- +44 (0) 1674 672932
1 mile from Montrose centre
Contact in advance - restricted at weekends
Did you know that Montrose Golf Links is considered to be the seventh 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.
In July 2018, the club dropped the name "Medal" and the links was re-branded "The 1562 Course" to mark the return of the Open Championship to Carnoustie.
A very old place, you get the true feeling of history here, without any long socks etc... Plain and simple, a great old fashioned test of links skills, super layout and good turf condition. Amazing value for money..
Montrose has a famous front nine but its back nine is just as interesting, only without the views. I played on a day windy enough to be blowing my bag over, and it was still playable and fun. There are just one or two places on the second nine where gorse pinches in.
The best sea view is from the 2nd tee, but for its reputation Montrose doesn’t play that close to the beach. You’d have to do something really bad to find your ball down there. There are a couple of weaker holes you could point fingers at, but there is far more good than bad here. Its fairways are among the most rumpled you can find as well, albeit some are in dodgy condition.
A couple of reachable par 4s mean there’s a healthy mixture of scoring and scrutiny, with the Y-shaped layout providing some respite from the wind. Montrose is a solid choice if around Carnoustie or heading further north.
It has a feel that you are playing golf on a course "from olden times" and it is wonderful for it. As many reviewers have mentioned there is a sense of melancholy as a number of holes are subject to destruction through coastal erosion. Although the conditioning of the fairways was patchy the greens were superb and rolled true at a good pace. Some wonderful holes including par 3, 3rd which requires a carry over a dip in the dunes, the par 4, 9th which turns slightly right to left with a great fairway bunkering and the par 4, 17th which requires an approach to a raised green with some excellent contouring to the left of the green. I loved the course's charm - really glad I played it
Montrose (Medal), one of Scotland's great old seaside courses, is seriously threatened by coastal erosion.Lovers of links golf should make sure they play here sooner rather than later. James W Finegan, in his masterly book 'Scotland - Where Golf is Great', is somewhat dismissive of Montrose but does state "this is classic seaside golf". No one could disagree with that assessment. The good opening hole is followed by my favourite hole, a par 4 with a humpy, bumpy fairway played along the coastline. The par three 3rd is a devil strongly reminiscent of 'Het Girdle' the 4th on the King's course at Gleneagles.The rest of the front nine is a delight with a series of classic par fours. The back nine is harder but less fun. The last three holes stand out for their difficulty. The brutal 220 yard par 3 16th is followed by the best hole, a treacherous par four with trouble all along the narrow fairway and an elevated green to compound the challenge. The closing hole takes us back towards the town and a well-earned rest. If you had to select an affordable, unpretentious course to illustrate the irresistible allure of Scottish links golf, Montrose might just be the one.
I agree with most reviews. This course has some beautiful holes in the front nine (2nd to 7th) right on the edge of the sea, and adds another coupe of great holes with the 16th and 17th.
I played it in August with my dad and conditions were great. Tee to green they were in great condition.
I would not put this at a 1st class Scottish course level, but for £30 for a 3pm round on Sunday, I found it outstanding value.
It was also really quiet for a Sunday. So I think it's quite a gem.
The start of my very first Scottish golfing odyssey directed me towards Montrose Golf Links this afternoon. As a links devotee I was eager to see what joys awaited me on the links fairways of the home of golf.
Montrose will be of greatest interest to golfers on the front nine stretch through the first 7/8 holes. After that the holes seemed somewhat repetitive from a distance and playability perspective.
As previously pointed out, parts of the front nine may not be there in the very near future due to coastal erosion. Surely the local council can get their finger out and stump up for some rock armour on the beach side of the property to make sure that the 1562 links lasts well into this century!
A nice course...with a friendly welcome..... not quite a must play but worth a trip if you are in the area.
Food and drink option must be Roos Leap which is right beside the course carpark!
Unsure why this is so far down the ranking list.
Fabulous true links layout where you can taste the sea.
Some tough holes, some with dunes and some with gorse.
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!
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.
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.