Gullane (No.1) - Lothians - Scotland

Gullane Golf Club,
Gullane,
East Lothian,
EH31 2BB,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1620 842255

  • Gordon Simpson

  • Unknown

  • Alasdair Good


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Gullane

“Gullane Hill, with the sun shining and the wind blowing, the black clouds banked beyond the Forth, and just a glimpse in the distance of the mighty tracery of the Forth Bridge, is one of the most beautiful spots in the world,” wrote Bernard Darwin in an article for Country Life called, On Gullane Hill, which was reprinted in his book, Playing The Like.

Gullane is a small town that lives and breathes golf: there are five superb golf courses in this locality, including the mighty Muirfield. The Gullane No.1 course was laid down in 1884 and is the most senior of a triumvirate of courses at Gullane Golf Club. Records dating back to 1650 show golf being played over these links, though it is unclear who originally designed the No.1 course. Therefore, until we can establish otherwise, we must put it down to Mother Nature.

Gullane is blessed with the most exquisite turf – winter rules are not needed here. If you hit the fairways, a perfect lie awaits, even in the depths of winter. The opening hole, cunningly called “First”, is a relatively gentle short par four. The 2nd hole, called “Windygate”, begins the march up Gullane Hill. The 3rd hole is called “Racecourse”, a short par five which plays along what was once an old 18th century racecourse and it continues to take you onwards and upwards, now at a canter, until you reach the 7th tee and the 200-foot summit of Gullane Hill.

The 360-degree views from the vantage point of the 7th tee are simply breathtaking. In the foreground, all around, are the fluttering flags of Gullane, Muirfield and Luffness New. The Lammermuir Hills lie to the south, while the Firth of Forth wraps up the panorama to the north, west and east. And now, it’s time for the 7th hole and its inviting downhill drive and the scurry home down Gullane Hill.

If you have read up to here and you haven’t yet played Gullane No.1, it will come as no surprise to you that there is the requirement for varied uphill and downhill shot-making. This in itself is quite unusual for a links course and makes Gullane all the more fascinating.

Don’t be misled into thinking that Gullane is a quirky old-fashioned affair; this is a high class golf course, host to many important competitions, including Open Championship Final Qualifying and the 2015 Scottish Open, which Rickie Fowler won by one shot courtesy of a 72nd hole birdie. The 2015 and 2018 Scottish Open (which South Africa's Brandon Stone won after posting a 10 under par final round) utilised a composite course taking sixteen holes from No.1 and two holes from No.2.

To complete the Gullane experience, visit the club’s fascinating museum, put together by past Gullane captain, Archie Baird. Archie is a golf historian and collector who wrote Golf on Gullane Hill.

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Reviews for Gullane (No.1)

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Description: Gullane Golf Club is blessed with the most exquisite turf – winter rules are not needed here. If you hit the No.1 course fairways, a perfect lie awaits, even in the depths of winter. Rating: 7.9 out of 10 Reviews: 29
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Jim McCann

Three years since I last played Gullane #1 and I’d forgotten just how good a course it really was. Gullane No 1 - Photo by Jim McCannI’ve been here several times over that period playing #2 and #3 but, contrary to my last review for #1, it really is THE course to play at Gullane!

The climbs and falls were more pronounced than I remembered but the conditioning and exceptional bunkering were as good as I ever recollected from before with the only downside to the big course being the relative blandness of the par threes in comparison to the other two courses.

“Pumphouse,” the par five 15th hole is a real cracker, with a dozen bunkers skirting a snaking, fairway that leads uphill to a green sloping wickedly from back to front. And with a back nine 500 yards longer than an outward half from the medal tees (and a par only one more than the 35 out) you had better make your score early in the round here!

Now, if you choose your moment correctly (round about 22nd June) you could warm up on #3 in the morning, play a game after lunch on #2 in the afternoon and end with an evening match after tea on #1 – now that would be a day of unadulterated golfing bliss!

Jim McCann

February 12, 2008
8 / 10
Gullane (No.1)
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Jim Robertson
Gullane - the best place in Scotland to play golf. Don't bother comparing the 3 courses just play them all as often as you can! So many great holes on #1 : 2nd,4th,6th,7th, and a magnificent sequence round the turn. Only shortcomings are the weak par 3 16th and the bland 18th but this is wonderful golf in the greatest setting. (Just drink in your first view from the top of Gullane Hill).
February 04, 2006
8 / 10
Gullane (No.1)
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Duncan
Excellently condition course with a beautifully difficult but fair layout. The view at the 7th is undescribably stunning, 360 degrees of pure beauty. A must play!
December 15, 2005
10 / 10
Gullane (No.1)
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Richard Smith
Gullane #1 is a stern and demanding test of golf. This course has the most significant elevation changes of any links course and scotland, and it is a day's work to play #1 and #2 in the same day. The course demands excellent driving for you to have any chance of shooting a decent score. Hole #1 is a fairly simple, short par 4, but the fun begins at the second. This hole requres a drive, uphill, to a narrow undulating fairway that is almost impossible to hit directly into the wind. From there you are continually challenged to drive the ball in play to avoid the rough and bunkers which dominate the course. The evelation changes make this course (and Gulland #2) very unique. These are several extreme up and downhill holes as you negotiate Gullane hill. I've found it very difficult to score well on this course, but I have always found it a challange. Gullane #2 is similar, but #1 is clearly the better course. Both, however, should be on your list of links course to play.
November 19, 2005
10 / 10
Gullane (No.1)
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Steve Searle
What a test!! Some superb holes; namely the 3rd, 5th, 11th and 13th. My favourite though was the 15th. A par 5 that needs a good drive down the left then either a drawn 2nd if you're a big hitter or a positional shot down the right followed by an uphill pitch to a severly sloping green. The condition of the course was superb and from the white tees it is a good test, especially the back 9. The green fees are quite steep but personally I feel this a much better test of golf than No 2 course with better holes throughout.
July 12, 2005
8 / 10
Gullane (No.1)
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Jim McCann

I played the course in early 2003 (having previously played the no.2 course some time before and since played the no.3 course). I could not get my head round the idea of a top 20 Scottish links course rising and falling so high up Gullane hill – aren't links meant to be relatively flat beside the shore?

For all that, it was a very enjoyable experience with the expected high quality of (true links quality) fast greens and an abundance of newly riveted bunkers throughout. No, I did not go into the members clubhouse as we already knew the virtues of the visitors clubhouse and yes, I too am one of those who feel that the no.1 course is overpriced and not as good as no.2. No inverted snobbery here, just my honest opinion at the time and I am glad to since find out that others feel the same.

Jim McCann

January 22, 2005
6 / 10
Gullane (No.1)
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Steve Smith
Unique terrain, and at the high point of the course, the views are tremendous. Good course, but is it really any better than No 2 which welcomes countless visitors each year?
May 27, 2004
6 / 10
Gullane (No.1)
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Lee Abbey
Speak to some of the locals and they will tell you that No.2 at Gullane is the better course. Maybe it's some kind of inverted snobbery but for me No.1 is by far the better course. There are some great holes here, it's a real links fan's course with open and panoramic views. We played it on a really windy day but to be honest a links course without wind just doesn't feel authentic somehow! One word of warning, there are two clubhouses. The 'proper' club is only open to visitors playing No.1 and you need a jacket and tie for lunch (how I hate that), the other clubhouse is by the first tee of Gullane No.2. The food here is a bit overpriced...better to pack your sandwiches and a flask (hip preferably) and just enjoy the course. For the extra £20 it's worth including No.2 for a day ticket price of £90. Expensive but just about worth it.
April 23, 2004
6 / 10
Gullane (No.1)
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Billy
Stark, natural links course, very exposed so expect to get those cobwebs blown away. Excellent greens and difficult to read. Superb views on a clear day. Pick of the holes for me were the par five 3rd and the three finishing holes. Gullane may well have a loyal following but I don't think it's quite out of the top drawer. Ideally I'd rate it 4.5 balls but I'm feeling generous.
April 22, 2004
8 / 10
Gullane (No.1)
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