Musselburgh could become latest foreign-owned golf club

Emma Williams
By Emma Williams September 22, 2017 13:11

The world’s oldest golf course, Musselburgh Links, The Old Golf Course, could be partly owned by a Chinese businessman, according to newspaper reports.

The oldest continuously-played golf course in the world is currently seeking £10 million of investment to turn the former Open Championship facility into “an international must-visit golfing venue” and, according to the East Lothian Courier, it has attracted interest from a Chinese investor.

A number of famous British golf clubs have become foreign-owned, especially by American or Chinese companies, in recent years.

In 2014 alone, Wentworth Club was bought by Chinese company Reignwood Investments for £135 million, Fairmont St Andrews was sold to US property fund Kennedy Wilson for £32.4 million, Turnberry golf resort was sold to the now American president, Donald Trump, for an undisclosed sum and Lough Erne Resort was purchased by American businessman Tony Saliba, and in 2012 US private equity firm KSL Capital Partners acquired The Belfry.

The former club secretary at Musselburgh Links, The Old Golf Course, Robin McGregor, who is also the CEO of Blue Thistle, which has proposed to restore the venue, said: “All parties have agreed to purchase shares on the terms and conditions laid out in the shareholders agreement. All parties are aware of their obligations and commitments under it.

“Golf in the Far East is an increasing business and is growing fast. This will open up that market.

“We have always said we want to turn the course into an international must-visit golfing venue.

“This is an opportunity to take Musselburgh into the Far East, which is a fantastic opportunity for the town, East Lothian and Scotland.”

In February Blue Thistle revealed it wanted to see the nine-hole, par-34 course “regenerated, restored and recreated to the style and reputation of its former glory”.

At that time, the plan failed to attract the support of Musselburgh Old Course Golf Club.

Mr McGregor previously outlined proposals which would see £10 million spent over the next seven years to restore the course to its previous Open Championship condition and refurbish the accompanying facilities, with a plan to create 40 new jobs.

He said: “The Musselburgh Links course has an immensely important role in the history and development of the game Scotland gave to the world and it is our wish that it be recognised and returned to its former glory.”


Emma Williams
By Emma Williams September 22, 2017 13:11
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  1. Ronald March 5, 11:58

    Musselburgh is the Home of the Original Golf Fundamentals, and those original golf fundamentals still the essentials of golf, hence a must-visit golfing venue! As promoted at Rheingolf 2019 (see on stand on website below).

    Reply to this comment
  2. Letsmakemusselburghgreatagain September 23, 09:23

    For full details of this project please check out our website.

    Please note Blue Thistle Ltd is a Scottish registered business. It has strong local roots and is committed to using local talent whenever possible.

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