Now about 10 years old, Craigielaw can be found in the village of Aberlady, close to Gullane. In golfing terms, its location is between Longniddry to the west and Kilspindie to the east, but in terms of style it is quite a contrast to both its neighbours. It certainly has some links characteristics, but there is also an inland feel to many of the holes. The outstanding clubhouse and practice facilities have a distinctly 21st-century feel to them, adding to the growing reputation of a course with classic characteristics but a thoroughly modern feel at the same time.
At over 6,600 yards, the contrast with ancient and quirky Kilspindie, from which it is separated by a low stone wall, could hardly be more marked. Craigielaw is well bunkered, both in the sense that the hazards often dictate strategy, and also in that they can be genuinely punishing.
The second nine is considerably longer than the first, so build your score on the way out. Throughout the course the greens are large and often undulating, so it is important to not leave yourself with too many long putts as they can quickly ruin your card.
Play here one day and Kilspindie the next and you will be well placed to debate the respective merits of excellent new and old courses. One hole which should be treated with the upmost respect is the long par-5 11th, which is played downhill towards the Firth of Forth.
The second nine is considerably longer than the first, so build your score on the way out
With out of bounds territory to the left, just a matter of yards from the fairway down its entire length, you simply have to keep the ball straight. A devious burn also cuts across the fairway just short of the green, so hitting and hoping simply isn’t an option.
By contrast, the 1st is the shortest par-4 on the course, measuring little more than 300 yards from the back tees. It provides a friendly introduction and a good chance to put a favourable score on your card early in the round.
Being the opening hole it is extremely tempting to settle for a par, but if you can find a fairway you will not have a better chance of setting up a decent chance of birdie.
The club also boasts a 25 room guest lodge which offers players both the perfect place to relax before and after a round, and an ideal location to discover the other many golfing delights that East Lothian has to offer.