Gullane Golf Club is further enhancing its global reputation after opening a world-class short game facility and revealing plans for the development of a new Visitors’ Clubhouse.
The renowned East Lothian venue, host to the Aberdeen Standard Investments Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open in 2018 on Course No.1, is taking exciting steps to significantly benefit the customer experience for all visiting golfers.
With the state-of-the-art short game area recently opened and work commencing this month on the revamped Visitors’ Clubhouse, the Club aims to deliver an enhanced experience on and off the course that reflects its standing as one of the leading links venues in world golf.
The short game zone – which allows players to strike off quality links turf from 12 designated areas and features three bunkers and five pin flags – adds to the Club’s facilities for its strong membership and many visitors, while highlights its ongoing commitment to junior golf.
Captain of Gullane Golf Club, Adam Fox, said: “With our new short game area unrivalled in Scotland and work soon to begin on redeveloping the Visitors’ Clubhouse, we are committed to providing world-class facilities here at Gullane. In doing so, visitors will enjoy a wonderful experience both on and off our three courses – one that combines the finest traditions of links golf with the very best of modern amenities.”
The short game facility, which sits across three acres, has already earned high praise from visitors and members alike, following its opening in September. Developed by Edwards Design International (EDI) with input from Head PGA Professional, Alasdair Good, and Course Manager, Stewart Duff, it provides players with plentiful options to hone their short game – from bunker play to bump and runs, and pitches to flop shots.
It has been developed from the old 18th green on Course No.3 – now converted into an excellent par-3 – having been used as a practice area during the Club’s staging of the respective Scottish Opens in 2018 and the men’s event in 2015.
Complimenting the expanded driving range area adjacent to the 1st hole on Course No.2, the facility also enhances professional tuition service on offer via the Pro Shop team, as well as giving local youngsters in the Club’s blossoming junior ranks the opportunity to work on their game.
James Edwards, architect at EDI, said: “It is not often you get the chance to work with a golf club as visionary and progressive as Gullane. I applaud them for their trust in the EDI design process and the momentum of their execution alongside renowned shaper and construction firm, Conor J Walsh, during extremely difficult times.
“Together with the excellent team at Gullane, we collectively considered many design permutations over the last two years resulting in a final masterplan which brings all the facilities nearer the Visitors’ Clubhouse and improves the customer journey. These facilities will no doubt help to grow the game of golf, encourage participation at this world-class venue and help to safeguard the future engagement of all levels of golf at Gullane for many years to come.”
Conor Walsh added: “Gullane needed to carry out these works to accommodate the number of visitors they have coming to the golf courses every year, while also feeding the demand from the membership to have high-end practice facilities.
“The practice facility had to be in keeping with the surrounding links, so we translocated 3,500m² of native grasses, we built a 1,300m² putting surface and 7,000m² of surrounds. A full irrigation system was also installed. The practice facility is now the envy of all the golf clubs in the area.”
After approval from members in September to redevelop the Visitors’ Clubhouse, the Club is also looking forward to pushing on with a key project due for completion by next summer.
Completely updating the existing Visitors’ Clubhouse, first opened in 1993 by Ryder Cup Captain Bernard Gallacher, the remodelled building will further improve the visitor experience and reflect the status of Courses No.2 and No.3 – both outstanding lay-outs in their own right.
Fox added: “Gullane’s popularity among visitors from across Scotland, the rest of the UK, and around the world has meant that the Club requires the additional clubhouse capacity to cope with playing numbers.
“The transformed Visitors’ Clubhouse will deliver a much better flow for visiting golfers, from arrival and check in through a new Pro Shop, into the revamped lounge, dining and terraced areas, out to the short game zone and driving range and, finally, onto the courses – a first-class customer experience for all. We look forward to seeing the clubhouse develop over the coming months.”