|Type||Public park and golf course|
|Location||Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, Scotland|
|Coordinates||55°56′22″N3°12′08″W / 55.9395°N 3.2023°W|
|Operated by||City of Edinburgh Council|
Bruntsfield Links is 35 acres (14 ha ) of open parkland in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh, immediately to the south-west of the adjoining Meadows.
Unlike The Meadows, which formerly contained a loch drained by the end of the 18th century, Bruntsfield Links has always been dry ground. It is the last vestige of the Burgh Muir, former woodland which stretched southwards to the Jordan Burn at the foot of the slope now covered by the built-up areas of the Grange and Morningside. The woodland was cleared in accordance with a decree of James IV in 1508, much of the wood being used to build timber-fronted houses and forestairs in the Lawnmarket and West Bow area of the Old Town. 
"Links" is a Scots word for land associated with the game of golf. Originally meaning open sandy ground "usually covered with turf, bent grass or gorse, normally near the sea-shore",  as at Leith Links or Lundin Links, the word came to mean any ground on which golf was played and is now often used for modern golf courses.
A City of Edinburgh Council plaque states that Bruntsfield Links are one of the earliest known locations where the game was played in Scotland, but it is unclear precisely when. The Golf Tavern which stands on the west side of the Links claims to have been established in 1456, although there is no evidence for this other than an unsupported statement made in A history of the Edinburgh Burgess Golfing Society, now known as The Royal Burgess Golfing Society.
After James IV's Charter of 1508 allowed the Town Council to feu portions of the Burgh Muir quarriers began extracting sandstone from the Links. By an Act of Council dated 25 December 1695 lessees were granted the liberty of choosing "an aiker" on any part of the Links for a quarry, "the said aiker always being at ane distance from the place where the neighbours play at Goulf".  Robert Chambers mentions golf being played on the Links at the time of a well-known local incident which he implies took place in the reign of Charles II, although the internal evidence points more to the later "Killing Time" of the 1680s. This would make it contemporaneous with the famous game of golf played by the Duke of York and John Patersone on Leith Links in 1682 (see Timeline of golf). 
By the middle of the 18th century the area to the west of Bruntsfield House was regarded as the "city quarry", from which, for example, stones were taken in 1740 to build the city's Charity Workhouse at Bristo. A history of the area relates how, "The vacant intervals [between the quarry holes] then became utilised by the citizens in pursuit of the popular game of golf, the quarries with their mounds of debris acting in place of the usual bunkers."  When the Warrender family of Bruntsfield applied to acquire ground between the nearby quarry and their property the Council approved, deciding that "the giving of the feu of the same could in no degree be hurtful to the Exercise and Diversion of the Golff". In 1752, however, an anonymous pamphlet warned against further encroachments, arguing that "the greatest Part of the Sheep Pasture will be cut off, and the Inhabitants deprived of Ew Whey [a by-product of cheese-making from ewe's milk], which is often prescribed and contributes much to their Health, and is easily got, because of the Nearness of the Town; and Tender People will be deprived of these Walks and retired Places which the playing at Golf hath rendered absolutely necessary, and the only places to retire to when the Golfing Green is full of Golfers." 
The pursuit of golf was a major factor in preserving the Links as an open space. In 1791, it was proposed to drive a straight road across them (to link present-day Home Street to the crest of the hill at present-day Church Hill), thus bypassing the little village of Wrightshouses (roughly on the site of present-day Leven Street). The proposers argued that the existing road constituted "the worst and most inconvenient of all the entries into Edinburgh...which must always be the case while it is carried through so narrow and a dirty a village inhabited by so many low people". The proposal was, however, successfully blocked by the Burgess Golfing Society which used the Links and the road re-routed to circumvent them. This resulted in the demolition of houses on the west side of the village, but spared those on the east side, where a terrace retains the name in the form "Wright's Houses". A request made to the council by Walter Scott in 1798 (before his fame as a novelist), that the volunteer cavalry regiment of which he was quartermaster should be allowed to train on the Links, based on the traditional right to muster troops there, was rejected. The Council cited the position taken by the golfing societies as the reason. 
The city currently boasts more than twenty-one golf courses, one of which is home to the Royal Burgess Golfing Society founded in 1735 and the Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society founded in 1761. These Societies moved from the Links to Musselburgh in 1874 and 1876 respectively, and then to a newly laid out course at Barnton on the north-western outskirts of the city in 1895 and 1898.  
Golf is still played on the Links in the form of a 36-hole Short Hole Golf Course (established 1890), where Bruntsfield Short Hole Golf Club is the last remaining Club still playing over this unique course, thus continuing the historic golfing traditions on the Links.
The area is a favourite spot for dog-walkers and becomes an overspill area when crowds gather in the Meadows during warm Summer weather. The west section of the Links next to Whitehouse Loan, where a former school building (the original Boroughmuir School, later James Gillespie's School for Girls) has been converted to a University Hall of Residence, also attracts crowds in good weather. It is frequently used by historical re-enactment societies as a practice ground. A children's playpark and the lawn of the Edinburgh Croquet Club are situated close to the Barclay Viewforth Church. The raised ground in front of Warrender Park Terrace is a good vantage point for viewing Festival and New Year fireworks from the Castle, and during winter snowfalls the north-facing slope here becomes a popular sledging ground for children. A footpath and cycle lane connecting Bruntsfield to Middle Meadow Walk provide all those living in the area with a shortcut and quick route to the university buildings around George Square. There are also many local businesses, including the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative, which attract visitors. The Golf Tavern pub sits to the west of the links.
An early attempt to remove some of the trees from the Links was blocked in one of the first campaigns of the city's conservation body, the Cockburn Association. Over the years, however, Dutch elm disease has taken a gradual toll of trees in the area, with the most recent outbreak occurring in 2011. Among notable surviving elms (2019) are four old Exeter Elms in the southernmost corner (Bruntsfield Crescent), well-grown Huntingdon Elms at the start of Whitehouse Loan, and a rare Ulmus minor 'Umbraculifera Gracilis' in front of the Links Hotel in Alvanley Terrace. Diseased elms have been replaced by the disease-resistant hybrids Ulmus 'Regal' and Ulmus 'Columella'. 
The following is a partial timeline of the history of golf:
Marchmont is a mainly residential area of Edinburgh, Scotland. It lies roughly one mile to the south of the Old Town, separated from it by The Meadows and Bruntsfield Links. To the west it is bounded by Bruntsfield; to the south-southwest by Greenhill and then Morningside; to the south-southeast by The Grange; and to the east by Sciennes.
Bruntsfield is a largely residential area around Bruntsfield Place in Southern Edinburgh, Scotland. In feudal times, it fell within the barony of Colinton.
Barnton is a suburb of Edinburgh, Scotland, in the north-west of the city, between Cramond and Corstorphine Hill and west of Davidsons Mains. Part of the area was traditionally known as "Cramond Muir" in reference to Cramond to the north.
Tollcross is a major road junction to the south west of the city centre of Edinburgh, Scotland which takes its name from a local historical land area.
Ulmus davidiana var. japonica, the Japanese elm, is one of the larger and more graceful Asiatic elms, endemic to much of continental northeast Asia and Japan, where it grows in swamp forest on young alluvial soils, although much of this habitat has now been lost to intensive rice cultivation.
Ulmus × hollandica 'Vegeta', sometimes known as the Huntingdon Elm, is an old English hybrid cultivar raised at Brampton, near Huntingdon, by nurserymen Wood & Ingram in 1746, allegedly from seed collected at nearby Hinchingbrooke Park. In Augustine Henry's day, in the later 19th century, the elms in Hinchingbrooke Park were U. nitens. Richens, noting that wych elm is rare in Huntingdonshire, normally flowering four to six weeks later than field elm, pointed out that unusually favourable circumstances would have had to coincide to produce such seed: "It is possible that, some time in the eighteenth century, the threefold requirements of synchronous flowering of the two species, a south-west wind", "and a mild spring permitting the ripening of the samaras, were met."
The Burgh Muir is the historic term for an extensive area of land lying to the south of Edinburgh city centre, upon which much of the southern part of the city now stands following its gradual spread and more especially its rapid expansion in the late 18th and 19th centuries. The name has been retained today in the partly anglicised form Boroughmuir for a much smaller district within Bruntsfield, vaguely defined by the presence of Boroughmuir High School, and, until 2010, Boroughmuirhead post office in its north-west corner.
The Field Elm cultivar Ulmus minor 'Umbraculifera' [:shade-giving] was originally cultivated in Iran, where it was widely planted as an ornamental and occasionally grew to a great size, being known there as 'Nalband' Persian: نعلبند [:the tree of the farriers]. Litvinov considered it a cultivar of a wild elm with a dense crown that he called U. densa, from the mountains of Turkestan, Ferghana, and Aksu. Non-rounded forms of 'Umbraculifera' are also found in Isfahan Province, Iran. Zielińksi in Flora Iranica considered it an U. minor cultivar.
The Field Elm cultivar Ulmus minor 'Umbraculifera Gracilis' was obtained as a sport of 'Umbraculifera' by the Späth nursery of Berlin c.1897. It was marketed by the Späth nursery in the early 20th century, and by the Hesse Nursery of Weener, Germany, in the 1930s.
The hybrid cultivar Ulmus 'Androssowii'R. Kam., an elm of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan sometimes referred to in old travel books as 'Turkestan Elm' or as 'karagach' [:black tree, = elm], its local name, is probably an artificial hybrid. According to Lozina-Lozinskaia the tree is unknown in the wild in Uzbekistan, and apparently arose from a crossing of U. densa var. bubyrianaLitv., which it resembles, and the Siberian Elm Ulmus pumila.
The Siberian elm cultivar Ulmus pumila 'Pinnato-ramosa' was raised by Georg Dieck, as Ulmus pinnato-ramosa, at the National Arboretum, Zöschen, Germany, from seed collected for him circa 1890 in the Ili valley, Turkestan by the lawyer and amateur naturalist Vladislav E. Niedzwiecki while in exile there. Litvinov (1908) treated it as a variety of Siberian elm, U. pumilavar.arborea but this taxon was ultimately rejected by Green, who sank the tree as a cultivar: "in modern terms, it does not warrant recognition at this rank but is a variant of U. pumila maintained and known only in cultivation, and therefore best treated as a cultivar". Herbarium specimens confirm that trees in cultivation in the 20th century as U. pumilaL. var. arboreaLitv. were no different from 'Pinnato-ramosa'.
The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh is a Scottish golf club, which holds claim to be the oldest golfing society in the world, with references to it being instituted in 1735 dating from 1834. The club enjoys a parkland course located in Barnton, Edinburgh that was designed initially by Tom Morris and Willie Park Jnr, with subsequent revisions by James Braid. Notable members have included Jack Nicklaus and Bernard Gallacher alongside a host of royals, aristocrats and socialites.
The Meadows is a large public park in Edinburgh, Scotland, to the south of the city centre.
Golf in Scotland was first recorded in the Scottish late Middle Ages, and the modern game of golf was first developed and established in the country. The game plays a key role in the national sporting consciousness.
Leith Links is the principal open space within Leith, the docks district of Edinburgh, Scotland. This public park is divided by a road into two main areas, a western section and an eastern section, both being largely flat expanses of grass bordered by mature trees. Historically it covered a wider area extending north as far as the shoreline of the Firth of Forth. This area of grass and former sand-dunes was previously used as a golf links.
Robert Chambers was a Scottish publisher, editor of Chambers' Journal, amateur golfer and encyclopaedist, the son of Robert Chambers, the co-founder of the W & R Chambers publishing house in Edinburgh.
Ulmusaff. 'Plotii', or 'pseudo-Plotii', was the name first used by Melville in the 1940s for elms in England, of various genotypes, that resemble but do not completely match the 'type'-tree, U. minor 'Plotii'. It was taken up again following Dr Max Coleman's findings about Plot Elm (2000) and his paper on British elms (2002).
A golf society, or golfing society, is a social club, whose members are dedicated to playing the sport of golf. Unlike a golf club, a golf society does not own a golf course, instead playing on the golf courses owned by one or more golf clubs. Golf societies may form for a number of reasons, including to provide opportunities for members to play more than one course, or to avoid the associated overheads of managing a golf course.