I don't have much to add but I will say this – the atmosphere when you come to Gullane is clearly a golfer's oasis. In many ways the complex of courses at Gullane reminds me of the totality of the golf experience one gets when at Bethpage on Long Island. Since the facility is open to the public you find a range of people partaking in the myriad of elements provided.
The terrain is what makes #1 so much fun – it's always changing. Predictability is not something one can rely upon when playing the course. The wind can be especially fierce at times but the links does allow for a ground game option so smart players can use the slopes of the land to their benefit if the skills are evident.
The gentle opened belies what you get with the imposing 2nd hole. The fairway tapers down noticeably and the putting surface is a fine one too. The long narrow green requires a deft touch to get one's approach somewhere near the hole.
Unlike other links courses that have gone bonkers with rough that has become insanely high – there's enough wiggle room at #1 so that misses are not eternally banished. Fun golf – not the slog variety – is the storyline. The views of the region are clearly front and center and when blessed with fine weather and a healthy breeze at work the joy of being alive and on the grounds is no less than what Bernard Darwin penned.
Many who venture to East Lothian will be making a pilgrimage to such places as Muirfield, North Berwick and for others Renaissance. But, Gullane #1 is no less an important visit to be savored. Be sure to spend a bit of time at the exquisite golf museum put together by Archie Baird – a real capper to one's time here.
by M. James Ward
Date: September 25, 2017