An announcement which was published in the Caledonian Mercury (a Precursor to the Scotsman Newspaper) has recently come to light. The announcement, which appeared in April 1787, called an AGM for the Earlsferry Golf Society who played over the Links at Earlsferry. As play at that time was over part of the current course, this has confirmed it as the third oldest golf course in the world, only behind St Andrews Old Course (1754) and Musselburgh Old Course (1774)
A full list of the oldest courses in the world is available from the link below:
Additionally, there is evidence to suggest that golf was played in Elie dating back to the 1500’s. It particular, note of an official right to golf was supposedly included in a Burgh Charter in 1589. This document was unfortunately destroyed in a town hall fire so its existence or date can’t be confirmed. Reports of the first golf being played at St Andrews date back to 1552 so it’s plausible to imagine golf being played at Elie close to its inception date.