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.
It is a great little track that will flatter your game as its shortness means you areup in two at all the par fours. Distance may not be a threat to a good score herebut fast greens protected by riveted bunkers will see to that if you are not careful.
The clubhouse is so relaxed and informal and staff know how to treat the manyvisiting golfers who play here- you are treated like a member the minute youwalk through the front door. Along with the other two courses, this venue beside Aberlady Bay is a true Scottish golfing Mecca for discerning links golfers.
All the things that make for a great golfing day out are here – the location, the quality of courses, the views across the Firth of Forth, the clubhouse. Play here once and I defy you not to want to return again and again, even more so in the winter months when you are always guaranteed a game here no matter the weather.