Known as Scotland’s golf coast, East Lothian is just a few miles from Edinburgh. Home to 22 golf courses and 30 miles of stunning coastline it is one of Scotland’s finest golfing destinations. There are also a number of top courses on the outskirts of Edinburgh ideal if staying in the city. Below are our top picks for golf in Edinburgh & East Lothian.
Please use our price key to allow you to get an idea of the green fees for each course. This can help to see what courses will work for your budget.
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Archerfield Golf, East Lothian
For centuries golf has been play at Archerfield Links. However the course was only extended to an 18 hole layout shortly before the 1st World War by local pro Ben Sayers. After laying dormant for many years Archerfield developed into a 1st class golfing venue in the early 2000’s with a luxurious clubhouse, state of the art practice facilities and 2 loops of 18-hole championship courses;
A more traditional links. Rolling dunes, gorse bushes, and billiard table like greens that host a number of subtle run offs for miscalculated shots. The course can vary in length from 5’500 yds to just under 7’000 yds depending on what tees you wish to play off. With over 60 sand traps players also need to be pretty accurate during a round here. From the 3rd you can spot the atmospheric ruins of Dirleton Castle looming in the distance. Dirleton has hosted top European professional golf. For example, The Ladies Scottish Open, Scottish Senior Open and The Paul Lawrie Matchplay.
Like the Dirleton spans out at nearly 7’000yds. With a selection of tee boxes it is very playable for all levels of golfer. Most of the early holes are particularly defined by towering pine trees down either sides of the fairways. Consequently this can play havoc with wind direction and club selection. After navigating through the woodland area the course really opens out into a more traditional links style of play. The Fidra Links is truly an enjoyable and picturesque place to play golf in East Lothian.
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Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society
Located just 3 miles from the city centre of Edinburgh you will find the 4th oldest club in the world and one of Scotland’s most prestigious clubs. Bruntsfield was founded in 1761 and on checking in, golfers can enjoy a tour of the clubhouse showcasing the club’s historic memorabilia. The mature parkland style course was originally designed by Willie Park Jnr.
However in 2019 the new course layout was opened following an extensive re-design by the highly acclaimed golf course architects Mackenzie & Ebert. This £1.2 million investments has transformed Burntsfield’s course into a Par 71, 6446 yards producing a layout worthy of the demands of the modern day golfer.
Craigielaw Golf Club
Is one of the newer courses to Scotland’s Golf Coast, East Lothian. Even though just opened in 2001, the course has already hosted some huge tournaments. Such as the Scottish Amateur Strokeplay Championship and The Scottish Senior Open, which was won by Gary Orr in 2018. Craigielaw measures at over 6’500 from the back tees and provides a stern test for even the longest hitters. In particular, the many cavernous bunkers and tricky tabletop greens make all players think twice about their shot selections. The club also offers great practice facilities including a grass academy practice ground and driving range. Furthermore there is a 6-hole par 3 course, a short game area and practice putting green – ideal for warming up before your round.
Another gem created by James Braid. The course then went under renovation early 2000s and at one point boasted the longest back 9 in Europe. The Course has hasted some marquee events over the years from Scottish PGA Championships, Scottish Senior Open and The Solheim Cup. The course is a favourite for the big hitters with lengthy par 4s and 5s that allow you to open up the shoulders and bomb drivers away. A great parkland course for those looking for a challenge.
Shorter in yardage, this course creates a great mix of golf holes and strong par 3’s requiring you to hit every club in the bag. Don’t let the shorter yardage trick you as the small greens are well protected and full of subtle slopes. The course is a favourite of golfer that are looking for a quick round. The course can also be played as 9 or even 13 holes due to the layout of the clubhouse.
Dunbar Golf Club
Located 40 minutes from the city of Edinburgh, Dunbar Golf Club was laid out in 1856. Over the years the course has been redesigned by some of the most famous names in Golf, such as Old Tom Morris, Ben Sayers and James Braid to name but a few. The course measure at just over 6’500 yds and has hosted a plethora of national Championships. Most notably it has also hosted qualifying for The Open Championship. This traditional links course hugs the beautiful shores of the Firth of Forth. It’s undulating fairways and subtle greens demand all types of shot making, regardless of your standard of golf. A challenging links course, stunning scenery and a friendly clubhouse – the elements that make a perfect golfing experience.
The Glen Golf Club
One of Scotland’s Golf Coasts unsung heros, The Glen became an 18 hole course in 1906. This cliff top golf course enjoys stunning views and allows play all year round with greens and tees always in play. The 12th is named ‘Bass Rock’ and is the ideal hole for a longest drive competition. Following on from the 12th is the golf course’s signature 13th ‘Sea Hole’. This blind par 3 hugs the Scottish coastline and has been compared to the likes of Pebble Beach or Cypress Point.
Gullane Golf Club
Located a stones throw from its neighbouring Muirfield, on Scotland’s Golf Coast, Gullane boasts 3 golf courses on its land;
Gullane No. 3
The shortest of the courses at a Par 67. In spite of its size this tricky test of golf requires strategy off every tee to negotiate the fantastic bunkering and slick greens. Designed by two time Open Champion Willie Park Jr, the course offers some of the best views of all three Gullane courses. A fun course to play for players of all abilities.
Gullane No. 2
A par 71, at just shy of 6500 yds. It is another excellent test of golf. Also designed by the famous Willie Park Jnr the course runs alongside No. 1 for the first seven holes. It offers some fantastic views of the surrounding nature sanctuary. Gullane hosted the 2018 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open in July 2018 over a Championship composite course from Gullane No. 1 and No. 2 (holes 7 and 8 from No. 2 featured in the Championship course).
The jewel in the golf clubs crown. Has hosted a number of Open Championship Final Qualifiers. In 2018 The Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open also returned for its 2nd time. A true test of links golf on a Par 71, with tough Par 4’s and some of the best selection of Par 3’s on any course. Particularly, the 2nd hole is one of the toughest Par 4’s you’ll likely play. At around 400 yds, you drive into a narrow fairway set at a slight dogleg to the left. After you have negotiated the tee shot you are left with a long iron or fairway wood usually into the prevailing wind to a deep/ narrow green. An exceptional golf hole to set you on your way round an equally exceptional golf course.
Kilspindie Golf Club
Kilspindie Golf Club lies on the nature reserve of Aberlady Bay between Craigielaw Golf Club and the Firth of Forth on Scotland’s Golf Coast. Classed as one of Scotland’s hidden gems, this short, quirky course is protected by narrow defined fairways, pot bunkers and deceptive greens that can catch even the best ball strikers out. The opening couple of holes are very unique in that the 1st is a 167 yrd par 3 that plays towards the north. The 2nd is a par 5 that plays due west and into a prevailing wind can be unreachable in two. During a round you may witness some of the Scottish wildlife including sea-birds, migratory geese, and seals sunning on the sand. In the distance, you can also see the profile of Edinburgh, its Castle, and Arthur’s Seat. Kilspindie is a real joy to play for any golfer.
Muirfield, The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers
Muirfield has cemented itself as one of the best courses in the world, consistently in the top 10 of most golf publications rankings. Having hosted the Open Championship 16 times in its history dating back to 1862, some see it as the ultimate test of golf due to the layout and challenges awaiting you on every hole. During visitor days the 18 hole layout is played over 3 teeing grounds. On some holes you may find yourself hitting from the Gents or Ladies tees. Whereas on others you may find yourself at the competition tees. The rest of your time you’ll find yourself staring down a fairway or green from the Championship tees. Muirfield is available to play for visitors every Tuesday and Thursday. A handicap of 18 is required and it is advisable to try and book 18 months or so in advance.
North Berwick Golf Club West Links
North Berwick West Links sits a few miles along Scotland’s golf coast from its neighbouring Muirfield and Gullane. This busy little seaside town has some fantastic beaches and a spectacular golf course. Set along the coastline, the course boasts some fantastic views of the Firth of Forth and Bass Rock. The West Links has held many prestigious events from National Championships to Open Qualifying, when The Open Championship is held at Muirfield. Sitting at just over 6000 yds this Par 71 is not for the faint hearted. Specifically, the links has strong Par 3’s and some quirky ‘thinking man’s’ golf holes. Most notably hole 13 ‘The Pit’ which requires you to place your tee shot in order for you to have the correct angle to hit your next shot over a wall guarding the narrow green…….the wall has been there longer than the links itself.
Turnhouse Golf Club, Edinburgh
Turnhouse Golf Club is situated on the west side of Edinburgh. Set across Lennie Hill, the course offers magnificent 360 degree views; to the Ochils in the north, the River Forth and Fife beyond in the east, as well as excellent views of the Pentland Hills to the south. The course itself has two loops of 9 holes starting and finishing in front of the clubhouse. James Braid redesigned the course in 1927 and today, Turnhouse Golf Club is one of the best kept and maintained courses in the area and offers golfers of all abilities, a challenging round.
Golf Tour Packages
If you like the look of these courses and would like to experience golf in Edinburgh & East Lothian we recommend checking out the following packages:
Golf Coast Swing Tour
5 Star Golf Tour
Edinburgh, Inverness & Troon Tour
Bonnie East Lothian
Dalmahoy Golf Break
Alternatively, please let us know if you wish to play any of the courses above and we will include them within your customised golf tour.