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Best Golf Courses in Edinburgh & Lothians

from the experts in Golf Holidays

✍️ Rob Houston | ⏰ 8 min read

North Berwick Golf Club 5

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Where to play golf in Edinburgh

Edinburgh and East Lothian are known for their history, culture and diversity which also resonates when thinking about the best golf courses in the region too.

Starting in the city, there are the likes of Dalmahoy, a 36 hole venue that had the honour of hosting the Solheim Cup and Scottish PGA Championship and there are Bruntsfield Links and Ratho Park both of which were designed by the famous architect James Braid.

Step just outside of the hustle and bustle to the golf courses in East Lothians and there are an array of top links layouts and hidden gems. Golf in Scotland would not be complete without a round at the stunning Muirfield, the shoreside North Berwick and Gullane all of which feature in the Top 100 courses in Scotland and Best in Region ranking.

Read on to discover the courses our experts have played and consider the best around Edinburgh or check out some of the best golf holiday deals around Edinburgh >>.


Muirfield Golf Club

Muirfield is the home of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers and one of the finest links courses in the British Isles. Multiple Open Championships have been held at Muirfield with the tradition and history displayed throughout the clubhouse.

Originally laid out by Old Tom Morris the layout has since been developed by Harry Colt, Tom Simpson and Martin Hawtree to ensure a truly magical experience.

More info on Muirfield Golf Club >>

Muirfield Golf Club facts
Location Gullane, East Lothian
Length 7,245 yards
Par 71
Designed by Old Tom Morris, Harry Colt, Tom Simpson, Martin Hawtree
Established 1891
Where to stay East Lothian

"A day at Muirfield is the best day I've ever had on the golf course. The traditions and history of the game are evident throughout the clubhouse and the "simple" design you see on the course feels utterly unique and effective."
Oliver (Marketing: Handicap 1)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Oliver about playing this course.

North Berwick West Links Course

A fantastic links golf course set on a magnificent coastline with many deep bunkers and blind spots. Regarded as the 13th oldest club in the world, North Berwick West Links has hosted final qualifying for the Open Championship and is the home of one of the most copied golf holes in the world.

The 15th, ‘Redan', par-3 features a tilted green with a vast hidden gully front-right that you have to carry whilst avoiding the bunkers.

More info on North Berwick West Links >>

North Berwick West Links facts
Location North Berwick, East Lothian
Length 6,420 yards
Par 71
Designed by David Strath, Ben Sayers
Established 1832
Where to stay East Lothian

"The course is one of the most unique I've ever played, it's a quirky course full of deep bunkers and blind spots and every hole feels like a signature hole."
Tom (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 6)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Tom about playing this course.

Gullane (No.1 Course)

Established in 1884, Gullane is one of the greatest golf courses in Scotland. Situated on one of the most fantastic pieces of golfing turf in the East Lothian area, you are guaranteed a perfect lie if you find the fairway whatever the weather.

Silky greens, pot-bunkers and knee-high rough make Gullane No. 1 absolutely essential to a golf break in East Lothian

More info on Gullane Golf Club >>

Gullane No.1 Course facts
Location Gullane, East Lothian
Length 6,873 yards
Par 71
Designed by unknown
Established 1884
Hosted Scottish Open 2 times (2015, 2018)
Where to stay East Lothian

"There are a lot of strategically placed bunkers which I advise you try to avoid, if possible! It's a hilly track with some of the best par 3's I've ever played."
Tom (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 6)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Tom about playing this course.

Dunbar Golf Club

Part of 'Scotlands Golf Coast' Dunbar is a classic out and in links course. A number of the holes hug the coastline offering superb views over the North Sea to Bass Rock.

The perfect turf at Dunbar means golf can be played all year round but with little to protect golfers from the elements it can be exceedingly challenging.

More info on Dunbar Golf Club >>

Dunbar Golf Club facts
Location Dunbar, East Lothian
Length 6,597 yards
Par 71
Designed by Old Tom Morris, Ben Sayers, James Braid
Established 1856
Where to stay East Lothian

"The first few holes gently lead you in, and then from the 4th hole it gets really interesting thanks to the Firth of the Forth coastline and be prepared for the wind to affect your scores here!"
Jordan (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 5)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Jordan about playing this course.

Kilspindie Golf Club

Kilspindie is located next to Firth of Forth in East Lothian and is in the Top 40 of the oldest golf courses in the world. A short course by modern standards with only 3 of the par 4 holes exceeding 400 yards.

The lack of length does not deter the visiting golf though as the fun factor here is off the scale, Kilspindie is pure links golf at its best.

More info on Kilspindie Golf Club Club >>

Kilspindie Golf Club facts
Location Aberlady, East Lothian
Length 5,502 yards
Par 69
Designed by Ben Sayers, Willie Park Jr.
Established 1898
Where to stay East Lothian

"The revetted bunkers and firm fast greens make for an interesting round and one I'd definitely recommend adding to a golf tour along with Muirfield and Royal Musselburgh."
Huw (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 5)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Huw about playing this course.

Longniddry Golf Club

Longniddry is a Harry Colt design at heart but has been modified and improved upon since the great golf course architect laid out the 18 holes within the Earl of Wemyss estate.

There are no par 5 holes at Longniddry but over half of the par 4 holes exceed 400 yards which can be testing when the breeze picks up.

More info on Longniddry Golf Club >>

Longniddry Golf Club facts
Location Longniddry, East Lothian
Length 6,260 yards
Par 68
Designed by Harry Colt, James Braid, Philip Mackenzie Ross
Established 1921
Where to stay East Lothian or Edinburgh

"It may not be the longest layout in the area, but requires accuracy off the tee. It pays to plot your way around if you want to score and not get caught out on your approach shots."
Tom (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 6)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Tom about playing this course.

Bruntsfield Links

Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society is the 4th oldest golf club in the world and steeped in the best traditions and history of the game. Originally designed by Willie Park Jnr, the mature parkland course was later developed by Dr Alister MacKenzie the architect of Augusta National and Cypress Point.

Bruntsfield offers a different style of golf to its 'links turf' neighbours, the prime parkland terrain is quite undulating and heavily tree lined.

More info on Bruntsfield Links >>

Bruntsfield Links facts
Location Edinburgh
Length 6,466 yards
Par 71
Designed by Willie Park Jnr, Alister MacKenzie, James Braid, Fred Hawtree
Established 1898
Where to stay Edinburgh

"A very undulating course and plenty of trees to lose your ball in, the course makes for a really interesting round despite not being the longest course in the area. I love traditional courses with character which is why this is definitely one of the best courses in Edinburgh."
Stefan (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 5)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Stefan about playing this course.

Dalmahoy East Course

Set within 1000 acres of forested parkland, serving up scenic views of the Pentland Hills, this James Braid designed golf course provides a challenge for any golfer.

The East course is nicknamed 'The Beast', the fairways are wide but playing well demands a combination of raw power and a precise short game.

More info on Dalmahoy East Course >>

Dalmahoy East Course facts
Location Kirknewton, Edinburgh
Length 7,334 yards
Par 73
Designed by James Braid
Established 1927
Where to stay Edinburgh

"I love this James Braid designed course, the bunkers and hills make it an interesting parkland course and the hotel is superb with a country club feel."
Rick (Marketing: Handicap 12)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rick about playing this course.

Royal Musselburgh Golf Club

This James Braid layout oozes history and its members still compete for the Old Club Cup, the most historic championship still played for today, boasting a heritage dating back to 1774.

The course is not the longest on the East Lothian coastline, with only a handful of par 4 holes exceeding 400 yards but it doesn't to be as accuracy and position off the tee is what is needed here to score well.

More info on Royal Musselburgh Golf Club >>

Royal Musselburgh Golf Club facts
Location Prestonpans, East Lothian
Length 6,254 yards
Par 70
Designed by James Braid
Established 1925
Where to stay Edniburgh or East Lothian

"The course was in great condition when I played and although not particularly long, with 14 short par 4's, it is a fantastic track. Royal Musselburgh is well bunkered and there are a decent amount of trees defending the holes too - so accuracy is needed."
Paul (UK & Ireland Team: Handicap 1)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Paul about playing this course.

Craigielaw Golf Course

The coastline between Musselburgh and Dunbar is blessed with many fine links courses and in 2001 another was added to the list. Despite its youth Craigielaw has attracted attention from the golfing world, awarded the Scottish Amateur Strokeplay in 2006 and the Senior Open qualifying in 2007.

Craigielaw is longer than many of the older neighbouring links but tough greens and endless cavernous bunkers means a good short game is the key to scoring well.

More info on Craigielaw Golf Course >>

Craigielaw Golf Course facts
Location Longniddry, East Lothian
Length 6,601 yards
Par 71
Designed by Donald Steel
Established 2001
Where to stay East Lothian

"Craigielaw is one of the newest courses in the area but is a fantastic addition to the taditional layouts and fits into the area so well you would even know it's a modern course."
Rick (Marketing: Handicap 12)

Call 0800 043 6644 to speak to Rick about playing this course.

Frequently asked questions about golf courses in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is home to some of not only Scotland but also the world's best golf courses. A popular choice for golfers looking for a golf trip we take a quick look at some of the frequently asked questions about golf in Edinburgh.

What are the most famous golf courses in Edinburgh?

Heading East from the city, the likes of Muirfield, Gullane, North Berwick and Luffness New are amongst the most famous anywhere in the world. Golfers looking to chalk a few off their Top 100 golf courses list will find them within easy reach of Edinburgh city centre.

How far is Edinburgh from the links golf courses in East Lothian?

From central Edinburgh it can take around 50 minutes to travel to the likes of Muirfield along the coastal road that also includes Longniddry, Craigelaw, North Berwick and Gullane.

What golf tournaments have been held near Edinburgh?

The Open Championship has visited both Muirfield and also Musselburgh Golf Club while The Scottish Open has been played at Gullane and The Renaissance Club in recent years. Muirfield has also hosted The Ryder Cup and Archerfield Golf Links was selected for The Women's Scottish Open.

More About Rob

Handicap: 18
Favourite Course: Royal Portrush
My 'Expert' areas: Wales, Scotland, Open Championship Courses
Best trip I've done: Trump Turnberry
Where my next trip is to: Valderrama,the first European Ryder Cup venue.

Give Rob a call on 0800 043 6644 to arrange your next golf break.

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