Welcome to Edinburgh, Scotland’s historical capital and host to several world famous festivals, not to mention the birthplace of the grand game of golf. Here we’ve bagged up the best facts about this fascinating city, and for any golf fans out there, we’ve displayed them among a timeline of the smashing sport. As a special bonus the infographic is twinned with an all-round handy article, that reveals the best info about Scotland’s finest courses. It’s a zinger!
N.B. Don’t forget to scroll below the infographic to keep score of Edinburgh’s sweet spots for golf.
Edinburgh’s Unmissable Golf Courses
“The Dutch say they invented it…then someone discovers a cave in Ancient Egypt and there, chipped into the wall, is a picture of someone playing golf dated 10’000 B.C.!”
So said long-serving golf commentator Peter Alliss when queried on St. Andrews Links being the ‘home of the golf’, a question as unsurprising as Alliss’ typically quirky response. For St. Andrews (via Dunfermline and Glenrothes) and indeed many other courses located in and around Edinburgh are sites of natural beauty, historical importance and quite simply fantastic venues for both visiting golfing enthusiasts and serious professionals.
Below are five of the best from the vast number of courses Edinburgh has to offer; they may not boast the tropical climes of Pebble Beach in California or Al Badia in Dubai, but with unparalleled scenic backdrops you would be hard pushed to find a more memorable golfing experience. You will soon find yourself wielding a camera more often than your favourite driver.
Braid Hills (18 Holes, Par 71) Braid Hills Approach, EH106JY 0131 447 6666
Braid Hills is without doubt one of the most challenging courses in the Edinburgh Area . Stunning panoramic views of the city, the towering Arthur’s Seat and Edinburgh Castle in the background and a course that is certain to both thrill and frustrate. Set within the hillocks of South Edinburgh, the natural dips and contours help shape the course, with the ominous ridges full of gorse bushes making scoring difficult on the best of days. Yet a distinct lack of bunkers, enticing tee-shot positions and forgiving rough ensure that first-timers to Braid Hills won’t find themselves up to their chest in gorse. Well, not too often anyway.
Bruntsfield Links Short Hole Course (36 Holes, “Pitch and Putt”) Melville Drive, EH104HR 0131 221 5221
Golf courses don’t always have to be endless fairways, bunker pits and waterways; why not test your game on what is the oldest short hole golf course in the world (established 1895) at Bruntsfield Links? Be aware, you may have to avoid the odd sunbather and pesky BBQ user now and then, but since it is free to play – not to mention a heck of a lot of fun – it is a welcome alternative to the somewhat more expensive and exclusive 18 hole Bruntsfield course. Perfect for those needing to touch up their game on and around the green.
Mortonhall Golf Club (18 Holes, Par 72) 231 Braid Rd, EH106PB 0131 447 6974
At times, it is difficult to believe that Mortonhall lies only four miles from the centre of Edinburgh, such is the natural majesty of the surrounding views. With the Pentland Hills and Firth of Forth in the background, playing on this 6530-yard parkland course is an unrivalled scenic treat. An exciting mixture of doglegs, ponds and fast-running greens will no doubt prove challenging to most, and those who enjoy hitting wayward clangers will find a relaxing atmosphere amongst the impressive silver birches, pines and sycamore trees that define the wide open fairways.
Muirfield Club (18 Holes, Par 73) Duncur Road, EH312EG, 01620 842123
Playing host to eleven Amateur Championships and fifteen Open Championships, some of the world’s finest golfing talents have fired from fairways and graced the greens at Muirfield, and if you happen to have £195 in your pocket you too could follow in their footsteps. It is also home to the world’s oldest golf club, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, a name which runs true with the course layout. OK, it may feature cavernous bunkers (151 of which litter the course) and thick rough that would be more common to the Scottish moors but Muirfield commands respect from all of those who tackle it. Golfing legend Jack Nicklaus was so taken with the course that he named his own golf complex in Ohio after it (Muirfield Village), and once described the signature hole (First, 444 yards Par 4) ‘as tough an opening hole as there is anywhere in championship golf’. And he would know a thing or two, winning The Open here back in 1966.
Prestonfield (18 Holes, Par 70) 6 Priestfield Road North, Southside, EH16 5HS 0131 667 9665
Found under the shadow of Arthur’s Seat (hole no. 16 is actually named after it) is Prestonfield, another course that is within striking distance from the city centre. Generally considered as a great all-rounder course, Prestonfield combines sweeping fairways and spacious greens with deep bunkers and testing rough to provide visitors with a balanced golfing experience. Still not convinced? How about regular 2-for-1 deals or tuitions from PGA professionals for a third of the price? Awesome deals at Prestonfield are just a quick Internet search away.
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