Golf has long been associated with East Lothian; the earliest course being at Musselburgh, where Mary Queen of Scots is reputed to have played in 1567. King James V was a frequent visitor to Aberlady, ostensibly for "the archery and golfing," although his attendance on the Ladies of Gosford was also reputed to be a factor. The course at Aberlady was then known as the Wanster Course, and occupied some of the land now forming part of the Kilspindie Course (holes 7 - 11.)
In 1896 the Rev. John Kerr (the minister at nearby Dirleton) wrote a "Golf Book of East Lothian" which tells of some Aberlady natives walking from Glasgow by night to enjoy a game on Hansel Monday (the first Monday of the New Year, then a general holiday) with their friends still in Aberlady, and then returning also by foot! The Hansel Monday competition was a major event until its discontinuance in 1894. The event was resurrected in 1994 by Aberlady Golf Club.
Within a mile or two of Aberlady
there are several other first-class links Courses:
· Craigielaw Golf Club - opened in 2001, and Luffness New Golf Club,
· Longniddry Golf Club,
· Gullane Golf Club with the three courses, and also the Championship Course at Muirfield,
· North Berwick, with East and West Courses.
Golf contributes a great deal to the local economy; not only through direct employment, but also as a result of the very many visitors to the village, who stay at the hotels, buy in the shops, and in the evenings recount the day's triumphs and "near misses" at one of the "19th holes" so thoughtfully provided by the village hotels.
In 1912 Aberlady Golf Club was formed as an "artisans" club linked to Kilspindie Golf Club, but with membership restricted to men living in Aberlady. The Club has playing rights at Kilspindie and is open to 30 villagers, plus full members of Kilspindie who also live in Aberlady. The Club still flourishes and is one of the focal points of Aberlady social life.
The aim of Aberlady Golf Club is to enable Members to enjoy playing golf together, thereby fostering local community spirit.
The Club has a full programme of events each year, both sporting and social. The golfing events include 12 medal competitions on Sunday afternoons over the summer and one each month during the winter season. The social events include a Burns Supper and the annual dinner and prize-giving. Events which combine both aspects and which also have a family element are the "Handsel" competition which celebrates a traditional East Lothian holiday at the beginning of January and a mid-summer match between the Captain's and Vice-Captain's teams.
See pictures of the 2005 Handsel competition.
The Club also plays matches against teams from Longniddry Artisans, Dirleton Castle, Kilspnidie and Craigielaw Golf Clubs, and against the local 'bus company.
Please note that Aberlady Golf Club is not a course-owning club. We play at Kilspindie Golf Club's course, to whom any requests for playing times should be made.
The present officers are:
|Captain:||Douglas Wilkie||Aberlady 870210|
|Vice-Captain:||David Isaac||Aberlady 870146|
|Secretary:||Paul Alexander||Aberlady 870930|
|Treasurer:||Graeme Chandler||Aberlady 870794|
Aberlady, East Lothian EH32 0PY
Tel: Starter - 01875 870800
Tel: Admin. - 01875 870801
Craigielaw Golf Club opened in May 2001. The course is owned and run by Wemyss & March Estates and lies between the policies of Gosford House and Kilspindie Links. The course design was inspired by the great links courses of Britain, many of which lie nearby in East Lothian.
Golfers can enjoy the breathtaking views over Aberlady Bay and the Firth of Forth, taking in the wildlife that exists on the course. Inhabiting the course are over 40 pairs of brown hares, swans, skylarks, grey partridges and waders.
The clubhouse is licensed and open to golfers and the public. The new clubhouse is built in the previous rugged farm building, and opened in April 2003. The new clubhouse features unrivalled views across the course to Aberlady Bay from its picture windows and outdoor terrace. The courtyard restaurant offers the highest quality service to both golfers and non-golfers and a variety of lounges provide relaxation for all. There is a lounge bar / bar area - providing bar snacks, drinks & meals throughout the day and evening and a Coffee Lounge with all-day service. Conference facilities are available and a limited number of corporate memberships will be offered in 2003.
The course measures 6601 yds with a par of 71. It is traditionally maintained with tight fairways and hard, fast, and true greens. There is also a junior course and the "Foreshot" Golf Academy on the Craigielaw site. These facilities will allow Craigielaw to cater for children of all ages. From the moment they can hold a club and play "safely" with appropriate adult supervision or professional coaching, they can then move on to become active members and fully integrated within the club structure. This junior course can be used by parents with their children or just to practise their short game."
Callaway golf clubs are available for hire with trolleys and ClubCar IQ buggies are available for rental. A full coaching service is offered for juniors and adults.
Welcome to Kilspindie Golf Club, the 35th oldest golf club in the world.
Formed in 1867 the Club currently plays over links first prepared in 1898. The charm of the hundred year old clubhouse is complemented by the warm welcome you will receive from the General Manager, Paul Casely, from the professionals, Graham and Peter, from Marion and her bar staff as well as from the dedicated catering staff.
Kilspindie is a traditional Scottish links, 5480 yards par 69. It is a relatively short, tight, yet pleasantly challenging course with quick greens and well defined fairways, courtesy of the care and attention bestowed by John Arbuckle and his greens staff. Kilspindie is host bi-annually to an alternative Ryder Cup - a match played by 12 Americans against 12 Europeans using pre 1930's hickories!
Bordering the Aberlady Bay nature reserve and overlooking the Firth of Forth many fine vistas present themselves - of the Firth Bridges, Pentland Hills, Edinburgh Castle and Arthur's Seat as well as the Fife coastline and Gullane Hill.
When describing golf courses there has been much written of 'hidden gems'. That Kilspindie is 'hidden' is indisputable, lying between the village of Aberlady and the Firth of Forth with 5 holes bounded by water and the only way in is by private road.
Don't take my word for it that it is a 'gem', speak to anyone who has been there with his or her golfing society, or someone who has played as a guest or as a casual visitor. They will speak, I'm sure, of the quality of the course, a good challenge of golf whatever your handicap, and the lasting happy memories.
Kilspindie is known locally, nationally and internationally and looks forward to welcoming you throughout the year.
General Manager: Paul Casely, 01875 870358
Professional: Graham Sked, 01875 870695