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Golfing in Edinburgh
Donald Ford is a former International Scottish footballer, and centre forward for Heart of Midlothian Football Club. Today he enjoys travelling around Scotland's golf courses taking photographs for his fantastic Scottish Golf Calendar which he photographs and produces each year. We felt he was the right person to ask to provide the following information about golfing in Edinburgh and planning a golfing trip to Scotland...
Golf enthusiasts looking to test their skills around the city of Edinburgh and the Lothians must lick their lips when they uncover - then explore - the diversity of more than seventy potential venues. From the most modest (in some cases stunningly beautiful) nine-hole courses to the classic, challenging links over which, down the years, the greatest names in the sport have tread, this area can satisfy and delight all tastes. An added bonus for those who make their base in the city itself is that any chosen destination is no further away than a forty-five minute journey by road or rail, while the hugely different atmospheres and characteristics of the great majority of venues renders a decision on the final selection an extremely difficult one.
Typically romantic golfing names trip off the tongue as the well known Edinburgh venues come under scrutiny; the arboreal splendour of Duddingston, Royal Burgess and Bruntsfield Links is legendary, as is the uphill, three-hole start at Murrayfield - less demanding in length, granted, but offering sumptuous views across the city. This quartet presents a stiff golfing examination and that last comment applies also to Mortonhall - in the shadow of the Braid Hills. Beneath the southern slopes of Arthur’s Seat, Prestonfield is a beautiful place to practise the sport; just a mile or so away Craigmillar Park has a rolling layout with fine views from the top of the course while, to the west, Kingsknowe and Baberton offer both splendid golf and first class hospitality.
Of modest length, Liberton yet produces much golfing enjoyment and the locations of Lothianburn, Swanston (nine holes are an option here) and Torphin Hill on the lower slopes of the Pentlands all promise an intriguing outing with a superb outlook. The quaintness (in both name and situation) of the Merchants of Edinburgh course at Craiglockhart guarantees fun golf while those seeking a more leisurely outing will doubtless enjoy the nine holes at Ravelston, which adjoins Murrayfield. At the city’s extreme western boundary, trees again dominate the beautifully laid out twelve holes at Gogarburn; half a mile to the north, the eighteen holes at Turnhouse will thoroughly entertain golfers as well as fascinate aeroplane enthusiasts - the main runway of the airport is but a quarter of a mile below!
A look at the offerings around the city would not be complete without a mention of the five locations under the control of the City of Edinburgh Council itself. Braid Hills Number One course continues, annually, to host the Dispatch Trophy, one of Scotland’s oldest and most revered amateur club matchplay tournaments. Demanding great accuracy of ball strike, the course has a quite stunning location with breathtaking views in early morning or evening across the entire city and onwards to the Firth of Forth and Fife. To the immediate east of the “big” course, the Princes offers a nine-hole challenge, with access via the excellent Braid Hills Golf Centre (practice range, professional tuition, excellent golf shop and HIGHLY tempting restaurant!). If you have young golfers in the family, the nine-hole Heritage course below Braid Hills Drive is the perfect place to teach them the rudiments and etiquette of the sport.
The panorama of the south Fife coast across the Forth stretches out from the spread of the splendid Silverknowes heath/links layout near Davidson’s Mains; this is a popular and much lauded venue. Carrick Knowe, in the lee of Corstorphine Hill, is a fine parkland course where straightness from the tee is essential and the Craigentinny course at Portobello demands similar skill within tree-lined surroundings. Finally, the lovely little nine-hole course ( a tad inland ) at Portobello is the perfect place to learn the rudiments of the game, enjoy a quick recreational burst or, alternatively, totally “wind down” with a leisurely hour and a half among the simpler glories of the game.
© Donald Ford 2011: http://www.donaldfordimages.com/products/golf
Donald Ford Images
|Donald Ford’s ability to capture the unique light, atmosphere and characteristics which abound within Scotland’s enthralling landscape, stunning coastline and outstanding golf courses has drawn wide praise from all who have seen his many...
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