World’s Oldest ‘Royal’ Golf Club Toasts 200 Years

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The Royal Perth Golfing Society and County and City Club has celebrated its Bicentenary at a black-tie Gala Dinner. It can lay claim to be the first golfing society in the world to receive Royal Patronage. There are now more than 70 around the world.

The honour was bestowed by King William IV in 1833, nine years after the Society was founded. Since then, it has been similarly honoured by monarchs such as Queen Victoria and George VI, as well as Prince Philip, the late Duke of Edinburgh. 

The celebratory dinner at Perth’s Salutation Hotel was attended by the Lord Lieutenant of Perth and Kinross and club member Stephen Leckie, along with 150 members and current staff. 

They were entertained by after-dinner speakers Professor David Purdie and Alastair Hodge.

The club’s Atholl Crescent premises overlooking the North Inch were acquired in the 1870s, by which time it was already more than a golf club. 

The Georgian building has recently undergone extensive restoration work and re-decoration.

Captain Robin Duncan said: “Members are rightly proud to be the first golfing body in world golf to be given Royal status and now we are entering a new and exciting chapter in our history. 

“To mark our Bicentenary, we are reaching out to potential new members – and not just golfers. Our snooker room has been upgraded and is popular with members, as are our dining facilities.

“The club, however, is mindful of our rich golfing history and we are delighted to support the next generation of golfers being coached and guided in the game by Royal Perth’s honorary professional Niall McGill.

“It was appropriate that the celebratory dinner was held at The Salutation Hotel – thought to be the oldest hotel in Scotland – where the meeting was held which paved the way to the creation of the original Perth Golfing Society.

“The dinner was a thoroughly enjoyable evening and a fitting celebration of a club which has been a feature of the city of Perth and, indeed Scottish golf, for 200 years.

“While the Society can trace our own history back to 1824, the first written record of golf being played in Perth dates to 1599 when several gentlemen were rebuked by the church for golfing on the Sabbath.”

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