Top 30 Golf Courses in Lothians 2015
Lothians Best in Region rankings updatedOur Lothians region mirrors the area covered by the Lothians Golf Association, the amateur body that administers golf clubs located in and around the city of Edinburgh. It’s a region with a high concentration of golf courses, extending as far east as Dunbar and as far west as Fauldhouse, with the Pentland, Moorfoot and Lammermuir Hills forming natural boundaries to the south.
Although there are plenty of fine parkland tracks to be played in and around the capital and further west along the M8 and M9 corridors, Lothians is best known in golfing terms for its fabulous coastline along the southern shores of the Firth of Forth, a stretch that features more than twenty courses on “Scotland’s Golf Coast”.
It’s here that the top twelve layouts in our Lothians Best in Region Top 30 chart are located, and it’s here that this week’s Scottish Open is being held on a composite 18-hole course at Gullane. Sixteen of the holes on Gullane No. 1 and two holes from Gullane No. 2 will form the tournament track and it’ll be interesting to see how the professionals handle the topography of the climb up, around and back down Gullane hill.
Looking at some of the highlights in our updated Lothians Top 30 listings, Muirfield remains firmly in position at the top of the chart. Home to the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers since 1891, the course is considered by many to be the best of the fourteen venues which have ever hosted the Open, which is some accolade when you consider the high calibre of the others.
Sharing a boundary with Muirfield, and moving up one position to number 3, Renaissance Club is Tom Doak’s first Scottish design, opening for play in 2008. Three new holes have recently been introduced to the layout along the shore, which has further raised the course’s links profile, and it’s now seen as a serious contender for hosting a top competition in the near future.
Moving up two places to number 5, the course at Dunbar is an Old Tom Morris design from the 1890s that really hasn’t changed much in a hundred and twenty years. After playing the opening three holes inland, golfers then follow the fairways along the coast in a simple, out-and-back routing, finishing back at a rather weather-beaten, charming old clubhouse where a warm welcome awaits.
In the middle portion of our Lothians chart, three top parkland tracks make significant upward moves. The first two, Royal Burgess (up two to 13) and Bruntsfield Links (up four to 19), have shared a common boundary in the west suburbs of Edinburgh ever since moving from Musselburgh at the end of the 1890s. The other course to rise in the rankings is Mortonhall, up an impressive five places to number 14.
Four new entries make it into the new standings. The first of these, at number 23, is Newbattle in Dalkeith, a Harry Colt course from 1934. Next up at number 24 is Braid Hills in Edinburgh (an old Bob Ferguson layout from the 1890s), followed at number 26 by Broomieknowe in Bonnyrigg, where the layout was revamped in 1992 due to nearby roadworks. The final newcomer, Prestonfield, is a James Braid redesign from 1928 and it occupies the number 29 position.
We’re very grateful to all the club champions and professionals in this region who contributed to our re-ranking process. To view more details of the courses in our Lothians Top 30 rankings, click the link. If you’ve played extensively across this region and would like to help shape the next edition of the chart then please drop Editor-in-Chief Keith Baxter an email at [email protected].Jim McCann
Top 100 Golf Courses
08 July 2015 Respond to this article