A veritable golfer's paradise, the village of Gullane (as well as its own three courses), is surrounded by four other outstanding links, namely Kilspindie, North Berwick, Dunbar and the renowned Muirfield Golf Club. And as with many great Scottish golf clubs, the history of golf at Gullane is a long and colourful one. As far back as 1650, it was recorded that groups of handloom weavers from the nearby villages of Dirleton and Aberlady met over the links for their annual golf match. But in terms of the formal institution of a club, it was not until 1859 that a group of farmers formed the East Lothian Club and from their ranks, Gullane Golf Club was instituted in 1882.
Though little to choose between Gullane No. 1 and No. 2, the former, which was established as an 18-hole layout in 1884, is generally regarded to be the better of the two. And with water hazards and trees absent, as is the norm with links golf, it is left to the gorse, wind, rough, tight fairways, bunkers and well-guarded greens, to ensure the course is a fair but serious challenge. Nowhere on the course do the views get better than from the top of Gullane Hill and the 7th tee. Described by Bernard Darwin as "one of the best views in golf", on a clear day, you can see for miles with the Lammermuir Hills, Firth of Forth and Bass Rock making up the stunning panorama.
Opening with a modest par four of only 302 yards, the challenge presented by Gullane No. 1 is only about to start. The 379-yard, 2nd hole, "Windygate", meanders up the hill and, as the name suggests, is often out of reach in two. The steady climb continues through the straight par five, 3rd hole, the 450-yard par four, 5th hole, rated as the most difficult on the course and onwards until you reach the panoramic 7th tee. Great holes come and go through the homeward stretch but one of the highlights is certainly the 537-yard par five, 15th hole named "Pumphouse", a testing dogleg, which culminates with a fearsomely sloping green.
Directions from Edinburgh
1. Head out of Edinburgh on the A1 heading East.
2. Turn off at the junction for A198 at Tranent.
3. Follow the A198 through Longniddry and Aberlady.
4. As you approach Gullane, the Visitors' Car Park is on the right immediately before the Village.
Directions from North Berwick
1. Head for Gullane on the A198.
2. Go through Gullane Village and the Visitors' Car Park is on the left as you leave the Village.
The nearest airport is Edinburgh Airport and you should allow at least 1 hour to drive to Gullane.