Your browser is not supported. Please update it.
Book Golf

The Evolution of Turnhouse Golf Club

Turnhouse Golf Course came into being in 1897, initially only extending to nine holes, when members of Lothian golf club (established 1893) became dissatisfied of sharing Musselburgh Links with other non-course owning Clubs.

Recognising the value for ease of access of a recently built Railway halt in those days of largely horse-drawn transport, they leased land from the tenant of Turnhouse farm.

The venture was so successful in attracting more members that in 1898 the land now occupied by the car park and Clubhouse was bought, and what later became the greenkeepers’ buildings were used as a temporary clubhouse where tea ‘in the large upper room’ could be had ‘for sixpence plain, with cold meat, one shilling.’. Work to extend the course to eighteen holes was completed by June 1900.

The Club continued to be known as Lothian Golf Club until April 27th 1909 when it was incorporated and renamed Turnhouse Golf Club Ltd.

In those early days, golf courses were shaped by natural terrain and while links courses had sand bunkers, inland courses relied on gorse, whin and dry stone walls for hazards. At Turnhouse there is a record of turf dykes about three feet high being built forty or fifty yards from the tee across some fairways and in January 1908 an instruction was issued to remove steps over the walls and have gaps made in their place. Gradually however, sand bunkers were introduced and when James Braid redesigned the course in 1927, his strong preference for strategically placed bunkers heralded the end of walls as hazards. The course was reshaped and lengthened in 1950 when the current 7th and 8th holes were added. It is now a par 69 with a standard scratch rating of 70 over 6060 yards. Set across Lennie Hill, the course offers a magnificent 360 degree sweep of views to the mountains of the Highlands in the north, the River Forth in the east, the Pentland Hills in the south and the now grass covered shale bings of Broxburn in the west.

The Clubhouse now offers a much wider and more appealing fare than tea , bread and cold meat, but alas the cost is now more than a shilling!

Club Successes Over the Years

  • Mens Edinburgh Golf League

    The Mens Edinburgh Golf League is contested annually by member clubs, consisting of eight individual scratch matches. Turnhouse regularly performs well with a strong team, and most recently won the League in 2018 after topping Section C, and also two years prior to that in 2016.

    Since 2006, the top Edinburgh team has represented the EGL in the Inter Cities Cup, played against the top club in Glasgow at a neutral venue.

  • MCLGA 5-a-Side & Greensomes Leagues

    The Midlothian County Ladies’ Golf Association has contested League opportunities dating back to 1952 when the first 5-a-Side league was played for and won by Murrayfield GC. Consisting of four separate leagues, Division 1 and Division 2 for the scratch 5-a-Side, plus Section A and Section B for the handicap Greensomes, the Turnhouse Ladies team were crowned Champions of the Division 2 5-a-side in 2017.

  • Mens Lothians Amateur Championship

    The Lothians Championship is the Lothians Golf Association’s flagship event and was first held in 1947 when the local evening newspaper presented the magnificent Evening News Championship Trophy, one of the most impressive trophies in golf. Winners have included former Ryder Cup and Walker Cup captains in Bernard Gallacher (1967) and George Macgregor (1968) respectively, whilst Turnhouse has been represented by the Champion on two separate occasions.

    2019Mark Napier
    2004Steven Armstrong
  • Ladies Morison Millar

    The Morison Millar Tournament is one of the most prestigious trophies played for by Ladies in the Lothians. The tournament came about after a brief foray by Ladies in 1927 into the Dispatch Trophy, previously assumed only to be open to men. These ladies represented the Dormie Club and comprised a team of 3 Scottish Champions and an 8 times Dalmahoy Club Champion. After the rules of the Dispatch were amended to ensure Ladies could not enter again, a committee was formed to draw up rules for a similar type of event, for which only Ladies would be eligible. The trophy, donated by Mrs Morison Millar, the first Lady to serve on Edinburgh Town Council, was played for in the inaugural competition on the 11th May 1928.

    In 2022, the Turnhouse A team of Isla McCrone, Liz Calder, Laura Gemmell and Morag Wardrop performed exceptionally, and were crowned Champions of the 36 hole event at The Braids Golf Course, one shot ahead of Baberton A, who finished nine shots ahead of third placed Mortonhall B. This was an amazing feat achieved by the team of four, and the first time that Turnhouse had won the trophy since 1961.

  • Edinburgh Junior Golf League

    Established in 1978 with the intention of creating an opportunity to promote and organise a golf league for the junior sections of all member Golf Clubs in Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Junior Golf League currently consists of 12 clubs, including Turnhouse.

    We are proud to boast a successful Junior section over the years, and this has been evident in the success within the Edinburgh Junior Golf League, winning the League on seven occasions, including a run of three years in a row from 2013 – 2015, and most recently in 2022.

  • UK Junior Team Golf

    The Junior Team Golf Championship is an annual event ran nationally with regional finals across Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland. Open to all golf clubs to enter, Turnhouse has performed exceptionally well on a number of occasions. Most recently, the Turnhouse Juniors clinched the Scottish Championship at Duff House Royal GC in 2023, winning the competition by an impressive 8 shots. The team qualified for the National Final in Wales in 2024, where they performed excellently and just missed out on being overall winners in the final match.

    A fitting performance from the Juniors as they coincidentally won the Championship 10 years on from the last time Turnhouse became Scottish Champions, and qualified by the Finals in Spain.

  • Mens South East District Championship

    The South East District Championship was first played in 1968, when Uniroyal presented a trophy for a 72-hole event open to players from Lothians and the Borders. This Competition has a field of the 81 top amateurs played two rounds on the Saturday with the top 40 and ties going forward to a final two rounds on the Sunday.

    One of the most prestigious events played for by Men in the Lothians, Turnhouse is representated each year, with success on one occasion in 2016 when Honorary member Euan McIntosh was crowned champion at Royal Musselburgh GC with a superb 4-round score of 264.

  • MCLGA Championship Finlayson Trophy

    Presented by Mrs Kay Finlayson in 1923, the Championship Bowl has a vast history and carries significant prestige within the Midlothian County. Turnhouse was last represented by the Champion in 1997 by Miss P Silver, just two years after winning the Championship for her first time in 1995.