Broomieknowe Golf Club was founded in 1905 and the club’s original course was a full 18-hole affair, designed by Ben Sayers, the North Berwick professional. Sayers was quite a character in his day – he’s said to have trained as an acrobat before becoming a golf club maker and professional player – and he’s recognised as one of the best golfers of his era to never win an Open, with an impressive ten top 10 finishes in 34 attempts.
When additional land became available in the early 1930s, James Braid was called in to remodel the course, using three fields that had been leased from the landowner. According to the book James Braid and his Four Hundred Golf Courses by John F. Moreton & Iain Cumming, “it was to be a major reconstruction.”
The authors continue: “On the fairly even land near the clubhouse there are six holes, three out, three back, parallel to each other. Braid kept five of them, providing a new tee for his new 18th, the present 16th. The other twelve lay on the other side of a track, on far more interesting land, giving ample scope to Braid’s imagination. With only one exception, all these had new tees, and eight had new greens”.
When the A7 bypass was constructed in 1992, architect Fred Hawtree was tasked with remodeling the layout and he retained most of the Braid holes and five of his greens. He also created five new holes (from the 5th to the 9th) and re-sequenced the course to accommodate the new changes. Extensive drainage work was carried out at the start of the new millennium, allowing Broomieknowe to remain open when other courses in the area are waterlogged.Today, the course extends to 6,172 yards from the back tees, with only one par five (at the 8th) and three par threes (at holes 5, 11 and 15) on the scorecard. Holes 6 and 7 (“Marys Dyke” and “Cockpen”) form a formidable pair of par fours on the front nine but the degree of difficulty here is more than matched by the trio of two-shotters on the inward half at holes 12 to 14, which attract stroke index values of 1, 5 and 3.
Despite being brought up in Edinburgh I had never ventured to Bonnyrigg to play here but last week I did and it was a very enjoyable experience. Very much a case of 'six of one, a dozen of the other' with the first three and the last three shoehorned into a small space in front of the clubhouse and very samey (reminded me of Ratho Park) whereas the other twelve offer a real challenge with several changes of elevation and some demanding par fours through the trees. The lovely par 3 5th was the highlight but overall Broomieknowe is a course that should be better known. A true Hidden Gem,
We played Broomieknowe during our stop at Edinburgh in May. Very nice guy in the Pro shop, but playing this short course from the whites is a privilege only granted to the members of the club (?).
After three rather straightforward par 4's, the course opens up, throwing some more serious golf challenges at the players.
Course design never gets exceptional, although the holes round the turn are noteworthy. Last three holes are OK-ish, but they are a bit of a underwhelming finish to a nice round of golf.
Maintenance was OK, but I expected a bit more from the quality of the greens.
Within the friendly and typical 'members' clubhouse, members have their own private room with a separate bar, which makes the general area a bit uninviting for guests after their round. Given the length of the course, it must be a fun course for playing matchplay with your buddies on a Summer's afternoon.
Because of the number of golf-venues near Edinburgh, I/m not sure I will pick Broomieknowe next time.