Montrose 450 to tee off in April

The Montrose Medal course.
The Montrose Medal course.

A HISTORIC re-enactment of the first recorded game of golf over Montrose links will officially tee off the Montrose 450 celebrations in April.

In 1562, schoolboy James Melvill wrote in his diary that he had been taught how to use ‘the glub for goff’ on Montrose Links by his schoolmaster, the Rev. William Gray.

Marking the town’s course as the fifth oldest in the world, Montrose 450 will highlight this historic milestone by featuring several special events on and around the Montrose Links’ golf courses, the Broomfield and Montrose Medal.

David May, chairman of the Montrose 450 committee, said: “Montrose 450 will kick off on Monday, April 2, with a re-enactment of James Melvill and Reverend Gray’s 1562 game of golf on Montrose Links. Golf may well have been played in Montrose before then but James Melvill’s note in his diary is the first recorded mention of the game in the town.”

As revealed in the Review, the celebrations will continue on Friday, April 13, when former Women’s British Open Champion Catriona Matthew will officially open the Medal course’s redesigned 11th hole, which has been extended to 450 yards. She will also conduct a golf clinic, providing local and visiting golfers with opportunities to pick up tips from one of the UK’s top golfers.

On April 28, Montrose Museum’s 450 Exhibition will open and will run until June 16, covering the history of golf in the town with a variety of photos and artefacts from the Angus Museums Collection, Montrose golf clubs and members of the public.

In June golfers from across the UK participating in competitions and other special events over a celebration weekend and there will be several Montrose 450 golfing competitions this year, including a Pro-Am Tournament on July 21 and an Open Week, sponsored by Astute, from July 23 to 27 involving around 300 golfers of all ages. The celebrations will close during the end of season Open Tri-Am Tournament on October 6.

Montrose 450 also aims to promote golf’s future through a series of initiatives designed to encourage and support young golfers.

Local golf professional Jason Boyd said: “The Legacy Project is a key aspect of Montrose 450. This will include the Junior Open Day, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline and Montrose Round Table, which we’re hoping will attract young golfers from all over Angus, and also the soon-to-be opened, redeveloped pitch and putt course at Montrose Links.

“Thanks to GlaxoSmithKline funding, junior golfers won’t have to pay to use this course, which should help to ensure Montrosians’ 450-year love affair with golf continues for another 450 years.”