 240 yards, a good mix of elevated tees, undulating fairways and dogleg par fours, help to make Montrose an interesting and strategic test of golf. Great time of year to see acres of gorse in full bloom.. A true delight as long as you don't hit your ball into it!
4 / 6
Montrose (Medal)
May 29, 2012


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I have played here 3 times now and am a real fan. There is a real " away from it all " feeling from the 2nd to the 11th and there are some sizeable dunes which add to the interest, particularly on the front 9. It has been in good condition each time I have played, notwithstanding some comments from earlier reviewers. The stretch on and alongside the dunes from 2nd to 7th is particularly strong and coming home anyone needing to score well from the 14th will struggle, with the 18th the only respite. CF
5 / 6
Montrose (Medal)
September 03, 2011


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Played the course in May on a warm,sunny but breezy day. The course was SUPERB. The greens were true and reasonably quick and a majority of holes on the front 9 were directly by the sea. If you strayed off the fairways you were undoubetdly in touble with bright yellow gorse. A great test of golf. I have played about 30 of the current British top 100 and struggle to see why this one is at 100 in comparison to some others I have played.
5 / 6
Montrose (Medal)
June 08, 2011


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After reading the reviews, I was looking forward to playing this course.For the first time ever I nearly asked for a refund. Course was looking tired and untidy and I thought the signage was poor as well.Playing the course - Tees were ok, Fairways were in a very poor state, do they do any divoting.A lottery if you landed on grass or not.Bunkers were untidy and were needing renovating or at least cut and tidied.Approaches were ok and so were the paths etc.There is no excuse for poor greens, Grass was patchy on some greens and some were soft and some were hard.The greens were castellated across all the greens due to poor cutting or a badly set cutter.I saw a fair few weeds on some of my lines as well.You cannot putt on greens like this and it spoiled the whole experience. Played Royal Aberdeen next day and my faith was restored in east coast links.Stonehaven a wee course further up the coast was in better condition.Will give this part of the east coast a miss in future
2 / 6
Montrose (Medal)
February 12, 2011


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danh
February 15, 2011
The course wasn't fully open this time last year, potentially that was the issue ? We played at the end of March 2010 and found it in great condition, very friendly and excellent condition.
Monty Foulon
June 05, 2013
I think you must have been playing badly and looking for an excuse, I play this course each time I visit Scotland and it's one of the best. Not as good as Carnoustie down the road, but then again I wouldn't want to play Carnoustie every week, where as Montrose I could. M Foulon (handicap 3)