Way back in the 15th Century, the game of golf was invented in Scotland and to this day, golfers from across the world flock to the country to play some challenging courses surrounded by some stunning scenery.
Edinburgh is a great base for any Scottish golf trip, with plenty of prestigious courses on your doorstep. We would like to give you a list of some of the best courses in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas so that you can plan a golfing trip to Edinburgh that you will remember.
Prestonfield Golf Course
Starting off right next door to Salisbury Green Hotel and Bistro, at the foot of the impressive Arthur’s Seat, lies the 18-hole Prestonfield Golf Course. This entertaining and scenic course certainly has its challenges, wind direction being one. And in such a peaceful setting, you would never believe you were less than a mile from Princes Street and the city centre.
This James Braid designed golf course, dating back to 1920, welcomes golfers of all abilities, and sitting at around 5,700 yards, is a good course to start your Edinburgh golf experience. Green fees at Prestonfield Golf Course are reasonable, starting with a weekday summer price of £40. For more information and to book a round click here. https://www.prestonfieldgolf.co.uk/
Braid Hills Golf Course
The Braid Hills golf course is an Edinburgh institution, popular with many golfers visiting the city. While the course is relatively short (less than 6,000 yards), this undulating heathland layout calls for some demanding golf shots. Full of gorse and sloping lies, this course is certainly challenging but your perseverance is rewarded with some spectacular views across Edinburgh and beyond.
Braid Hills is a municipal course, run by Edinburgh Leisure, but do not let that put you off, the course is kept in great condition all year round. With very reasonable green fees sitting at around £25 per golfer, this course should be high on your list to play during your stay in Edinburgh. For more information and to book a round search Braid Hills Edinburgh Leisure.
Dalmahoy Golf Course
The Dalmahoy sits to the west of Edinburgh, near Ratho. Boasting two courses, the East Course and West Course, they welcome golfers of any ability.
The East Course, is the longest of the two courses, sitting at over 6,500 yards. Designed by James Braid, a number of prestigious Championships have taken place here. This is the course where the European Ladies won their first Solheim Cup. Famous names such as Seve Ballesteros, Sam Torrence and Nick Faldo have also competed in the Scottish Seniors Open on this course.
The West Course is shorter but no less challenging and includes the longest par 5 at Dalmahoy. With a newly refurbished driving range to warm up before your round, Dalmahoy is very much worth the trip. From £35 for a mid-week summer round on the West Course, to £65 for mid-week summer round on the East Course, they are reasonably priced for the quality of golf on offer. They can also provide club hire and buggy hire for additional fees. For more information and to book click here. https://www.dalmahoyhotelandcountryclub.co.uk/
Half an hour’s drive east of Edinburgh is the picturesque coastal village of Gullane. With golf being played over the Gullane links for over 350 years, this golf club has a rich and prestigious history, boasting three separate courses and a climate that allows for year round golf.
Three courses are simply called Gullane No 1, Gullane No 2 and Gullane No 3 and indicate the age of each course.
Gullane No 1 dates back to 1884 and has a long history of hosting national and international championships, the most recent to be held there was the 2018 Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open and sits at just over 6,000 yards.
Gullane No 2 (1898), designed by the legendary Willie Park Jr, has been used for Open Championship Qualifying and the Seniors Open Amateurs and sits at slightly under 6,000 yards.
Gullane No 3 (1910), also designed by Willie Park Jr, is the shortest of the three courses at almost 5,300 yards, demanding more precision than power.
A weekend round of golf can range from £55 for Gullane No 3 to £195 for Gullane No 1 but they also offer other deals including full day tickets, seasonal offers and a meal after your round. For more information on the courses and prices click here. https://www.gullanegolfclub.co.uk/green_fees
Muirfield Golf Course
The Gullane courses should be a good warm-up before you head a few minutes further east to world-famous Muirfield. This golf club is one of the oldest in the world, with its beginnings in Leith (north Edinburgh) in 1744. They later moved further east to Musselburgh and then settled at Muirfield in East Lothian in 1891.
Today, Muirfield is renowned for hosting major championships of all kinds both male and female professional and amateur, national and international. 16 Open Championships have taken place at Muirfield over the years.
This golf course is one of Scotland’s best and as such, the green fees are slightly higher. One round of 18 holes will cost £270 per person. Like Gullane, the climate is such that the golfing conditions tend to be good year-round, with no need for playing off winter tees. https://www.muirfield.org.uk/
Another 5-minutes’ drive east from Muirfield sits another golfing gem consisting of two Championship courses.
Golf has been played on the Archerfield estate for centuries but the Fidra Links was set up as an 18-hole course in 1910, before the grounds were taken over by the Ministry of Defence during the Second World War. This course consists of sweeping fairways lined with pine trees, it is a fast-running links course sitting at a lengthy distance of almost 7,000 yards. Over this lengthy, but enjoyable course, you will be treated to views of the Bass Rock, Firth of Forth and across to the coast of Fife.
Opened in 2006, the Dirleston Links is a challenging traditional links course with open fairways dotted with gorse, ominous bunkers and lined with some impressive sand dunes. Masters Champions Gary Player and Ian Woosnam enjoy playing this course.
The Ladies Scottish Open has been hosted at Archerfield five times between 2010 and 2014 and in 2015 the Fidra Links hosted the Scottish Senior Open, won by Paul Broadhurst. The 2016 Scottish Senior Open returned to Fidra and was won by Paul Eales.
For more information on green fees and to book click here. https://www.archerfieldgolfclub.com/
St Andrews Links
Basing yourself in Edinburgh for your golfing trip to Scotland certainly does not mean that you need to miss out on a trip to St Andrews, the world famous Home of Golf. You can get there via train (and a short bus from Leuchars) or drive from Edinburgh, both options will take no more than 90 minutes.
You really are spoiled for choice with regards to courses, with a total of seven making up the entire St Andrews Links, the largest public golf complex in Europe. This means that there is something for everyone, no matter your ability or budget.
The true pilgrimage for all golfers is the ‘Old Course’ where golf was first played around 600 years ago. The oldest and most iconic golf course in the world, with the famous Swilcan Bridge and Hell Bunker, still remains a public golf course, open to all, despite its grand status.
The Old Course is complemented by six other courses which are equally as enjoyable.
- The New Course
Built in 1895 this is the second course at the Home of Golf and was designed by the legendary Tom Morris. At just over 6,600 yards, the undulating fairways and challenging greens are a great test of links golf.
- The Jubilee Course
Built in 1897, this is St Andrew’s third championship course, often thought to be the most challenging of the courses at over 6,700 yards. It was originally intended for use by ladies and beginners but in 1988 it was converted to a championship layout.
- Eden Course
Dating back to 1914, the Eden Course was built by Harry S Colt who used natural boundaries and severe bunkers to provide lots of character. At 6,250 yards, this course is often seen as more forgiving than the others at St Andrews.
- Balgove Course
In 1972 the Balgove course was built. The only nine-hole course at St Andrews sitting at just over 1,500 yards and caters mainly for beginners, families and children, although it offers the perfect practice for one of the more challenging courses.
- Strathyrum Course
Opened in 1993, Stathyrum was designed to complement the tougher championship layouts at St Andrews. At a shorter 5,620 yards, the courses consists of hidden bunkers, narrower fairways and large, often sloping greens to test even the best golfer.
- The Castle Course
Opened in 2008, The Castle Course is the newest addition to the St Andrews Links. Taking its name from Kinkell Castle which sat on the site in the middle-ages, this course is set on a cliff-top and boasts some stunning views over St Andrews. At over 6,700 yards it is one of the longest courses at the Links.
Despite being the Home of Golf, the prices are very reasonable. A round at the Old Course costs up to £195 during summer and prices decrease from there depending on which course you choose, down to a peak-season price of £35 for 18 holes at the Strathyrum Course. The 9-hole, Balgove Course is £15 during peak season. For more information and to book, please click here. https://www.standrews.com/
As you can see, golfers are spoilt for choice when visiting Edinburgh for a golfing holiday. There is an abundance of courses within easy-reach of Edinburgh, the above are only a handful of courses that are worth visiting, including some of the oldest courses and golf clubs in the world. The east coast of Scotland is famous for its links golf courses but we have managed to include some parkland and heathland courses as well.
We would recommend Salisbury Green Hotel and Bistro as your base, the perfect place to unwind after a day on the course. Visiting each golf course is easy from the hotel, a 15-minute drive from the city bypass or a short taxi or bus journey to Waverly train station, Edinburgh is the ideal base for any Scottish golf trip.