Braid Hills Golf Club - Lothians - Best In Region Golf Course
 
Braid Hills (No.1), Scotland
 
Gem  Country Ranking
Braid Hills Golf Course
27 Braid Hills Approach Road
Edinburgh
EH10 6JY
Scotland
ArchitectBob Ferguson and Peter McEwan
Telephone+44 (0) 131 447 6666
Location1 mile S of Edinburgh city centre
Websites Golf Club Website
VisitorsWelcome
Club Secretary/ ManagerDavid Atkinson

Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Braid Hills

 

Braid Hills has two municipal courses and its flagship No.1 course is one of the most vertically challenging golfing tests in Edinburgh. Weighing in at less than 6,000 yards, Braid Hills is not about length, it's about testing golf shots from one hilly crag to the next.

This heathland cum moorland track was founded in 1893 and it was laid out by three times Open Champion Bob Ferguson and Peter McEwan, a 19th century Musselburgh club maker. The course will be busy, especially at weekends and public holidays, but the green fee will cost you around fifteen quid, making Braid Hills one of the most affordable courses to be featured on the Top 100 website. The walk is certainly hard on the legs but the views of the Pentland Hills and the panorama across the top of Edinburgh's skyline to the Firth of Forth beyond make it all well worth the effort.

Despite its name, this course was not designed by James Braid. Rather, it is laid out over Braid Hill. A proliferation of gorse and sloping lies make scoring very difficult, despite the fact that there are few bunkers and the rough is relatively light. Braid Hills is not about brawn, it's about careful course management. If you can keep on the straight and narrow and keep out of the gorse, you're in business.

Braid Hills has some entertaining par threes, most notably the 2nd and 13th, but undoubtedly, the highlight of the round comes at the 14th. It's an inviting tee shot from a glorious elevated position.

Braid Hills is basic in terms of facilities, which is a surprise given that it's so close to the city centre and attracts thousands of green fees each year, but there's a delightful feeling of space and isolation here making it an enjoyable city venue.

 
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Average Reviewers Score:    
I used to play here as a boy so returning after 40+ years was a fairly nostalgic experience. Of course, way back then, panoramic views held little interest. Now they form the core of the Braid Hills experience. As at Strathpeffer oohs are quickly followed by aahs as one surveys the vista below. The course itself is ok, indeed for a municipal and at the wonderfully low price it is a bit more than ok. There are some very challenging driving holes early on - balls will be lost! The best hole by some way is the 14th - a simply brilliant hole with an elevated tee and a split fairway. 17 is a long par 3 and 18 is, frankly, silly but there is compensation in the best view of all with the majestic city of Edinburgh spread out below. So I came away from my walk down Memory Lane (or should that be up and down Memory Hills) several golf balls lighter but enriched by some wonderful photographs for my ever-expanding trove of golf screensavers!
03 January 2012 Respond to above review

Response:
Gordon Brown05 December 2012
James Braid played here and was a member of the Edinburgh Thistle G.C.which is still based here,there are three other Golf clubs with their own premises close to starters ,these are braids-united.co.uk ,Edinburgh Western g.c. and Harrison G.S.If you contact these clubs, parties of golfers can be catered for.Tommy Armour also learnt to golf here and was a playing member of clubs here.Muirfield,ie,the Honourable company of Edinburgh Golfers .nearly moved here prior to aquiring Muirfield site. When built,{to accommodate ,displaced golfers from Bruntsfield Links/meadows (after public petition )}it was first, true ,purpose built Inland public/municipal Golf course.
James Braid did indeed have a close association with Braid Hills Golf Club - he was president of Edinburgh Thistle Golf Club (based at Braid Hills) for many years, as were his brother and son afterwards. Braid Hills no. 1 has been described as the most stunning public course in Britain, and few would disagree after playing this tough course on a benign day. It's just fantastic - and a real challenge for anyone. Beware of it on a windy day however....bring plenty of golf balls unless you like wading in gorse chest high. There are some truly spectacular holes such as the 14th and the 17th.
20 April 2009 Respond to above review

Response:
Hugh30 November 2011
6 balls for Braid Hills is laughable. Itís an OK course (4 balls at most) but itís usually in poor condition, is too hilly, is too busy (expect long rounds at peak times) and has no facilities to speak of. Whoever posted the 6 ball review must work for Edinburgh City council.
Braid Hills No.1 is one of the oldest and still one of the best municipal golf facilities in Scotland.Braid Hills - Photo by Jim McCann You donít exactly have to have your climbing boots on to play here (though there are some severe changes in elevation amongst the hill top setting overlooking ďAuld ReekieĒ) but the hikes around the course are exhilarating and the views over the capital are simply stunning. Several holes are out of the golfing top drawer and two sets of three holes, in particular Ė holes 7 to 9 and 14 to 16 Ė are very good indeed. In fact, the 14th is one of the most memorable holes you will come across on any course (with an elevated tee shot over gorse and a blind approach shot to play) so itís no surprise that it has a stroke index of 2, making it the toughest on the back nine. If I am being picky, some of the early hole tee positions adjacent to the preceding green are more than a bit iffy (and they cause play to back up because they are so close to putting surfaces) but balance that against the fantastic condition of all of the greens on the course and you would be a real curmudgeon to not enjoy Braid Hills No.1 course. Overall, the Leisure Department of Edinburgh City Council do a fine job promoting the game at the Braid Hills golf complex. Jim McCann.
07 August 2007 Respond to above review

Response:
patrick10 August 2007
I have to agree with Jim. We played Braid Hills in April and it has been the most amazing experience concerning the Fun Factor we had all 12 days. To My mind for the price of 10-20 Pounds a must play in the area. Something very special you wont see again soon. Enjoy it!
Derek21 April 2009
I have been lucky enough to play Braid Hills No1 many times - often in the summer "gloaming", with only a very few stragglers around and with all of "Auld Reekie" seemingly resting at my feet. Must be one of the most serene and "spiritual" experiences in Scottish golf!
Anthony Drews28 December 2009
A great course totally abandoned and mis managed by Edinburgh Leisure This course should be better maintained and the total lack of after golf facilities is shocking.
Braids Hills No.1 is not long but itís hilly, perhaps too hilly in parts with viscious changes in elevation. Leave your driver in the car, itís tight and narrow in places. Clearly this course is a throwback to a bygone age and itís certainly an adventure but itís a tough walking course. Great value though
14 March 2006 Respond to above review

Response:
Jamie McSporran14 April 2011
Braid Hills is a fantastic public course and you have to think that if it were privately run it would be one of the best in Scotland. The gorse means you have to be accurate off the tee but don't leave your driver in the car as this reviewer suggests (even if it was in jest) as there are several holes that can reward good drives with birdies or simple pars,particularly if the prevailing wind picks up.
Adrian Twiss23 November 2014
I remember playing many rounds on this course as a child and the course always won. Mind you I was not much of a golfer in those days (still not much of a golfer off 14 if I'm honest). When I play golf in Scotland I always make a point of trying to play the Braid Hills just to get my revenge on it. Guess what, I haven't managed it yet. This course is special to be as it evokes many happy childhood memories especially the sound of the skylarks. In my young day the 5th was a challenging par 4 with thick clover all the way down the right hand side of the fairway. I wonder why they upgraded it to a par 5.



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