The world’s fifth oldest golf course is being renamed to recognise its 450 years of sporting heritage on the coast of Angus.
From July, the Montrose Medal links, shaped by famous names including Old Tom Morris, and over which players have made their last-gasp bid to qualify for the Open Championship, will be known as the 1562 Course.
A special event in late July following the return of the Open to Carnoustie will officially mark the name change, and provide the launch pad for a Montrose Experience visitor package which has been developed as part of a drive to draw players to the town.
The debut of the 1562 Course will officially mark the start of the Montrose Open week between July 25 and 29, with the tournament set to conclude on a Sunday for the first time in its long history.
Montrose Golf Links professional Jason Boyd said the revitalised Open, course relaunch and visitor focus were part of a plan to better recognise the venue’s role in sporting history.
“The idea is to bring an important piece of golfing history into the public’s consciousness,” he said. “Golf was first recorded here in 1562. It was shaped by some of the biggest names in golf and has been the setting for remarkable matches and international tournaments.”
The Angus venue has hosted prestigious tournaments including the World Hickory Open in 2013, the Europro Tour from 2013 to 2017, and final qualifying for 2016’s Senior Open Championship.
Featuring seven cliff-face holes and widely regarded as one of the most natural links layouts in Scotland, the course was shaped by leading names in the game including Willie Park Jr, Old Tom Morris and Harry Colt.
Mr Boyd added: “It is a special place and The 1562 Course is a direct link to the golfing past that established this great game.
“Coinciding with the Open being played at Carnoustie, we couldn’t be more excited.”
The newly-developed Montrose Experience visitor package will feature a round on the famous links, whisky tasting and special merchandise.
Mr Boyd said the aim was to embrace what makes Montrose stand out from the rest.
“In Scotland, we sometimes feel uncomfortable showcasing what makes us special,” he said.
“I know that international visitors who visit Montrose relish the opportunity to play on ancient links turf with stunning views across the North Sea.”