Braid Hills has two municipal golf courses (Braid Hills and Wee Braids) and its flagship Braid Hills layout is one of the most vertically challenging golfing tests in Edinburgh. Weighing in at less than 6,000 yards, Braid Hills is not about length, it's about testing golf shots from one hilly crag to the next.
This heathland cum moorland track was founded in 1893 and it was laid out by three times Open Champion Bob Ferguson and Peter McEwan, a 19th century Musselburgh club maker. The course will be busy, especially at weekends and public holidays, but the green fee will cost you around fifteen quid, making Braid Hills one of the most affordable courses to be featured on the Top 100 website. The walk is certainly hard on the legs but the views of the Pentland Hills and the panorama across the top of Edinburgh's skyline to the Firth of Forth beyond make it all well worth the effort.
Despite its name, this course was not designed by James Braid. Rather, it is laid out over Braid Hill. A proliferation of gorse and sloping lies make scoring very difficult, despite the fact that there are few bunkers and the rough is relatively light. Braid Hills is not about brawn, it's about careful course management. If you can keep on the straight and narrow and keep out of the gorse, you're in business.
Braid Hills has some entertaining par threes, most notably the 2nd and 13th, but undoubtedly, the highlight of the round comes at the 14th. It's an inviting tee shot from a glorious elevated position.
Braid Hills is basic in terms of facilities, which is a surprise given that it's so close to the city centre and attracts thousands of green fees each year, but there's a delightful feeling of space and isolation here making it an enjoyable city venue.