Dubbed “Windygate,” members and visitors encounter this as the second hole on the No.1 course at Gullane Golf Club. But with the Scottish Open utilizing a hybrid layout that pulls in two holes from the No.2 course next door, entrants don’t get the chance to ease into the round.
Don’t be taken by the 390-yard measurement on the scorecard. The hole plays between two dunes almost directly up the slope of Gullane Hill – a rare formation for links golf that rises some 200 feet to its summit on the No.6 tee box.
The hole features just one bunker, but it doesn’t really need any more. Its positioning between dunes makes everything feel somewhat claustrophobic – a narrow fairway, with a slight dogleg left, leading to a skinny green.
When the Scottish Open last visited in 2015, Rickie Fowler was happy to par No.1 all four days on his way to victory.
“There was some big crosswind holes into the wind downwind, so didn’t play easy out there,” said Fowler, following a third-round 66 in 2015. “Especially the first hole starting out in off the left up the hill, not the easiest starting hole. It was a good test out there.”
Raphael Jacquelin birdied it twice on the way to sharing runner-up honors.
Among its victims, though, were former Open Championship winner David Duval (8) and Ryder Cup hero Paul McGinley (7). Those were tame compared to Oliver Farr’s 10 in the second round.
No.1, Gullane Golf Club
Par 4, 390 yards
2015 average: 4.22 (2nd toughest)
2015 Scottish Open: no eagles, 48 birdies, 313 pars, 98 bogeys, 18 double bogeys, 7 higher