Dunbar - Lothians - Scotland

Dunbar Golf Club,
East Links,
Dunbar,
East Lothian,
EH42 1LL,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1368 862317


The North Sea coastal town of Dunbar is steeped in history, its ancient ruined castle stands guard over the town’s twin harbours. Golf has been played in and around Dunbar since the early part of the 17th century, but the Dunbar Golf Club wasn’t formed until 1856 when a rudimentary fifteen-hole course was laid out and the course was later extended to eighteen holes.

In 1894, Old Tom Morris was called in to alter and to further extend the course. Extra land, part of the ancient deer park of Broxmouth estate was acquired at the turn of the 20th century and four new holes were built. Finally, in 1923, Ben Sayers and James Braid were called in to advise on bunkers, resulting in the installation of sixty-one new sand traps.

The course is laid out on a narrow strip of land with the best holes hugging the rocky coastline affording resplendent views across the North Sea to Bass Rock, a huge volcanic lump rising up out of the water.

The first two holes at Dunbar play up and down the old deer park and they are flat, ordinary and park-like. The 2nd green was once a shelter where the deer were fed. The 3rd has an interesting story to tell, a par three called “Jackson’s Pennies”. Mr Jackson was a retired local businessman and in the 1920s he used to sit behind the green and award a penny, a king’s ransom in those days, to those who played the hole well. At the 4th, a lovely par four called “Shore”, Dunbar begins to play like a classic links course, the views open up and the wind becomes a more prominent factor. The next thirteen holes are wedged between the coastline and a fine-looking old stonewall where out-of-bounds threatens beyond. The finishing hole, aptly called “Hame”, plays back to the clubhouse across the old deer park.

Dunbar East Links is a relatively short course, measuring 6,597 yards from the medal tees, but the wind generally makes the round thoroughly challenging and immensely entertaining. There is so much history to be absorbed in the East Lothian and a visit to Dunbar will help to complete the lesson.

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Description: Dunbar Golf Club is laid out on a narrow strip of land with the best holes hugging the rocky coastline affording resplendent views across the North Sea to Bass Rock, a huge volcanic lump rising up out of the water. Rating: 7.2 out of 10 Reviews: 46
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Robert Smith
I arranged my first ever visit to Scotland in March 1991. 6 intrepid English golfers ventured North to savour Scottish Golf, and I didn't have a clue on which courses to play. Dunbar found it's way onto our itinerary, and we were due to play it on the 3rd day of our weeks visit.We arrived nice and early for our 18 holes, and the wind was already howling. You could hardly stand up or hear each other speak. This was our first true taste of Scottish links, our previous two games had been on sheltered parkland courses and we hadn't a clue what to expect. The first three holes were fairly straightforward, two par 5's (unusual) and a par 3 from an elevated tee, where one of our group nearly had his first ever hole in one. One more roll of the ball and it would have dropped.Then we ventured out onto the course proper. Jeez, I couldn't believe what I was seeing. It looked like a moonscape. I don't remember much of the course, all I remember is the wind. I had never before played in wind of such strength and trust me, haven't since. A well struck drive downwind went for what seemed miles. Into the wind? About 80 yards if you were lucky. We had to walk in after 12 holes, it was that bad. We had been beaten. We went into the clubhouse afterwards for a drink and a meal and there was an old guy sitting at the bar sipping his whisky. "Is it always this windy here" we asked.He looked out of the window and commented "this is just a mild zephyr. You wait until it really gets up!"We were so impressed with the course though that we cancelled our Friday game and returned to play Dunbar. Thankfully the weather was better, the wind had dropped and the sun was out. We loved it. Fantastic tees, fairways, bunkers and greens. We returned to Scotland 4 or 5 more times after that, but bases ourselves further North so a reture to Dunbar was never on the cards again. But I'd love to go back sometime because it really is a great links.
February 04, 2010
10 / 10
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B.G. Donaldson
We played Dunbar on the last day of our eight course tour, and it was a fitting send off. We were fortunate with the weather, crystal clear and a suitable breeze, making the front nine out a bit of a vacation and the holes coming in much more challenging. Once past the first three holes, which are not bad holes, and on to the sea, the game is on. We found the fairways quite generous and the rough very playable. Many in our group of twelve had their best scores there, but our lowest handicapper struggled a bit.I very much enjoyed Dunbar. It's a very good links course and provides all the quirks that one hopes for on a visit such as ours.
September 15, 2009
8 / 10
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Dan Hare
Lots of fun, very friendly club and out in the middle of the course some great views. We were stuck behind a society on this busy society (as always, ring ahead to get a good tee time !) so didnt actually see the last 2 holes (although we played them) but still a great memory.
August 09, 2009
8 / 10
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stephen voce
Second time i`ve played this course - very good indeed not too long or difficult but i played it on a calm day!
June 28, 2009
8 / 10
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Andrew Harrison
What a great links course. It was in imaculate condition when I played in June 2008. Every hole is a good test of golf that seems to reward good shots. I have heard some people say they dont enjoy holes 1,2,3,and 18 mainly because they are at the other side of the wall and you don't get the view of the see, I thought these holes were great.Very friendly golf shop and bar.Well worth the visit
July 15, 2008
10 / 10
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Shaun
An old fashioned links course which was in excellent condition when I visited in late May 2008. Not a classic but a good layout which was thoroughly enjoyable to play.
July 13, 2008
6 / 10
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maxfli
Played course on 12 July, enjoyable links course with a very good back nine. My only gripe is with some of the stroke indexes. Take the second hole, a relatively straight foward par 5 of just under 500 yards, stroke index 3 but the 18th a long par 4 of 430 yards is ranked stroke 10!
July 12, 2008
8 / 10
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Ian Smith
Played on 14/6/08 when it was in excellent condition. While the 1st is regarded as one of the weaker holes a new burn in front of the green makes it a much tougher challenge and a better hole for it. It's a relatively short course but the wind can make a huge difference. Downwind on the way out it seemed simple, but it was a different animal for the last few holes back into the breeze. If you can get the twilight rate it is excellent value and a warm welcome awaits in the clubhouse which offers fantastic views out to sea.
June 17, 2008
8 / 10
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Martin Franklin
Played on the Friday of the Open 2007 this was a pleasant return to a gem of a links. A testing breeze (a mere zephyr to the locals), a little sun and a course in first class condition all contributed to an enjoyable day. Add that to a well stocked & helpful pro-shop and a friendly club house (scotch pie, chips and beans - you cannae beat it) and you have all you need for a perfect day out.
July 29, 2007
8 / 10
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Richard Smith
Another outstanding course that compliments the amazing stretch of courses from Lossiemouth to Gullane all the way down to Berwick upon Tweed. Dunbar starts with three fairly unremarkable holes, then you pass through the ubiquitous wall which will form the right hand boundry of the rest of the front nine. The back nine is simply outstanding. The views across the bay and towards the town of Dunbar are outstanding, and the holes are a marvelous collection of some of the best par 4's in all of Scotland. The plainness of the first three holes probably keeps this course out of the top rank of Scottish links courses, but I would always try and play Dunbar if I were in the area. Great club, friendly members, and a wonderful experience of classic links golf. Richard Smith, Knoxville, Tennessee
June 02, 2006
10 / 10
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