Scotland’s Golf Clubhouses

We perhaps like to believe that Scotland has placed more emphasis on the quality of her golf courses, and England concentrated on her buildings. Certainly the red brick and gables of venues like Royal Lytham and Hoylake are impressive. So too is the Art Deco masterpiece of Royal Birkdale. Scotland’s Golf Clubhouses exhibit an eclectic collection of influences in their own right however. Our list is by no means exclusive, nor is it any attempt to rank them. Hopefully it serves to show you the variety that exists in Scotland, and also highlight how modern design paradigms are also being introduced


Situated on a lakeside estate that used to be home to the Colquhouns, a Highland Scottish clan, LOCH LOMOND’S clubhouse is built of local pink and yellow sandstones—some of which had been salvaged from the clan’s 18th-century Georgian-style Rossdhu Mansion. In terms of elegance, the aristocratic splendour of Loch Lomond’s Rossdhu House, probably sets the gold standard in Scotland. The medieval Rossdhu Castle was completed in 1457 for Sir John Colquhoun. The castle was ruined in a fire post 1773 and the remains can be seen behind the 18th green of the golf course. The mansion is now the clubhouse for the prestigious Loch Lomond Golf Club.

Another outstanding candidate would be Prestongrange House, the home of the ROYAL MUSSELBURGH Club about 20 miles east of Edinburgh. The Norman family, de Quincy, had the estate of Prestongrange until they supported the losing side in the run-up to Bannockburn. it then went to the Abbey of Newbattle and, in turn, to the families of Kerr, Morrison, and Grant. The house has, as its core, a Norman tower, added to and converted into a mansion. It’s distinctive pinkish sandstone and turreted roofs and towers lend it more than just hint of Glamis Castle.


MUIRFIELD’S clubhouse dates to 1891. With the passage of time, modifications were introduced along with subsequent extensions. The clubhouse with its characteristic red roof and gables now harmonises well with both the landscape and the buildings on either side. It sits behind the 18th green as one of the more iconic images in world championship golf and of the most recognisable of Scotland’s Golf Clubhouses.

ROYAL BURGESS with its white stone, black wood beams, and gabling is something of a gem. The design oozes class and heritage as is befitting for the world’s oldest golf club (1735)


NORTH BERWICK sits in the shadow of ‘Berwick Law’ (a conical hill). Houses were built at its foot, and to a large extent these have determined how the clubhouse evolved. It is perhaps one of the most human in Scotland in so much as it integrates with the surrounding built environment. It has a distinctly residential feel about it. The clubhouse was refurbished in 2008, and does actually have a genuine sense of ‘Scottishness’ about it.

PRESTWICK’S clubhouse is delightful for the glimpse it offers into golf’s past. Guided tours are actively encouraged to take-in the highlights of the early days of the Open Championship as well as the club’s rich history and its links with the Morris family. For lovers of the game, this is where golf’s myths and legends come to life at it has to rate as one of the most interesting amongst Scotland’s Golf Clubhouses.

ROYAL TROON resembles Prestwick in design. It doesn’t make a grandiose statement with extravagant exterior decor. As the game of golf evolved, gentle and subtle changes have been made to accommodate the golfer of the present generation. In the early part of 1970s the Ailsa Room was erected and extended in 2006 .

The clubhouse dates to the 1870’s. At that time it was a wooden structure, little more than 300 square feet in area, but it was an improvement on the Club’s first home which was a converted railway carriage. As the popularity game increased, it was considered fitting to erect a stone built property and in 1886 the first stage of the present Clubhouse was completed. Two major extensions were completed before 1900 incorporating the Smoke Room and the magnificent Dining Room, both of which to this day contain many of the original features.


CASTLE STUART focused on the challenge of presenting a wide panoramic view along the Moray Firth to those within the building for their maximum pleasure (banner image at top of page). The architecture would focus on bringing the surrounding panoramic beauty to the interior. The clubhouse overlooks the 18th and 9th greens whilst also offering commanding 360 degree views across the whole course. With it white stone and copious use of big bay glass windows the influence of Royal Birkdale is detectable in this most modern of Scotland’s Golf Clubhouses

The conversation about an Art Deco clubhouse dates back more than ten years to when one was considered for Kingsbarns. On that occasion however, the design team backed off and a more traditional approach sympathetic to the architecture of the surrounding estate was eventually chosen, albeit the traditional stone building was sited in the centre of the course with a top floor lounge and viewing decks. Roy Malcolm and Mark Parsinen still wanted to do an Art Deco clubhouse though you feel. At Castle Stuart they got their chance again. Subsequent discussions centred on ‘arrival’ and ‘release’ which meant a design that permitted views in the ‘circular drum’.

Traditionally there has been a tendency towards making an architectural statement with the clubhouse design. Orthodoxy dictated that a commanding building overlooked the 18th green. Like Castle Stuart, the ST ANDREWS CASTLE COURSE
ripped this up and placed the clubhouse in the centre of the course. The genius lies in the symbiosis of course and landscape, the clubhouse blends into the terrain


PANMURE’S clubhouse is possibly one of the more architecturally eccentric. The Clubhouse is one of the finest old golf buildings in Scotland. Its unique and delightful lounges are full of character. The reason it hints at something exotic is because it draws heavily from India and the days when the jute industry brought the fortunes of the Tay and Hooghly rivers together. Inside, beech panelling and carved oak fireplaces make for a time-honoured and welcoming retreat to relax in.

When it comes to white stone Art Deco buildings from the period, Royal Birkdale’s magnificent example with its big bay windows sets the standard. MUSSELBURGH’S contribution dates from 1938 and is at least authentic, even if we’d have to concede that it isn’t as grand as that of the Southport links used for the Open Championship


The watchword here is probably drama. OLD MORAY put its clubhouse on the edge of the Lossiemouth (very similar to the R&A’s headquarters at St Andrews. Like the 18th on the Old Course, a series of houses to your right lead you back into the town. There can be few better places to watch golfer’s coming home than with some suitable refreshment looking down on the closing green, than the Moray Old Course

So where is the ST ANDREWS OLD COURSE in our list of clubhouses you might be asking by now? The magnificent neo-classical building (1854) that overlooks the 18th green is perhaps the most iconic in golf. Well in truth we’re a bit conflicted about its status. It is the clubhouse of the R&A at one level, well it could certainly pass the threshold of private club anyway, but for functional purposes it tends to be the administrative headquarters. The actual clubhouse for a vast majority of players is a modern building close to the second tee