Eyemouth Golf Club nestles on the rugged Berwickshire coastline, just five miles north of the English border, and its course sits near the centre of Eyemouth’s pretty little fishing village. The fairways all lie close to the coast but nine of them are more parkland in nature as they occupy a cliff top setting, where there’s little sandy soil available to create firm and fast playing conditions.
The club was formed in 1894 and for a hundred years members enjoyed their game of golf played over a 9-hole course. The opportunity to expand the layout to 18 holes arose in the mid-1990s, when the local council approached the club with a plan to run a new road through the course, allowing easier access to the harbour area and the fish market.
Almost one and a half million pounds was raised for the new development from the Sports Council, the R&A, the local authority and lottery funding, with the new layout designed by local architects Bain and Swan. After a period of upheaval, the new 18-hole was unveiled to an expectant membership in 1997.
The upgrade was radical. The only green remaining from the old course is the 8th, which used to be the 5th and the 7th hole along the coast was formerly the 5th, only it’s now played in reverse. Most of the additional nine holes were laid out to the south of the property, linking back to the higher ground at the clubhouse via the right doglegged 16th.The new layout features a couple of extraordinary holes, one on each nine: the dramatic par three 6th, “A-Still-No-Ken,” requires a heroic 170-yard carry to the green across a rocky coastal inlet, and the gargantuan par five 13th is reckoned to be Scotland’s longest hole when played from the 656-yard back tee.
The Eyemouth course has only been played as an 18-hole layout since the late 1990s, when a new road to the harbour was laid, allowing the old 9-hole course to be replaced with an entirely new 18-hole layout. The opening three holes and closing two holes are routed on Gunsgreen Hill next to the clubhouse, with a couple of transition holes linking these holes with the rest of the layout which occupies ground closer to the coastline.
It wasn’t a professional golf course architect who carried out the redesign work here and, no disrespect to the club, it shows. The course has a very homespun feel to it and, while some might say that adds to its charm, this did nothing to endear it to me. Early on, I was unhappy with the downhill par three 3rd (played over a big pond to a bunkerless green) and severe doglegged holes on #4, #10, #14 and #16 were four too many for me.
The famed par three 6th next to Greenends Gully on the rocky shoreline was a bit of a visual let down also, and would clearly benefit from having a raised tee installed to get a better view of what lies ahead. As for “the longest hole in Scotland” at the 656-yard 13th, I suppose if something as contrived as this hole helps to attract more golfers to play at the club then fair play for marketing it as the “Hawk Nest Monster”!
The coastal holes play pretty firm and fast with mainly links-like characteristics and I’m sure that many golf societies will really enjoy their day by the seaside – especially with the very attractive packages on offer to eight or more golfers, providing food before and after playing here. I just can’t get over the fact that the new incarnation of the Eyemouth course might have been an opportunity lost to fashion something a little better.
Superb course with outstanding views, par 3 6th is one of the best holes i have played.
Eyemouth starts and finishes in a parkland setting but in between has some wonderful seaside holes. I am reluctant to call it links but arguably there is a stretch of it.
The much mentioned 6th hole really is gob smacking from the back tees. The following hole is almost as good, with the green at an angle to the fairway and jutting out towards the sea. A few back and forth holes follow that are fairly straight forward with no real rough to worry about.
They don’t mind a dog leg with at least six of them. Playing it for the first time meant I was unsure but in most cases you can take a fair chunk off the corner, especially the 4th.
The 11th hole is tough. On the body. I doubt I have played a hole so steep. The massive 13th flows back down the hill and is well protected by a burn. After that it’s back to parkland golf – some good design amongst it, I’m not a snob but I do prefer links golf. I think there is a case for this course to be removed from this websites list of True Links.
All up not a bad course. The scampi is delicious in the friendly clubhouse and it is a strong 3 /weak 4 baller, rounding up due to 6th & 7th. Warren from Aust