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Bruntsfield Links

Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Address32 Barnton Ave, Edinburgh EH4 6JH, UK
  • Championships hosted

The Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society dates as far back as 1761 (when golf was played over the six-hole Bruntsfield Links, near Edinburgh Castle) therefore it is the 4th oldest club in the world. Despite the club name of Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society, the club’s course is not a links but a parkland layout in the suburbs of Edinburgh.

Play on the original course was shared with the Edinburgh Burgess Golfers (now the Royal Burgess Golfing Society) and was restricted to two months in the spring and three months in the autumn with the land being used for pasture in the summer months.

During the Society’s time at Bruntsfield, one of the many prizes on offer was the Cairns Medal of 1839, which was intended for competition at Musselburgh. Play at Musselburgh was nothing new and the members had been going there for years because the Links were open all year round.

In 1886, the club built a clubhouse in Musselburgh so that four historic clubs existed cheek by jowl in the same street beside the public links of the Old course – the other clubs being the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, Royal Musselburgh and The Edinburgh Burgess Golfers. Not surprisingly, with four clubs sharing a 9-hole golf course, there was a problem with congestion, which eventually necessitated the move to an alternative venue for all of them.

In 1898 the Bruntsfield Captain informed members that the club were looking for land to build their own course. Negotiations were entered into with the Maitland family for land at Barnton Gate to the west of the city and Willie Park Jnr (a Musselburgh man and twice Open Champion) was commissioned to lay out a course.

The course shares a common boundary with next-door neighbours the Royal Burgess Golfing Society, but Bruntsfield is more undulating and more heavily tree-lined than the Burgess course. This is prime parkland golfing terrain and both courses are renowned for their excellent conditioning.

The Bruntsfield site is one of the most attractive settings for any golf course in a major city and it commands spectacular views across the Firth of Forth to Fife. Dr Alistair MacKenzie was instructed to carry out course modifications in 1922 and Fred W. Hawtree, the internationally renowned golf course architect, carried out a major reconstruction in 1971.

The Bruntsfield clubhouse is one of great antiquity with a cherished history but it is also one of the great clubhouses in which to relax and dine after a round on the course and its lunches are as famed as those at Prestwick and Muirfield.

In January 2017, the club announced that architects Mackenzie & Ebert would oversee a significant course redesign which would result in the layout reverting to a par 71 by extending the current par four 13th hole to a par five and introducing a new signature par three 16th hole to replace the existing par three 12th.

The Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society dates as far back as 1761 (when golf was played over the six-hole Bruntsfield Links, near Edinburgh Castle) therefore it is the 4th oldest club in the world. Despite the club name of Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society, the club’s course is not a links but a parkland layout in the suburbs of Edinburgh.

Play on the original course was shared with the Edinburgh Burgess Golfers (now the Royal Burgess Golfing Society) and was restricted to two months in the spring and three months in the autumn with the land being used for pasture in the summer months.

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Course Architect

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Alister MacKenzie

Alister MacKenzie was born in England, but his parents were Scottish and the family holidayed every year close to where his father was raised in the traditional Clan MacKenzie lands of Sutherland.

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