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Founded: 1856
Designer: Old Tom Morris
Championship Length: 6,404 yards
PAR: 71
SSS (Course Rating): 71
Type: Links
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Who this course is best for:

A golfer who wants to play a lesser known, scenic and classic links course not far from North Berwick and Muirfield.


Dunbar East Links is another one of Scotland’s lesser-known links gems. Situated 30 miles from Edinburgh, the golf course is laid out on the very land where Oliver Cromwell camped prior to the Battle of Dunbar in 1650. In 1794, a group of local gentlemen formed the Dunbar Golfing Society and played over a course called Westbarns, adjacent to the town. Support for the society, however, declined over the years and it was not until 1856, following a meeting in the Town Hall, that Dunbar Golf Club was formed.

Situated on the estuary of the Firth of Forth, Dunbar East Links presents a combination of links and inland turf, set on a narrow stretch of land, which follows the natural contours of the coastline. The 9th through 12th holes are among the most testing on the course, but the closing stretch, with the rocky beach more than willing to accommodate even the mildest slice, can often conspire to ruin an otherwise good score. That the course has hosted many prestigious events and is one of the recognized qualifying venues for the Open Championship bears testament to the quality of Dunbar Golf Links.

The word “breathtaking” is a commonly overused term when speaking of golf courses, but it really is not easy to imagine any stretch of holes with lovelier views than those offered by Dunbar. The North Sea in all its glory is a constant companion throughout, while with the majestic coastline, the Isle of May, Bass Rock and the distant outline of Fife all vying for our attention, the golfer is often distracted from the task at hand.

Renowned for its welcoming atmosphere, playing at Dunbar East Links is an experience that is not soon forgotten. The course may not be as well known as many of its famous counterparts, but Dunbar is a worthy addition to any golfing itinerary. Nestling between ancient stone walls and the sea, Dunbar Golf Links is a vision of golfing enjoyment that is often imagined but rarely fulfilled.

Course review content courtesy of Golf Publisher Syndications

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