The Course

Edinburgh's City Centre Golf Course


Prestonfield Golf Club is a James Braid designed 18 hole parkland course. There is no shortage of challenge or interest on this scenic and entertaining course – made even more fascinating by the variables of wind direction and strength. You will find much to test your skill, inspire the spirit and refresh the mind.

Playable all year round, the ‘easy walking’ course is bounded to the north by Holyrood Park and Duddingston Loch Bird Sanctuary. To the east, lies Braid Burn and Peffermill Mansion House. Located to the south are the grounds of Prestonfield House.

The Course sits in a spectacular location in a former deer estate at the foot of Arthur’s Seat and the Salisbury Crags and yet is less than a mile from the hustle and bustle of Princes Street and the City Centre.

There are references to the existence of Prestonfield in documents which go back to 1153. We believe that Mary Queen of Scots, herself a keen golfer, used to spend time in the garden area of the Old Mansion which adjoined the course where the 13th hole is now. That hole is known as “The Old Garden.”

James Braid laid out Prestonfield for the Civil Service Golf Society in 1920. The course has matured into a beautiful parkland course which is characterised by its challenging par 4s and its spectacular location. The names of the holes all have historical connections to the course but Braid was so impressed by what he managed to do with the land available to him for the 14 th hole that he simply called it “Dog Leg.”

Course Conditions

Wednesday 16th of January 2019

Course: Open

Winter conditions now in operation

10th hole now temp for foreseeable future

Winter Stableford Competition 

Winter mats now in use

Medical Buggies in use

Practice Area 

Available for practice 

Peffer Mill Practice Area

Closed for course use

Putting Green 

Available for practice

Times subject change

Sunset today: 16.11

Course Card

Click on the link to see the full course guide Course Guide



Course History

Prestonfield Golf Club is set in beautiful parkland within the heart of Scotland’s capital city, and is located a mere one and a half miles from the bustle of Princes Street.

Arthur Seat in 1870Prestonfield lies under the lee of the volcanic mass of Arthur’s Seat amidst spectacular scenery of historical significance. It is bound by Holyrood Park and the bird sanctuary of Duddingston Loch to the north, the Braid Burn and Peffermill Mansion House to the east and the grounds of Prestonfield House to the south. The club was established in 1920 as the Edinburgh Civil Service Golf Club and the course was extended in both 1928 and 1933 by acquisition of additional land.

James Braid, one of the most famous names in golf, created the present layout. The course is a testing par 70 of 6207 the character of which lies in the amount of long testing par 4s that can vary greatly depending on wind direction and strength. The undulating ground at the top end of the course adds another dimension in shot making, whilst the mature trees in the middle section of the course contrast dramatically with the more open aspects of the lower part of the course

Bird's eye view of Prestonfield Golf CourseAn extensive tree planting programme over the last ten years has improved the definition of many holes, and at the same time created more problems for those choosing to leave the fairway. Prestonfield’s reputation of being a challenging but fair course has made it a popular venue for a number of competitions over the years including the prestigious Lothian’s Match Play Championship on six occasions and home to the PGA Prestonfield Pro-am since 2007

Local Winter Rules 2018/2019

Temporary local rules as of the 1st of January 2019


Local rules are additional rules that the greens committee have put into place due to the specific requirements of our course over the winter months. They are designed to promote fair play at Prestonfield Golf Club over a time when weather conditions greatly effect the course and should be observed as well as the general rules of golf as outlined under the R&A.

Get to know your definitions


Temporary Water

Any temporary accumulation of water on the surface of the ground (such as puddles from rain or irrigation or an overflow from a body of water) that:

  • Is not in a penalty area, and
  • Can be seen before or after the player takes a stance (without pressing down excessively with his or her feet).

It is not enough for the ground to be merely wet, muddy or soft or for the water to be momentarily visible as the player steps on the ground; an accumulation of water must remain present either before or after the stance is taken.

Special cases:

Dew and Frost are not temporary water.

Snow and Natural Ice (other than frost), are either loose impediments or, when on the ground, temporary water, at the player’s option.

Manufactured Ice is an obstruction.


Wrong Green


Any green on the course other than the putting green for the hole the player is playing.

Wrong greens include:

The greens for all other holes that the player is not playing at the time,

The normal putting green for a hole where a temporary green is being used, and

All practice greens for putting, chipping or pitching, unless the Committee excludes them by Local Rule.

Wrong greens are part of the general area.

Wrong greens should be deemed as GUR and golfers must take relief under Rule 16-1

What is Preferred lies and what does it mean?


When a player’s ball lies in a part of the general area cut to fairway height or less, the player may take free relief once by placing the original ball or another ball in and playing it from this relief area:

When play from fairways is not permitted the player having lifted the ball, must place it on an artificial surface designed for the purpose of striking a golf ball


 A player, at their discretion may not use an artificial surface on a closely-mown area should the ball’s proximity to the green permit a reasonable stroke to be taken with a putter

 Reference Point: Spot of the original ball.

Size of Relief Area Measured from Reference Point: 6 inches from the reference point, but with these limits:

Limits on Location of Relief Area:

  • Must not be nearer the hole than the reference point, and
  • Must be in the general area.

In proceeding under this Local Rule, the player must choose a spot to place the ball and use the procedures for replacing a ball under Rules 14.2b(2) and 14.2e.

Penalty for Playing Ball from a Wrong Place in Breach of Local Rule: General Penalty Under Rule 14.7a.


Aeration Holes


Model Local Rule E-4

“If a player’s ball lies in or touches an aeration hole:

(a) Ball in General Area. The player may take relief under Rule 16.1b. If the ball comes to rest in another aeration hole the player may take relief again under this Local Rule.

(b) Ball on Putting Green. The player may take relief under Rule 16.1d.

But interference does not exist if the aeration hole only interferes with the player’s stance or, on the putting green, on the player’s line of play.


Ground Under Repair (GUR)


All areas marked as GUR defined by either stakes, ropes or a white lines is ground under repair from which play is prohibited. If a player’s ball lies in the area, or it interferes with the player’s stance or the area of his intended swing, the player must take relief under Rule 16-1.

 Dropping Zones


Due the level of work taking place on the golf golf course over the coming winter months, the course and the conditions under which play is governed will change from time to time. As a result, the greens committee would like to clarify the dropping zone rule which influences the dropping options at holes 3 and 4. 

 If a ball lies in the area of GUR or if it interferes with the players stance or the area of his intended swing the player may take relief under Rule 16-1 or as an additional option, drop a ball in the dropping zone/the nearest dropping zone even when the dropping zone is nearer the hole than where the ball originally lay

 Miscellaneous Course Damage

All course renovation works, including newly seeded areas, drainage disruption and damage caused by heavy equipment, is ground under repair (GUR), even if not so marked with white lines. If a player’s ball lies in such a condition, or if such condition interferes with the player’s stance or area of intended swing, the player must take relief under Rule 16-1b. The player must lift their ball and drop it without penalty within one club length, of the nearest point of relief, not nearer the hole.

 Winter golfing advice and arrangements: in an effort to try and reduce the wear and tear around holes and the areas immediately surrounding them, the greens committee wishes to enlist the help of golfers during the winter period, especially when the greens are wet. Similarly, when compulsory, golfers are required to tee from the artificial tee mats and use artificial mats in closely mown areas through the green.

The exception of this rule, at the player’s discretion, and only when the ball’s proximity to the green permits a reasonable stroke to be taken with a putter.

Please help protect the course by observing all fenced, hooped, roped and white line restrictions. Buggy and trolley users must respect all restrictions in no go areas and are asked to keep buggy’s and trolleys well away from tees, greens, green surrounds and if possible use winter wheels. Please remember that the use of temporary greens or the implementation of other buggy and trolley restrictions are short term measures designed to protect the golf course from damage and to help ensure the health and safety of all golfers and employees. In essence, please do all you can to help protect the course during the winter.

 Important R&A general rule changes that come into effect from the 1st of January 2019


20 general Rule changes that you will need to know


  • Drop from knee height
  • Measure the area to drop with the longest club in your bag (except putter)
  • Drop and play within the relief area
  • When dropping back-on-the-line, your ball cannot be played from nearer the hole that your chosen reference point
  • Search time now 3 minutes
  • If you accidentally move your ball when searching for it, replace it without penalty
  • No penalty for a double hit, it will only count as one stroke
  • No penalty if your ball hits you or your equipment accidentally after a stroke
  • No penalty if your ball strikes the flagstick when you have chosen to leave it in the hole
  • Spike marks and other shoes damage on the putting green can be repaired
  • Ball accidentally moved on the putting green – no penalty and replace
  • Ball marked, lifted and replaced on the putting green is moved by wind to another position – replace ball on original spot
  • Penalty areas replace water hazards. You can now move loose impediments, ground your club and take practice swings in the penalty area with occurring a penalty.
  • You can’t take relief from a penalty area unless you are at least 95% certain your ball is in the penalty area.
  • You can remove loose impediments in bunkers
  • In bunkers you cannot touch the sand with your club in the area right in front of or right behind your ball, during your backswing or in taking a practice swing
  • Free relief is allowed if your ball is embedded on the fairway or in the rough. Embedded means that some part of your golf ball is below the level of the ground
  • Unplayable ball in the bunker. Extra option to now drop outside the bunker for a penalty of 2 shots.
  • You cannot have your caddie or your partner stand behind you once you begin taking your stance
  • Ready golf in stroke play in encouraged.


All these changes are explained in more detail in the Rules Essentials videos on the R&A website. Alternatively, read the PLAYERS EDITION of the rules of golf to learn more.