​East and South East Scotland - Best in Region Rankings 2019

08 November 2019 Respond to this article

East and South East Scotland – Best in Region Rankings 2019

This is the second of three regional news items concerning our fifteen golfing districts in Scotland, and this one relates to the Borders, Central Scotland, Fife and Lothians. We maintain ranking charts for each of these four areas, featuring seventy courses in total, and around half of these also appear in our national standings.

We conduct a revision process every two years and this is the fifth edition of the Scottish district listings that were first established in 2012. Shortly after our three regional news items for Scotland are published, we’ll announce our new Top 100 for Scotland. Let’s have a look then at the results of our recent survey for the East and South East of the country.

Borders

We’ve added three more courses to our Borders chart, where the 18-hole layout at The Roxburghe remains the No. 1 course in the southeast of Scotland. The property is under new German ownership, so it’s now known as Schloss Roxburghe, with big plans off the course to further develop the infrastructure within the estate.

The Roxburghe Golf Course

The Roxburghe Golf Course

All three reviews for the course this year were very positive, attracting comments such as: “superb Borders set up with fabulous clubhouse accommodation and an iconic viaduct hole… the course lived up to the stories I have been told, a grand layout with some great holes… classic modern parkland (and) I would go as far to say that is my favourite parkland [course] in Scotland.”

Borders Top 8 Golf Courses 2019

Rank/ Course Move
1 Roxburghe No change
2 Cardrona No change
3 Hawick New entry
4 Peebles No change
5 Torwoodlee New entry
6 Eyemouth Down 3
7 Hirsel Down 2
8 Woll New entry


Central Scotland

Glenbervie in Larbert is still our No. 1 course in Central Scotland. Formerly home to the Scottish region of the PGA before the professionals upped sticks and headed off to a new headquarters at Gleneagles twenty years ago, Glenbervie is in the middle of a four-year-long in-house bunker renovation program, with some of the fairway hazards being repositioned to cope with the distances modern golfers now reach off the tee. We’re sure James Braid, the original designer, would have approved.

Glenbervie Golf Club

Glenbervie Golf Club

Central Scotland Top 5 Golf Courses 2019

Rank/ Course Move
1 Glenbervie No change
2 Stirling No change
3 Alloa No change
4 Falkirk Up 1
5 Buchanan Castle Down 1


Fife

The Old course at St Andrews at The Home of Golf in the “Auld Grey Toon,” retains its No.1 status in the Kingdom of Fife. In 2021, one hundred and sixty-one years after the first Open was held at Prestwick, the 150th edition of the event will be held here.

St Andrews Old Course - photo courtesy of Kevin Murray

St Andrews Old Course - photo courtesy of Kevin Murray

Our International Correspondent Davis Davis, a man who has played the Top 100 in the World, posted a review just a few weeks ago and commented as follows: “If we measure golf in terms of experience, a game at the Old Course is a World Top 5 in my book. It's a place where the buzz of being there keeps me awake at night.”

The brand new course designed by Clive Clark at Dumbarnie hasn’t made the cut in our Fife Top 20 this time as it hasn’t opened yet, but we managed a preview game last month before the winter set in and we’ve now seen enough to know it’s going to be a very special place to play. Constructed in around six months, which is an extraordinarily quick build, it’s a links layout you’ll be reading quite a bit about once it officially opens next May.

Dumbarnie Links

Dumbarnie Links

Fife Top 20 Golf Courses 2019

Rank/ Course Move
1 St Andrews (Old) No change
2 Kingsbarns No change
3 St Andrews (New) Up 2
4 St Andrews (Castle) Down 1
5 Lundin Up 1
6 Duke's St Andrews Down 2
7 Elie Up 1
8 St Andrews (Jubilee) Up 1
9 Leven Links Down 2
10 Ladybank Up 1
11 Scotscraig Down 1
12 Fairmont St Andrews (Torrance) No change
13 Crail (Balcomie) Up 2
14 Crail (Craighead) Down 1
15 Fairmont St Andrews (Kittocks) Down 1
16 St Andrews (Eden) No change
17 Aberdour Up 1
18 Dunfermline Down 1
19 Balbirnie Park No change
20 Drumoig No change


Lothians

Muirfield, the No. 1 course in Lothians, stands above all other golfing layouts in the district. Old Tom Morris set out the course close to Gullane shortly before the first of sixteen Opens was played here in 1892. The layout was subsequently improved by both Harry Colt and Tom Simpson. The last Open to take place at Muirfield was when Phil Mickelson won in 2013, so it shouldn’t be too long before it returns again, especially now that the club’s men-only membership policy has been thrown out.

Muirfield 13th hole

HCEG - Muirfield 13th hole

Another member of the Top 100 Team who has played the Top 100 in the World is our US Consultant Fergal O’Leary and he had this to say about Muirfield in a recent review: “this is the grand master of East Lothian, oozing with challenge, class and a routing which is nothing short of genius… The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers is my favourite course in the UK, and my most recent trip further confirmed my personal preference.”

Bruntsfield Links

Bruntsfield Links

Further down the table, a couple of Edinburgh courses make modest gains in the ranking positions following recent well-received upgrading work which was carried out by Mackenzie & Ebert. The first of these upwardly mobile layouts is Bruntsfield Links in Barton (up three to No. 12) and the other is Mortonhall (up 1 to No. 13) located next to Braid Hills on the south side of the capital.

Lothians Top 30 Golf Courses 2019

Rank/ Course Move
1 Muirfield No change
2 North Berwick (West) No change
3 Gullane (No.1) Up 1
4 Renaissance Down 1
5 Archerfield (Fidra) No change
6 Dunbar No change
7 Gullane (No.2) Up 1
8 Luffness New Up 1
9 Archerfield (Dirleton) Down 2
10 Kilspindie No change
11 Longniddry No change
12 Bruntsfield Links Up 3
13 Mortonhall Up 1
14 Musselburgh Up 2
15 Glen Up 2
16 Royal Burgess Down 4
17 Craigielaw Down 4
18 Royal Musselburgh Up 1
19 Marriott Dalmahoy (East) Down 1
20 Gullane (No.3) Up 1
21 West Linton Up 1
22 Duddingston Down 2
23 Braid Hills (No.1) No change
24 Murrayfield Up 3
25 Ratho Park No change
26 Prestonfield No change
27 Newbattle Down 3
28 Broomieknowe No change
29 Baberton No change
30 Kings Acre No change


Up next, West and South West Scotland, when the following districts will be reassessed: Argyll & Bute, Ayrshire & Arran, Dumfries & Galloway, Dunbartonshire, Glasgow, Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire.

Jim McCann
Editor
Top 100 Golf Courses