Gullane (No.2) - Lothians - Scotland

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


  • +44 (0) 1620 842255


"Having played on Gullane No.2 in the morning and No.1 in the afternoon, my mind is in an agreeable jumble between the two," wrote Bernard Darwin in his 1934 book, Playing The Like. "I am inclined to think I am the fonder of No.2, but here again there may be a personal motive; it is decidedly the shorter. There is, of course, a strong family likeness between the two, because on both we have (like the Grand Old Duke of York of the poem) to march up to the top of the hill and march down again."

Golf at Gullane dates back to 1650 but the club wasn't founded until 1882. The then current Open Champion, Willie Park Jnr, laid down Gullane No.2 in 1899 for ten guineas.

Gullane No.2 runs parallel to No.1 for the first seven holes. It's a flat beginning and then a steady climb up the hill. At the 11th, the charming view of Aberlady Bay opens up but don't let this distract you too much because this is probably the best short hole on the course, which invariably plays into the prevailing wind to a front-to-back sloping green. Frank Pennink remodelled the 12th hole in 1969 and it takes you on a journey to the edge of the secret and picturesque nature reserve. "We feel as if we were playing in a little world of our own - ours and the gulls' and the rabbits'," wrote Darwin.

There's an overriding feeling of openness at Gullane. The sky is big and the course seems wide and open, but it is an illusion: each hole has its fair share of trouble and it lulls you into a false sense of security. Gullane No.2 has played host to Open Championship Final Qualifying, so it's certainly not a pushover. Play No.2 along with No.1 – you'll have a memorable day on Gullane Hill.

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Reviews for Gullane (No.2)

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Description: Many prefer the No.2 at Gullane Golf Club to No.1 - it's a course of great variety and challenge...it was used for Open Championship Qualifying in 1980. Rating: 7.1 out of 10 Reviews: 44
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Alex Frolish

As a member of both a hilltop course (Cleeve Hill) and a links course (Saunton), it was quite clear before I even set foot on the grounds at Gullane that this was a golf course and club I was going to like. For those that have visited, you will no doubt have noted how strongly the land and the elements define the course and how to play it. I always feel that when a course marries with its surroundings as seamlessly as it does at Gullane, it can be one of the most powerful dynamics in any golfing experience.

A note on the clubhouse and surrounds; the town and the golf course are effectively one and the club feels truly at the centre of everything that happens here. The clubhouse is modern, bright and welcoming and the practice facilities are proximate to the house and extensive. This is a club serious about it’s golf and I’m sure it is a wonderful club to be a member of.

The No.2 course at Gullane is the first of the three courses I have played here, so I have no experience to compare it to the other two, however, it seemed clear that all three are similar in character from what I could see. Gullane Hill looms large across the road from the clubhouse and having looked at the course layout before the round, I noted No.2 cuts through the middle of the property, sandwiched either side by courses No.1 and No.3. Playing No.2, you scale the hill early on, reaching one of the highest points of the course by the 4th tee.

The opening two holes here ease you in to the round. Both are friendly par 4’s that shouldn’t beat you up or ruin a youthful scorecard. The 3rd is quite frankly a vertical march to the heavens and one of the longest lasting 235 yard par 4’s you’ll ever play. Once you reach the top of the hill, it is time to take a moment to drink in the splendour of the view laid out before you. To the right, Gullane Bay and to the left and across the headland, Aberlady Bay and beyond to Kilspindie and Craigielaw. It’s almost too much to take in one view and is quite frankly, spectacular.

The 4th was my favourite hole on the outward nine, a worthy SI1 boasting everlasting views and a stern test across its entire length. The rest of the front half is a pleasant affair without really knocking your socks off. The 8th is the other hole of outstanding quality, with a sloping green heavily defended by a necklace of torturous bunkers.

The course really comes alive on the backside with a combination of quality golf holes interspersed with enduring views from the far side of the hill. 10 is a testing short hole and then you play the beautiful 11th and 12th, both severely downhill which means only one thing; elevation lost must be gained prior to making it back to the clubhouse. The par 3 11th measures 215 yards from the white tee, but it plays much less than that owing to the severity of the slope. 12 was probably my favourite tee shot on the course, a bundle of fun swish down the hill without too much jeopardy to contend with. 13 -16 is a testing stretch played in the main, back up the hill, with the wind often hurting rather than providing assistance. I imagine this stretch will define a lot of scorecards (it most certainly did for me) and applies pressure right when I think a good course should do, in the meat of the back nine. The approach to 13 (played severely uphill) and the drive at 14 require particular brilliance on the players part. 17 and 18, like 1 and 2 are sedate and eminently getable if a birdie or two is needed or, can be played very conservatively if defending a score.

The No.2 course at Gullane is extremely enjoyable to play. It is testing without being brutal (although I’m sure that changes with the strength and direction of the wind) and the tough walk is more than made up for by the charming sights and sounds you encounter while traversing the slopes. Like my home course of Cleeve, this place is a course that rewards shot making and creativity and demonstrates how the shot-makings skills crafted over centuries are still relevant to golf today, even in this era of bomb and gouge.

April 24, 2022
7 / 10
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Hendrik

We played n2 after 18 holes on n3 so were a bit tired but what we saw and experienced made us very happy golfers indeed. We played late in the afternoon so the course wasn't very busy which gave us time to look around and soak it all in. Gullane Hill is quite special and not something I had seen in this light before. But it makes for dramatic golf and once over the hill (or on it?) the course opens up and the views are splendid. There are some tough holes but I found the course to be playable and even the rough wasn't too penal. We had light winds and only a little rain so perhaps the examination of our golf wasn't as stern a test as when it blows hard. But that's fine by me. The staff and starters at Gullane were wonderful and made sure we had a great time. I've heard people say that the n1 course is a bit better but it's a little bit more dear too so I might try it out next time. Gullane itself seems a wonderful place to stay and you could easily spend a week there and sample all courses in the area. It's really a 'links' mecca and well worth a visit. The atmosphere and buzz around the visitors centre at Gullane is really special and everyone was very friendly to us.

December 15, 2021
6 / 10
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Craig Robinson

This is an excellent course to play and I thoroughly enjoyed my round. Although I was playing in November with heavy winds, this course is not only spectacular to play but is very challenging.

The first three holes are quite simple, but once you get 'over the hill' the views of the sea are amazing and the course opens up.

It is not the most difficult course to play, but if the winds are up keeping it on the fairway will be key. My favourite holes were 4,8 and 16 but i didn't think that the course had a bad hole.

The staff in the club house were most welcoming and I would recommend playing this course should you be in the area.

November 11, 2021
7 / 10
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David Oliver

I think it is close between Nos 1 and 2 in terms of quality and holes 4, 6, 13, 14 and 16 on the No 2 is as good as any hole on No 1. Hole 3 is not great but it is a way to navigate through the huge hill that Gullane is famous for before standing on the par 4, 4th hole and saying yes, welcome to the course. Good holes all the way to 17, which as with the parallel 3rd hole, is a means to get you down the hill. The finishing hole is a short par 4 (gentle finish), but it is what is; the hole is predicated on what the land gives. Thoroughly enjoyed the course (the stretch of 3 holes from 11 to 13 at the far end of the course provide a serene isolation and great golf holes). Top links fairways (firm), and smooth medium paced greens (perfect)

September 04, 2021
7 / 10
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Samuel Worsley

Loved this course. Started the morning with the course shut because of the haar (fog apparently), but course opened within 10 minutes, had a very wet 3 holes which were nice but not too special but once are over the hill the course comes alive and is really quite stunning. Really good looking greens framed by many bunkers with great views out over the Forth.

August 23, 2021
8 / 10
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Greg Watson

Gullane No 2 having played No1 course a couple of years ago I had a sneak preview what was in store. What a splendid variation of homes that follow the natural undulations and links terrain in this panacea of golf. The course is amazing with views over the forth estuary once you have climbed the hill across the road from the clubhouse. The high winds provided for a stern test but an enjoyable one, greens magnificent condition along with the fairways, in my experience I thought this was more of a playable and idyllic course than No 1

June 13, 2021
6 / 10
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Rob Cawley

My son and I Arrived at Gullane on a wonderfully warm and sunny day in June. Played 18 holes on No 2 course on our first two days and 36 holes on No 3 on the third. The new visitors clubhouse had been open for just one day when we arrived and provides everything needed including breakfast and lunch options, well stocked professional shop and plush changing rooms. It was nice to be able to hit a basket of complimentary balls on the driving range too before playing. On to the course. Having played the first six holes and amassed a total of 15 and 16 points respectively, our immediate thoughts were that the course was pretty easy, but then we turned into the wind !! Even on a warm, sunny day with only a moderate breeze, some of the next 10 holes were the toughest I've ever played. Chatting to others in the clubhouse after the round there were many tales of 20+ points on the first 9 and single digit points on the second 9.

The views form the course are outstanding and overall it has to be up there with one of the best I've played. In terms of value for money too, this was fantastic. We managed to play using the GreenFree 2 for 1 vouchers and paid just £75 for the two of us. Although we would have loved to have played No 1, at £190 a round each we just couldn't see how we would have got an extra £300 worth of enjoyment out of it. Would definitely recommend.

June 09, 2021
7 / 10
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tamas

Gullane can blow you away - literally - because the wind can be relentless out on that exposed hill. No2 is a little short to be called a championship course by today's standards, but with the wind buffeting you it can certainly provide a challenge. The greens framed by revetted pot bunkers are what sticks in the memory for me - coupled with long wispy grass they form the quintessential links image. It's a great course, providing a mix of holes, testing your ability to deal with wind from all directions, and offering some great panoramic views.

Most venues with multiple courses either offer 2 championship courses, or 1 good course and 1 rubbish course. Gullane achieves the trick of providing 3 quality courses that all look the same but actually provide very different tests and cater for a wide range of tastes and budgets. I wish this was done more often.

November 17, 2020
7 / 10
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Mark

A treat awaits you as you reach the peak of the hill on the blind 2nd, an amazing far reaching view of the coast and several of the challenging holes ahead of you. Fantastic condition throughout.

November 01, 2020
7 / 10
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David Richards

Wonderful Value For Money - As you drive past Luffness New and up over the crest of the hill, Gullane hits you. Golf holes either side of the road, a pro shop sat on the edge of the town and alongside the 3 courses as if watching out over all who enter.

The welcome from the shop staff and starter was warm and in no way stuffy or awkward.

Gullane Golf Club No.2 course 12th hole

Gullane #2 is a fantastic layout of holes, a gentle start to welcome you in, the 3rd hole is a poor hole, but we can forgive it as it gets you into a stretch of truly memorable holes. Views across the Firth of Forth and golf holes as far as the eye can see, this is truly a golfers paradise.

The course is a test, but not unplayable; manicured, but natural; long enough but in no way a slog.

Given the green fee and the overall experience this is a true value for money course and one we will be venturing back to.

August 25, 2020
7 / 10
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