There is a story which tells the early twentieth century tale of the Caledonian Railway Company rejecting the site at Harburn in favour of the more northerly location of Gleneagles in Perthshire for the location of their new golf resort.
Fact or fiction – who knows? The point of the story is that it associates the moorland landscape at West Calder with one of the world’s finest inland golfing venues which can only enhance the reputation of Harburn Golf Club.
Organised golf in the West Calder area began in 1885 with the formation of the West Calder and Addiewell Golf Club and their members played on land at Burngrange Farm until 1928. Three years earlier, in 1925, Hardale Golf Club had been established with a course at East Torphin Farm but they only lasted until 1932 when the present Harburn Golf Club took over.
The course is a fine mix of moorland and parkland with many stands of mature trees throughout the routing. Holes 5 to 10 are played on the opposite side of the main Edinburgh to Glasgow railway line and there is water in the shape of the Bog Burn to contend with on holes 13 to 16.
The signature hole is the 127-yard, par three, 15th named “Question Mark” where a pulpit green is protected by trees on the right and gullies front, left and rear. The putting surface slopes from back to front so a three on the card here is very well earned.