Gullane (No.3) - Lothians - Scotland

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


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Gullane No.3 may well be dwarfed by the neighbouring No.1 and No.2 courses of Gullane Golf Club but it is still a superb little links in its own right, providing plenty of pleasure for members and visitors alike since its introduction in 1910.

Length off the tee will never be a major issue on a course that is only 5,252 yards long. Strategic greenside bunkering and slick putting surfaces – on a par with the other two Gullane links – certainly are issues to be considered. The Standard Scratch Score is two under the par of 68 so this is as near to recreational golf that you will get at a serious golf complex.

The conditioning is every bit as good as you will find on the No.1 and No.2 courses so don’t think that playing No.3 course will mean you are golfing at an inferior venue – far from it. It is plain and simply a tighter, scaled down version of all that exists on its bigger golfing siblings next door.

The first and last three holes are played on the flat around the visitor’s clubhouse with the 4th to the 15th holes set out over and around Gullane Hill. And what a vista awaits after the steep climb up the 4th hole to the 5th tee at the top of the hill!

The full splendour of the Gullane courses spreads out before you as you look down to the southern shores of the Firth of Forth, with the other two Gullane courses to the right and Luffness New on the flatter ground to the left. Beyond Luffness, on the other side of Aberlady Bay, you can just make out the Kilspindie and Craigielaw courses.

And, as if that were not enough, there is the tantalizing distant view of those other great golfing destinations, Leven, Lundin and Elie on the other side of the Firth. Is it any wonder that many seasoned Scottish golfers believe this to be one of the most inspiring vantage points on any golf course?

Only one of the twelve par fours on the card is over 400 yards, indeed two of them – the 3rd and 4th – are under 300 yards in length. All are comfortably in range after the tee shot is played so scoring well on Gullane No.3 is all about approach play and putting.

There is only one par five on the card – even that is only 443 yards long – and of the five par threes, the pick of these is the 176-yard 15th hole which plays back down Gullane Hill to a green way below tee level near one of the opening holes on No.2 course. It is a genuinely thrilling way to finish an excursion up, over and around the hill that began a couple of hours earlier.

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Reviews for Gullane (No.3)

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Description: Despite its meagre yardage, the No.3 course at Gullane Golf Club will test the best golfers. It's certainly a gem and excellent value too. Rating: 6.2 out of 10 Reviews: 21
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Jim Robertson
I played my first-ever 18 hole round here. Counted every shot. 161 of them. Later, it was the first place I ever broke 100, then 90 and 80. No wonder Gullane 3 is close to my heart. I make a point of playing here several times a year not just for old times sake but because it is a very good golf course.The par 3 2nd is lovely. 6 and 7 are fine holes and 12 would grace any course in the land. Then there's the wondrous 15th. Two friends took putters here - both got on the green! Add three tricky closing holes back over the road and you have a perfect day's golf. Not long for sure, but challenging and, above all, great fun. Gullane (all 3 courses) offers pure Scottish links golf : sea views, breeze in your face, springy turf, pot bunkers, crying gulls, long putting... I could go on. Play Gullane 3 on a clear winter's day (for a ridiculously low price) and feel the same joy as so many generations of golfers before you.
January 05, 2012
8 / 10
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Martin Jordan
In my review of Gullane 2 from January of this year, I vowed never again to use Gullane 2 or 3 as subordinate choices, mainly to be relied on when our first choice destination hadn’t come to fruition. Reading Jim’s review below you will see that we went around the golfing houses before, once again, settling for our old faithful Gullane as our fall back. I am ashamed to report that in spite of my early season pledge I was a tad disappointed to be heading to Gullane Hill, as my preferred destination would have been Dunbar. Once again, I have to eat a large quantity of humble pie because Gullane, as always, was simply sublime. Thronged with hardy golfing souls, all layered up against the biting wind playing in conditions, particularly the greens, which would not have looked out of place at the height of summer. Using Gullane’s own numbering system as a yardstick, Gullane 3 is widely accepted as the weakest of the three courses but you would be completely mistaken if you thought that by playing the number 3 course you would be playing an inferior product. Believe me, nothing could be further form the truth, and although there are no real stand-outs, each and every one of the 18 holes have a real quality about them which brings the likes of me, and many others back every year. A fact borne out with the heaving car park which greets us on every visit. So hats off, once again, to Gullane 3 where commoners and kings walk the fairways in unison enjoying an experience which epitomises the very best of Scottish golf. MPPJ
December 09, 2011
6 / 10
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Jim McCann

Yesterday, I tried to arrange a game in Fife for St Andrews Day today but the two clubs I contacted couldn’t get me out until late in the morning (meaning I’d miss a late afternoon appointment back in Glasgow) so I reverted to an old standby – Gullane No.3.Gullane No.3 course - photo by Jim McCann The sun was shining as I teed it up at the first, even if a snell wind was blowing in from the north, so it felt good to be back here playing on a winter’s day five years after my last visit. If I’m honest, though, I was still a little peeved that I wasn’t playing one of the higher ranked tracks on the other side of the Firth of Forth as I set off up the first. Fast forward three hours to early afternoon and my arrival back at the clubhouse where I could only shake my head and wonder why on earth I had ever doubted (even for a single second) the validity of playing at Gullane No.3. It’s simply a wonderful little track with greens as good as any I’ve played on in the UK this year. Considering the rain that had chucked down in recent days, you would hardly know there had been bad weather from the state of the course and that indeed is my abiding memory of today. On the 18 holes that were absolutely stuffed with golfers out playing (and I’m sure that’s the case most days, come rain or shine), you would not have an inkling on any of the pristine tee boxes or immaculate greens that this place must see some heavy traffic all year round. The people who manage/maintain/promote some of the newer resort-style courses in Scotland would do themselves (and golfers) a big favour by taking a wee trip through to Gullane to see how a golf course should be presented to visitors – and for a remarkably reasonable green fee too. I’m already looking forward to returning in 2012. Jim McCann.

November 30, 2011
6 / 10
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Hamish Wilson
I think it is a pity that Gullane Golf Club give numbers to their three courses. No.2 is my no meens second class and many rate it as highly as No.1 No. 3 is certainly not 3rd. class. The courses should be given names. it is a very good links course and I ahve played it regularly over the past few years. It ihas always been in good condition. It is short and quite a few par 4s are easily in reach however there are enough tough par 4s to make this a reasonable test. If you want an enjoyable round of golf this is for you.
October 12, 2010
8 / 10
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Sean
June 15, 2011
Gullane No.3 is solid golf, even at 5,200 yards. The use of the hill is terrific and affords very fine views. Some fairways turn slightly so a well-hit driver may be too much club. One has to think a bit about club selection. Many of the greens are tricky targets even with short irons in your hand. This is pure links golf with a small price tag and is well worth playing.
David McIntosh
This is a fun links course and readers should not be put off by its lack of length or dismiss it as easy - it still demands accurate approach shots to the well guarded greens and shares the same topography as its neighbours, Gullane No.1 and No.2., which means the same cunningly positioned bunkers and penal rough experienced on these other famous courses.

The first two holes on the clubhouse side of the road are gentle openers before the longer third and steep hilled fourth (on the other side of the road) are where the course starts to pick up the pace. My favourite holes on the front nine were the 6th and 7th - both par 4s. The 6th, usually with a prevailing wind behind, means that the golfer can open their arms a little on the drive before having an approach to a long and thin green which is elevated from the fairway. Then, the best tee shot on the course, the 7th the tee box sits amongst the rocks at the top of a hill, inviting the player to smash the ball down onto the fairway from above, although usually into the wind in my experience, meaning that you may have to hope for a favourable bounce in order to get closer to the green. The par 3 8th and 327 yard 9th take the golfer to the farthest point from the clubhouse on the course before turning back with the 10th parallel to the 9th hole. An uphill par three and tricky dogleg par 4 have to be negotiated before heading homewards back towards the visitors' clubhouse.

The 13th is a decent enough par three and the short and only par 5 acts as No.3's 14th hole. Although the green is towards the brow of the hill climbed during the 4th hole it should still be possible for high handicappers to be around the green in two or three, making this a good birdie opportunity. The 15th is a downhill par three, falling down towards the road, in which a wedge or 9-iron can be used to punch the ball halfway down the hill before watching it trickle down on to the green. The final three holes are played on the same side of the road as the first three holes and the 16th is probably the pick of the bunch here with a slight left to right dogleg, although the golfer must be wary of the massive gorse bushes lining the right hand side of the hole from about 100 yards from the green.

The condition of this course, and all of the courses at Gullane for that matter, is always excellent and the greens certainly were true and fast as you would expect. The clubhouse was welcoming and due to the relatively inexpensive nature of this course it is definitely worth playing however as previous reviewers have stated, it should not be played at the expense of some of the other and more illustrious courses in the area. DM
March 02, 2010
4 / 10
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David Jones
It is a freezing but gloriously sunny February day, golf courses across the Lothians are hanging up their 'closed' signs and golfers are longingly looking over the links. Gullane will almost inevitably doing a roaring trade. The courses open in virtually all weathers and are in quite immaculate condition.Number 3 is a real joy to play. As discussed elsewhere here it is a short course - only a par 68 with SSS 66 but boy is it fun. There's something nice about hitting a short iron or wedge into par 4s on a regular basis - almost makes you feel like a pro for a day! The intricacies of the greens and great bunkering however mean that par is never assured.Probably the most noteworthy element of what was a great afternoon's golf was the amazing condition of the greens - many courses would love to have them this fast and true in June, let alone February. There are many memorable holes on number 3 and those up and down the hill probably stay in the mind the longest. The steeply downhill par 3 15th is probably the one that sticks in the mind the longest and there is a real temptation to hit every club between 7 iron and putter to see what happens!My only little niggle was the indexing of the holes. Why on earth the straightforward par 443 yard par 5 14th is stroke 2 while the 450 yard par 4 10th is stroke 4 is simply beyond me. Similarly, the 186 yard par 3 13th is stroke 14 while the 293 yard par 4 3rd is stroke 5. Kind of crazy.As a say though that is really a small niggle - the welcome is warm, the condition is great and the golf real fun. If you are ever worried about being snowbound on a winter's day Gullane is the place to head!
February 21, 2010
8 / 10
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Terry Parker
Playing here confirmed my suspicion that this top 100 list is biased towards links courses. I fail to agree with almost any of the below comments and despite the unfavourable conditions found it all too easy to play to handicap. It seemed to me that this would be the ideal course to visit when experiencing a bad patch and the confidence need boosting. The greens were in excellent condition but I have played numerous Scottish parkland courses that are in a different league to Gullane 3 and question its appearance in such a list.
December 07, 2009
4 / 10
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Ian Smith
Gullane No 3 is an absolute treat. There are some beautifully designed golf holes with superb bunkering. Very similar to No 2 course in a lot of ways, just a shorter version. And punishing rough means it is anything but easy!
June 18, 2008
6 / 10
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paul
Don't be fooled by the yardage or the fact that it is the 3rd course at Gullane, it is a great test of golf with small tricky greens and some very tough tee shots! 4 fairways missed 4 lost balls. It follows the other Gullen courses over the road and up Gullen hill wher the holes become very tight from the tee, I played on a blustery Monday afternoon for £12, what a bargain,and I was the only person on the course, if you have a few hours to spare and are in the Edinburgh area as I was you will not be dissapointed by this Gem !
March 25, 2008
8 / 10
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Adrian Gaspar
Played on the last day of our trip to Scotland. My friend only suggested it on the Friday morning and a quick check on the Top 100 website confirmed what I suspected – James McCann liked it – so we got straight on the blower. I have to say it was a great fun end to the week. Sort of a mini links course, but don’t be fooled because it would be fairly easy to come a cropper here if you don’t treat it with a bit of respect. Some varied and interesting holes and at £24 an absolute bargain. Best course I’ve ever played, ofcourse not, the course I might nip to for a quick round if I was in Edinburgh on business, probably.
September 18, 2006
8 / 10
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