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Golf clubs granted 'Royal' status by the British Monarchy

Golf clubs granted ‘Royal’ status by the British Monarchy

Ever wondered how many Royal golf clubs there are? Or how they get it? Let us explain

 

There a total of 64 golf clubs granted Royal status by the British Monarchy in the United Kingdom and around the world.

To receive such an honour, a golf club is required to invite a member of the Royal family to be a patron or an honorary member, or they can formally apply for the title which is then granted by the current reigning monarch.

Let’s start with the Royal golf clubs in the UK…

Golf clubs granted Royal status by King William IV

Royal Perth (1833)

The Royal & Ancient St Andrews (1834)

“The Old Course is the very cradle of the game. The place where it all began. Nowhere on the planet can match its atmosphere. Nor, in truth, is there another course quite like it.”

Golf clubs granted Royal status by Queen Victoria

Royal Montrose Mercantile (1845)

“This is golf in its original, most basic form – and it is all the better for it. It is courses exactly such as this one that created the benchmarks by which others are judged.”

Royal Blackheath (1845)

Royal North Devon (1867)

“This historic links itself often defies straightforward description. Certainly it is an acquired taste, but playing here on several occasions brings truly great joy.”

Royal Liverpool (1871)

“While countless links courses across the British Isles are more attractive to behold, few are as unremittingly tough.”

Royal Liverpool

Royal Musselburgh (1876)

“There is something about wandering down the fairways at Royal Musselburgh that gives the impression of taking a step back in time. As the sixth-oldest club in the world, the venue oozes history and class, providing a memorable golfing experience for all those who visit.”

Royal Wimbledon (1882)

Royal Isle of Wight (1883)

Royal Belfast (1885)

“Belfast lays claim to the title of the oldest golf course in Ireland.”

Northern Ireland golf courses

Royal Ascot (1887)

“The challenging parkland course is laid out on 150 acres of wooded Crown land and has been described as one of the best new English courses.”

Royal Eastbourne (1887)

Royal Cromer (1888)

“Royal Cromer is essentially cliff top in character with spectacular views, combining coastal features with sandy hills, grassy valleys and abundant gorse and bracken.”

Royal Epping Forest (1888)

Royal Guernsey (1891)

Royal Cornwall (1891)

Royal West Norfolk (1892)

“Eccentric to the point of being obtuse at times, its simple design should be studied by any budding architect and those with even a passing interest in the game’s past.”

Royal Portrush (1892)

“Framed by the beautiful sea, the Dunluce links at Royal Portrush, famed for being the only non-British mainland host of The Open, is a special place.”

Royal Ashdown Forest (1893)

Royal Norwich (1893)

“It’s a truly fabulous setting, the mature Scots pines and ancient trees combined with the European Golf Design chief’s trademark bunkering and contoured greens to provide a course that’s meant to be fun for all golfers.”

Royal Worlington and Newmarket (1895)

“Royal Worlington not only presents a magnificient design on a tiny patch of land, but is also the spiritual home of nine-hole golf.”

Golf clubs granted Royal status by King Edward VII

Royal Household (1901)

Royal St George’s (1902)

“The 2021 Open Championship venue is England’s most intriguing links Here, fairways dissolve into rough hillocks and unseen hollows gather imprecise approaches. It’s gloriously old-fashioned and simply brimming with bold architectural flourishes.”

Royal Aberdeen (1903)

“As befits a club where heritage and tradition rank higher than at most others, Royal Aberdeen bears all the hallmarks of classic Scottish links golf.”

Royal Dornoch (1906)

“At the world’s most northerly championship links course, golf and history are inseparable. Built on land perfectly suited to its purpose, Dornoch is simply glorious.”

Royal County Down (1908)

“Royal County Down is a dreamy, awe-inspiring course, an assault on the senses. If you do not fall in love with it then perhaps links golf is not for you.”

Royal St David’s (1908)

Royal Porthcawl (1909)

“An all-world opening stretch with views from every hole on a links of real pedigree. There are few places a golfer would rather be than Royal Porthcawl.”

Royal Craggan (1909)

Royal Cinque Ports (1910)

“Royal Cinque Ports has the raw materials to host The Open soon again, with stunning views of the channel and a recently extended testing links set up.”

Royal Curragh (1910)

Golf clubs granted Royal status by King George V

Royal Winchester (1913)

Duff House Royal (1925)

Royal Lytham and St Annes (1926)

“It cannot be denied that the host of the 2012 Open has a certain aura. It is unrelenting, demanding and at times barbarically difficult.”

Royal Mid-Surrey (1926)

Royal Tarlair (1926)

Royal Burgess (1929)

“For many years one of the most exclusive clubs to gain entry to, Royal Burgess is now notably more welcoming to new members. This is by all accounts a pedigree parkland.”

Granted status by George VI

Royal Birkdale (1951)

“Royal Birkdale’s unparalleled status within English golf has become less a matter of opinion than a statement of fact in the eyes of many good judges.”

Granted status by Elizabeth II

Royal Troon (1978)

“As much by skill as by strength – is the club’s motto. Take due note. To do well here you will have to seduce rather than overpower this vintage links.”

Golf clubs outside of the UK

Royal Jersey (Jersy, 1879, Queen Victoria)
Royal Montreal (Canada, 1884, Queen Victoria)
Royal Malta (Malta, 1888, Queen Victoria)
Royal Dublin (Republic of Ireland, 1891, Queen Victoria)
Royal Melbourne (Australia, 1895, Queen Victoria)

Royal Sydney (Australia, 1897, Queen Victoria)
Royal Hong Kong (Hong Kong, 1897, Queen Victoria)
Royal Curragh (Republic of Ireland, 1910, George V)
Royal Cape (South Africa, 1910, King George V)
Royal Calcutta (India, 1910, King George V)
Royal Ottawa (Canada, 1912, King George V)
Royal Queensland (Australia, 1921, King George V)
Royal Adelaide (Australia, 1923, King George V)
Royal Port Alfred (South Africa, 1924, King George V)
Royal Hobart (Australia, 1926, King George V)
Royal Colombo (Sri Lanka, 1928, King George V)
Royal Harare (Zimbabwe, 1929, King George V)
Royal Colwood (Canada, 1931, King George V)
Royal Johannesburg & Kensington (South Africa, 1931, King George V)
Royal Durban (South Africa, 1932, King George V)
Royal Canberra (Australia, 1933, King George V)
Royal Quebec (Canada, 1934, King George V)
Royal Nairobi (Kenya, 1935, King George V)
Royal Perth (Australia, 1937, King George VI)
Royal Singapore (Singapore, 1938, King George VI)
Royal Selangor (Malaysia, 1953, Queen Elizabeth II)
Royal Regina (Canada, 1999, Queen Elizabeth II)
Royal Marianske (Czech Republic, 2003, Queen Elizabeth II)
Royal Wellington (New Zealand, 2004, Queen Elizabeth II)
Royal Mayfair (Canada, 2005, Queen Elizabeth II)
Royal Auckland (New Zealand, 2010, Queen Elizabeth II)
Royal Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea, 2012, Queen Elizabeth II)
Royal Homburger (Germany, 2013, Queen Elizabeth II)
Royal Bombay Gymkhana (India, dates and associated royal unknown)
Royal Western India (India, dates and associated royal unknown)

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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