They’ve been playing golf over Gullane Hill since the mid seventeenth century. Gullane One doesn’t have an architect attributed to it, it seems to have simply evolved. Very fitting, for one of the purest links experiences I’ve enjoyed.
Like many of the historic Scottish links (North Berwick, The Old, Prestwick to name a few), the links starts in the golf mad town - for Gullane is as golf mad a place as you’ll find. The first plays on the flat, before the second starts the ascent of the hill. It is a more gentle climb than the other two Gullane courses, and playing through a narrowing valley makes for a challenging start.
The subsequent holes continue a steady ascent, until you reach one of the most picturesque spots in golf - the Seventh tee. Here the view is virtually 360 degrees. Muirfield is visible on the other side of the town, and the view down Gullane Hill and on to Edinburgh, with Fife to the North, is captivating.
Gullane is famous for its turf - and for good reason. The fairways and greens are immaculate - and seemingly have been for well over a century. Bernard Darwin wrote “the turf, and such turf! The finest, smoothest, and most delicate that ever was seen”. My earlier critique of the rough remains – with a strong wind whipping, it’s likely your ball will find it at some point, but you’ll struggle to find your ball when you do…
Number 1 is a true championship course. Most recently the host of the 2018 Scottish Open, it is a course that will offer a thorough (yet fair) inspection of anyone’s’ game. Varied, challenging and brimming with quality holes – I think it is worthy of its esteemed reputation.