Gullane Golf Club No. 2 Course Review

Gullane 2 is an elevated and very different links packed with interest, intrigue, views and strong golf

Gullane Golf Club No. 2 Course - Holes 13 & 12
Looking back down to the twelfth green on Gullane 2 from behind the thirteenth green
(Image credit: Rob Smith)

Gullane Golf Club No. 2 Course Review
GF
£75wd, £80we
Par 71, 6,385 yards
Slope 126
GM Verdict A first-rate and very varied links with something new at every turn
Favourite Hole The fabulous par-3 11th with its necklace of bunkers and the beautiful bay beyond

Gullane Golf Club was founded in 1882 and is blessed with not one but three terrific golf courses. Gullane 1 is in the Golf Monthly Top 100 and hosted the 2015 and 2018 Scottish Opens. Two holes from Gullane 2 were used to make up a composite course, the 7th and 8th.

Many actually prefer the younger sibling which was designed by Willie Park Junior and opened in 1899.

THE FRONT NINE

There are just two holes on the clubhouse side of the road, the 1st being a straightaway par 4 that should help you relax.

Gullane 2 - Hole 2

The well-protected second green with the characterful clubhouse at Luffness New beyond

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

You then cross the A198 and play parallel to it, hopefully, on a good par 4 with a well-protected green.

Gullane 2 - Hole 3

King of the Castle - the view from the third green with North Berwick Law in the distance

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

It’s now time to set the controls for the sun as you blast up the short but steep par-4 3rd to its green high up atop Gullane Hill. From here there are 360-degree panoramas inland, along the coast and out across the firth. If ever you wanted golf to be slower, it is here!

Gullane 2 - Hole 4

The beautiful SI1 fourth with the Firth of Forth beyond

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

Happily, a sublime par 4 will whisk you away at the next. The 4th plays down the hill but is pretty much maximum distance and so you will need two fine blows unless the wind is helping. Usually here, it’s not!

Gullane 2 - Hole 7

The approach to the 375-yard seventh

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

A well-bunkered par 3 is followed by a northerly par 5. The 7th is a two-shotter with a blind drive that heads up towards Gullane Point, with Fife still a surprising 11 or 12 miles away over the firth.

Gullane 2 - Hole 8

Sun trying to break through the cloud on the approach to the excellent par-4 eighth

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The 8th is a really strong par 4, slightly uphill, slightly right-to-left, and with a wide selection of bunkers to choose from. The ninth, another fine par 4, has even more!

THE BACK NINE

Gullane 2 - Hole 10

The tenth hole, with Fife in the distance over the water

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

Your journey for home really starts at the 13th as the three holes from par-4 10th take you further from the clubhouse and through a particularly exciting sequence of golf.

Gullane 2 - Hole 11

From the elevated tee, the short eleventh is an absolute picture, a sublime par 3

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

This is the very definition of a strong par 3, strong in every department. It is 215 yards from the white tees, 194 from yellow and 169 from the reds. It is also often into the wind. And it is also extremely good looking. It’s the kind of hole that will hopefully leave you smiling even if you don’t play it that well.

Gullane 2 - Hole 12

The twelfth green is the most westerly on Gullane’s three excellent courses

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

You now head down to the fringes of the nature reserve and a wonderfully secluded green that feels like a desert island. This is a beautiful, perhaps even iconic hole, that was remodelled over half a century ago.

Gullane 2 - Hole 15

Looking back down to the tee from behind the green on the final par 3, the fifteenth

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

What goes down must go up again, and you start to climb back up Gullane Hill via another excellent par 4 at thirteen. There is then a tricky sidehill par 4 before the gently-rising par-3 15th, allegedly the easiest hole on the course!

Gullane 2 - Hole 17

A very inviting drive awaits at the downhill, 361-yard penultimate hole

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

After reaching the top of the hill via the long 16th, hope springs eternal with the elevated drive at the 361-yard 17th. It should only be a drive and a pitch, and I am sure that big hitters have been known to drive the green when the wind is helping.

Gullane 2 - Hole 18

The final green is right beside the excellent visitors’ clubhouse

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

The closing hole is a slightly anti-climactic par 4 where my hopes of finishing with four straight pars evaporated on the very long green when my second putt pressed the emergency stop button some way short.

For this excellent Next 100 links to be only the second best course at Gullane Golf Club seems odd and should make every member feel unbelievably proud and lucky. East Lothian, or Scotland’s Golf Coast, is packed with exceptional golf, but there is no doubt that Gullane 2 is up there with the very best.

Having spoken with various officials, members and guests during my visits, it is interesting that there are plenty of golfers who prefer Gullane 2 to Gullane 1. As I find all decision making way too complicated, I will simply say that I love them both and can imagine each would keep you fascinated and fully entertained, and I am sure play quite differently, every day.

Rob Smith
Rob Smith

Rob Smith has been playing golf for over 40 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012 specialising in course reviews and travel. He has now played well over 1,100 courses in almost 50 countries. Since travel restarted in May 2021, he has played around 80 different courses, more than 40 for the first time. This includes 21 in 13 days on a trip to East Lothian in October. One of his main roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but 10. Rob is a member of Tandridge Golf Club in Surrey where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at r.smith896@btinternet.com