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Great Golf Courses And Golfing History - Murfield - The Honourable Edinburgh Scottish Golfers

May 14, 2008
The well known as well as venerable golfing course at Muirfield Scotland has had the honor of being ranked highly among the great golf courses of the world - first in Golf Magazines " among the top 100 golf courses in the world" in 1983 and then ranked both second and fifth in that very same poll in 1987 and 1989. This while all the while the Muirefeld golf course held its lead as the number one golf course in the British Isles. The Muirfeld golf course itself has a long tradition and is known well as for its most difficult golf "routing plan". This world famous as well as historic golf center is laid out in a structure resembling a "circle within a circle" making for winds that can come and play torment to any avid golfer's golf ball from any of a number of unpredictable directions.

Not only that but this magnificent and historic golf course is home to the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, known as the world's oldest continuous golf club. The Honorable Company is the direct descendant of a group of golfers known as "The Gentleman Golfers of Leith". This group played at Leith Links (to the west of Edinburgh) which were first used as golf links in 1593.

Historical accounts place the Gentleman Golfers of Leith as formally recognized by the Edinburgh Town Council on March 7, 1744, who further presented the group with a silver golf club for an annual golf contest. With this formal recognition, the Gentleman Golfers set down a list of 13 golfing rules and began maintaining what has by now become the oldest continuous record kept by any golfing club in the world.

The list of rules that they set down, originally titled "Articles and Laws on Playing Golf" became known a the Leith Code , and became the first set of golfing rules to be written down, It was so reasonable and efficacious that The Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews adopted it when their organization was formed in 1754.

These Gentleman Golfers were sometimes later formalized as the Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers. In 1836 they moved from the five-hole Leith Links to the links at Mussenburgh on the east of Edinburgh. It seems that Musselburgh itself had been a golfing ground from at least 1672.

It was at Musselburgh in 1873 that The Honorable Company consented to an agreement - with the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, and Prestwyck Golf Club (who hosted the first Open Championship in 1860) - for the staging of the Open Championship at Musselburgh, the Old Course at St. Andrews and Perswyck, on a yearly rotational basis.

A little over half a century after the Honorable Company had begun play at Musselburgh, they migrated once again ( taking their position at the Open with them ) to Muirfield ( yet even further east on the Firth of Forth), which the Honorable Company developed for golf, and opened for play on 3, May 1891.

Muirfield's seaside location and picturesque surroundings, offer an aesthetic banquet second to none. It has been said that the Muirfeld golf course is as close to perfection as is ever availed to earth, sky, sea and golfing skill.
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