Duddingston - Lothians - Scotland

Duddingston Golf Club,
Duddingston Road West,
Edinburgh,
EH15 3QD,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 131 661 4301

  • Golf Club Website

  • 1.5 miles SE of Edinburgh City Centre

  • Welcome with tee time slots available daily

  • Duncan Ireland

  • Willie Park Jr., John Shade and Bill Biggar

  • Alastair McLean

The financial community of Edinburgh established the first club at Duddingston, called the Insurance & Banking Golf Club, in 1895. The estate on which they played was owned by the Duke of Abercorn and situated beneath the backdrop of Arthur’s Seat - the 800-foot high extinct volcano that dominates the eastern flank of the city – and this remains the location of the modern course played by members of Duddingston Golf Club.

Designed by Willie Park Junior, Duddingston was altered in the 1960s by John Shade and Bill Biggar and now measures 6,525 yards, following the extension of several holes. This gently undulating, tree-lined course – Duddingston in Gaelic translates as “sunny side of the hill” – is a fine test of golf with the Braid burn presenting itself as a hazard to golfers on a number of holes as it winds its way through the estate.

The course is built on land that was part of a deer estate with many links to Scotland’s history. For instance, in 1745, before the Battle of Prestonpans, Bonnie Prince Charlie’s men were said to have camped on adjacent land known nowadays as Cavalry Park.

Duddingston is well respected in the Lothians as one of the best in the county with a run of demanding par fours from the 11th to the 13th holes. The most difficult hole on the card is “Woodlands” the 443- yard 11th where two fine shots are needed to reach a green that is at least one club further than it seems.

The signature hole is the 426-yard 13th called “Temple” – named after the monument built by the Duke of Abercorn that stands beside the hole – where the tee shot must be well positioned to allow an accurate second shot any chance of reaching a green where the ground drops toward three bunkers on the left of the putting surface.

Former club professional John Shade's son, Ronnie, has the last hole at Duddingston named after his initials - RDBM (colloquially translated as “right down the bloody middle”) – and it is fitting that the most famous of Duddingston's members is remembered for posterity. Ronnie was one of Scotland’s finest ever amateur golfers, competing for Scotland from 1957 to 1968, playing in four Walker Cups between 1961 and 1967 and winning the Scottish Amateur title five years in a row from 1963 to 1967.

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Reviews for Duddingston

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Description: Duddingston Golf Club is well respected in the Lothians as one of the county's best with a run of demanding par fours from the 11th to the 13th holes. Rating: 4 out of 6 Reviews: 6

I have played Duddingston many times over the years, but when I played it last week its the best I've ever seen it. The course was in top condition, the fairways were immaculate and the greens were fast and true.Our society day was a huge success (plus the good weather helped!) and all the staff and members we met could not have been more helpful or nicer.This is a real hidden gem. IMHO this should be right up there with the likes of Gleneagles and alike.Slap bang in the middle of Edinburgh, this course makes a great venue for any golfing holiday – especially one with the boys!Play it quick before more people find out about it and they put the prices up!
6 / 6
Duddingston
June 15, 2011


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Niall
June 15, 2011
This is a surely a review from a Martian? 6-ball reviews should be reserved for the world's best courses. I think this website should review the guidelines for the course rating system.
Jim McCann
June 15, 2011
Have to agree with Niall's response - six ball reviews should be few and far between (and Duddingston is NEVER a 6-ball course)!!!
Tom
September 07, 2011
Probably written by the Secretary?
Martin
September 09, 2011
6 ball rating? it's a wind up surely? More like a 3 ball rating. Might make 4 on a good day.
The first at Duddingston is a slight right to left par 5 of 485 yards which provides a decent chance to get the round off to a good start. The drive must be kept to the right hand side of the fairway to give the golfer sight of the green with the second shot however the two biggest dangers to birdie or even par on the hole come in the form of a dry ditch down the right hand side of the fairway until it starts to turn to the left, which can leave an awkward stance or lie, and a deep bunker short and left of the green. The second is a nice par three and introduces the golfer to the burn which is a constant companion during the round and is in play on no fewer than seven of the eighteen holes. A straight tee shot is necessary to avoid the bunker to the left and slope to the right of the green.

Holes three and four run parallel to each other with the former being a straightish par four of just under 400 yards and the latter being a 464 yard par five where a decision must be made whether to try to carry the burn or to lay up in order to reach the raised green which falls off every side. The 5th is a a short par 5 which should leave a short iron into the green which is just as well due to the severely sloping putting surface and any approach must be to the right side to avoid a slippery downhill putt. Hole six is the toughest one shotter on the course with a large bunker directly in front of the green and the winding burn up the whole right hand side of the hole. The next hole is pretty straight and is flanked by trees on both sides; the green is relatively large and flat and is protected by a two bunkers on either side. The hole is usually played into the wind which only adds to its 370 yards however the green is offered some shelter by the large trees behind it. A blind tee shot must be fired over the hill on the 8th hole and should come to rest before the burn which is around 270 yards from the tee area. The second part of the hole veers to the right and the back to front sloping green is surrounded by bunkers from 100 yards and in.

My favourite hole on the front nine is the ninth - at only 303 yards it isn't the longest but it helps to have played here before when teeing off as a blind dip before the green runs towards the dreaded burn. The green falls away on the right hand side and anything through the back leaves a tough up and down so an accurate flick with a short iron is needed here. The back nine starts with a 172 yard par three from an elevated tee and the green is protected by six deep bunkers so it's best to be either just short or straight through the back of the green here to avoid the trouble. The next three holes are Duddington's version of Amen Corner and are, in my opinion, by far the toughest holes on the course. The 11th, stroke index one, is listed as being 421 yards but plays a lot longer when out on the course. The tee shot must be long and straight over the burn to have any chance of hitting the green in regulation. Even with a good drive the elevation change from fairway to green makes the approach shot very tough. Next up is a near 500 yard par four which is all uphill from the middle of the fairway and again the drive must be launched straight to have a chance of posting a good score here due to the cluster of bunkers on the left and trees on the right. All in all, a very imposing hole offering scenic views of the famous Arthur's Seat in the backdrop - terrific hole. Thirteen is another monster of a hole, shaping left to right it is vitally important to keep to the left to avoid being blocked out by the trees. The slope to the left of the green falls steeply so any approach should be aimed towards the Temple which sits to the right of the green. Anyone scoring even a couple over par on these holes can count themselves a pretty capable player in my book.

If holes 11 to 13 are tough, then 14 and 15 give the golfer a chance to claw back a couple of shots and are enjoyable holes. Another elevated tee awaits at the 140 yard 14th but any tee shot must cut through the wind, if there is any, and safely float over the burn and onto the putting surface. The wind is definitely a factor here and I've seen myself hit anything between a 6 iron and a wedge on this hole. The 15th is a short par four and takes a 45 degree turn to the right from the middle of the fairway to the green and is a good birdie chance as long as the approach doesn't fly through the green, which again slopes down and away from the pin. The 16th is another difficult hole; straight for the most part, the fairway drops down to a slight valley meaning that the green cannot be seen when threading the approach between two large trees that frame the green. Another hole that plays longer than it looks. As the golfer heads for home the sub 500 yard par five 17th swings to the left and a couple of solid strikes should put the golfer in a decent position to make par at least as other than the three greenside bunkers there isn't too much danger on this hole.

The home hole brings the golfer towards the clubhouse and the further the blind drive is knocked over the brow of the hill the shorter club will be required into the green, only after one last encounter with the burn, of course, which lies across the front of the green. The green is large on the final hole but bunkers surround the putting surface to catch any wayward second shots.

Duddingston is a very good course and the modern clubhouse and practice facilities only add to the experience of the playing at this club. Other than at the back of the ninth tee, the course has a secluded feel to it and you wouldn't think that you were just 5-10 minutes away from the centre of Edinburgh when playing here. Duddingston lays claim to being the finest parkland course in the Lothians and I have to say that it certainly is the best that I have played in the region. I think the course is well balanced although the front nine is defintely the place to make a score due to the difficulty of the back side. Overall, a fine parkland course and, despite being a member, the fact that I never tire of playing here is a true testament to the quality of the track at Duddingston. DM
4 / 6
Duddingston
September 09, 2010


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Frank
June 14, 2011
The course was extremely easy to book for a party outing, the professinal and all staff were extremely welcoming and the course was in excellent condition.
Any club that can boast a five-in-a-row Scottish amateur champion is also likely to possess a varied, stimulating and testing course. Duddingston GC, home club of the late Ronnie Shade, is precisely such a place. After a few holes of this relatively flat, parkland course in the shadow of Arthur’s Seat you will be painfully aware of the need to keep it “Right Down the Bloody Middle” just as RDBM Shade’s nickname hinted. At Duddingston a stray ball will almost certainly be found but it is equally likely that you will have to conjure it under, through, between, or above some hard, woody and leafy obstacles.I’m not sure I agree with the previous reviews who claim the home nine is better than the outward. The first here is a relatively short par 5 but with OOB right and trees and bunkers left it requires two very strategically placed shots to put you in good position for a chip and a putt. The second is an exacting par three – pull it a bit left and the burn awaits, and trees are not far off the back and right. The third is a demanding par four of 413yrds where the ideal tee shot skirts the trees close by the tee. Around the green the semi-rough is surprisingly coarse. The worryingly titled “Death or Glory” par five 4th is actually relatively easy. I would love to see a few yards chopped off this one to turn it in to a great par 4. The next is a short par four but there is loads of trouble left and right and the 6th requires a long-iron or wee wood to a relatively narrow green. Seven is another short(ish) par 4 but the green is not easy to hold. The par five 8th is a genuine three shotter – thanks to it being 537 yrds and the fact that the prudent tee-shot is a three wood to avoid a ditch that runs across the fairway. The ditch comes back into play at the pretty 9th – this time a wee wood or long-iron is the wise choice from the tee (unless you have the urge to “do a Van De Velde”).I rest my case on behalf of Duddingston’s opening nine! Admittedly, the second nine has a stimulating run of par 4s starting with the 11th (arguably the best hole on the course) and ending at the 13th, two fun par threes from elevated tees and some other very agreeable holes but I think this is a well balanced course and by no means a game of two halves. The clubhouse and practice facilities are good. If you are organising a golfing trip to the Lothians, Duddingston certainly deserves your consideration. I’m not sure it is the best parkland course in the region but it is most certainly in the short-list for the title. If you do visit just remember the strategy – RDBM!!!Derek, Edinburgh, June 08.
4 / 6
Duddingston
July 01, 2008


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GJ
July 14, 2009
What a wonderful day I had at Duddingston, I felt that nothing was an issue. The course was tough yet fair, the greens were manicured and fast, this course is certainly something special. I was lucky enough to play in their open tournament this year, I would certainly recommend it to everyone. 18 great holes and a very nice Clubhouse, thanks for a great day.
Played this charming course on a dry but overcast day. Very much a track of two nines with, in my opinion, the back nine far superior to the front. And the stretch of holes 10 – 14 excellent. The burn that meanders through the course comes in to play on 12 holes, watch for the burn on the 9th if you haven’t played the course before as you can’t see it playing your 2nd shot. The par 3’s are also delightful. So, if you are in Edinburgh and you fancy a game then Duddingston is a fine and welcoming course who will be only too happy to see you.
3 / 6
Duddingston
April 21, 2008


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Duddingston is where one of Scotland’s finest amateur golfers, Ronnie Shade, played his golf - there’s lots of plaques and photos to remind you in and around the clubhouse - and it’s a very decent test of golf. Duddingston - Photo by Jim McCannThere are lots of nice touches around the course like sleepered steps into some of the bunkers, all weather paths around a number of tees and around a dozen old-fashioned metal bridges over the burn that winds its way through the course. Greens had just been top dressed when I visited very early in the season so putting surfaces were not quite at their best, but that’s to be expected at many courses in mid April. The enormous hedge at the back of the 7th hole is a real feature on the front nine and the apparently benign 9th hole (from the tee anyway) hides the burn that runs in front of the green – very devious for first time golfers! The course gets better on the inward half with some delightful changes in elevation. I really enjoyed the three testing par fours, starting at the 11th and “Shades” was a lovely, right doglegged short par four at the 15th that was one of my favourites. The clubhouse has recently been refurbished to a high standard and the bar was a very informal area to relax in after the round. Jim McCann
3 / 6
Duddingston
April 18, 2008


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Bold statement but I think this is the best course in Edinburgh and it represents great value for money at around £20 a round out of season. The layout is well defined with mature trees and a wandering burn dissects the course and never fails to catch me out. Par 5s are shortish and reachable in normal wind conditions and the land is interesting and not too hilly. Thing I like most about the course is that there is a good and varied mix of holes that keep you on our toes all the way round. All in all a course that comes highly recommended with a good 19th hole too.
4 / 6
Duddingston
February 27, 2008


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