Earlsferry Thistle Golf Club instituted 1875.                           "Small Club Big History"

Earlsferry Thistle Golf Club

A warm welcome to the Earlsferry Thistle Golf Club. We are a wee club with a great and proud history. We have been playing as a Club on the Elie Links in the scenic East Neuk of Fife since 1875. Neuk is the Scottish word for corner and here in this part of Fife we enjoy all year round golf on the Links. Closure of the course is a rarity, mats are unheard of and the playing on temporary greens is hardly ever. The setting of the course is by the sea and golfers on it enjoys panoramic views over the Firth of Forth and beyond.

We have a legal agreement with the “Big Club” (Elie Golf House Club) and pay a green fee to enjoy playing rights on the links. We have an all year round fixture list of competitions and play inter club matches. We are limited to a maximum of 60 male members and the Earlsferry Thistle Ladies Club who also use our Clubhouse are limited to 25 lady members.

At the Thistle we enjoy our golf and welcome all fellow golfers to play in our Open that is held in June each year. We currently  have our compliment of  60 full members and we maintain a small waiting list.  We always encourage  potential new members to come along and see what we have to offer.  An  online application form can be accessed  on the membership page.    The  Thistle Ladies Club also welcome new members. Enquiries should be made by e mail and that is  set out on our contacts page.      

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Latest News

Thistle Competitions Update (15 July 2020)

The Thistle Committee have issued the following update in relation to the resumption of Club Competitions:


The Lilburn Cup draw has already been made and 1st round ties should be played no later than 31/07, semi finals by 31/08 and the final by 30/09.

The 1st round of the Presidents Trophy will now be played at 11.00 on Saturday 22nd August 2020. This will also count as the first of two qualifiers for the Club Championship.  The Burgh Medal will also be played for that day.

There will now be no event played on the 29th August 2020.

The 2nd round of the Presidents Trophy will now be played on Saturday 12th September 2020 at 13.10. This will also be the 2nd qualifying round for the Club Championship.  Please note the Club Championship qualifying will be different this year. Only one score from two will count and the top 8 scratch scores will go through to quarter finals to be played by 20th September 2020 and the semi finals to be played by 26th September 2020.  These ties are to be arranged between the 2 opponents.  The final will be played on Sunday 27th September 2020 at 0800 and 1230.

As we missed several Cups earlier this year the plan is to replace any remaining medals with these missed Cup competitions. Details to be advised once agreed.

Sheets for all future fixtures will be posted in the Clubhouse as per our existing process.   The Fixture List on the club web site has also been updated to take account of these changes.  

If you do not feel comfortable to enter the Clubhouse due to COVID 19 please contact Andy Hodge the Handicap Match Convener or a member of the committee who will put your name down on your behalf. 

COVID 19 - we will be organising hand sanitiser and ensuring the Clubhouse is cleaned and adhering to all Government guidelines.

Finally the Dumbarnie date of Sunday 13th September is getting closer!  As we missed our away day this year it has been decided that Dumbarnie will be used to play the Jack McRoberts Cup. There are still places so get your names down to play one of the best courses in Scotland.

The Dykes Cup, which is a Golf House Club competitions which  is open to members of both clubs, is to be played on the 15 August 2020.  

COVID-19 Update (15 July 2020)

Scottish Golf has now published updated guidance for Phase 3 in the relaxtion of the COVID-19 lockdown measures by the Scottish Government.  

Playing golf in Scotland following updated Phase 3 Guidance 

The key changes to golf in Scotland under the consolidated updated Guidance are as follows: 

Tee Times and Access to the Course:

  • Tee-times should be managed and booked in advance – there should be no turn up and play allowed.

  • Daily timesheets and intervals are at the discretion of the golf club – the following groupings will be permitted during Phase 2:
    • Groups of up to four golfers with no restrictions on the number of households represented provided they adhere to the Government’s physical distancing rules.

    • Competition play (club competitions only, no open play permitted) may resume in accordance with the updated guidelines and schedule 1 as attached to this document. Use of digital scorecards must be in accordance with Handicapping Regulations and full compliance is required to permit scores for qualifying purpose.

    Travel restrictions were lifted on 3 July 2020.

    The Golf House Club has issued the following guidance for members playing the course at Elie:

    • Players should only arrive at the first tee ten minutes before their time and leave the course immediately after completion of their game;
    • A queuing system will be in place for the first tee to ensure social distancing;
    • Players must follow all social distancing rules whilst walking over and playing on the course;
    • The course restrictions that were in place immediately pre lockdown will remain. Bunkers will not have rakes, course furniture will be covered up or removed and players must not touch the pin; 
    • Members can now invite guests from outside of their own household; and

    • The oncourse toilet facilities are now open.  There are hand sanitisers fixed to both toilet doors and these MUST be used before touching the entry keypad or any part of the toilet door or handle to ensure infection control. We would also advise using them again on leaving the toilet facilities.

    Tee booking: Times will only be bookable from 8am one week in advance.

    View Scottish Golf's Guidance for the reopening of Phase 3.

    See Link to Scottish Golf Union updates on COVID-19.

    J N Smith and James Braid Open Competition Cancelled 

    Due to the ongoing restrictions on playing golf as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic our Open Competition on 6 June 2020 has been cancelled.  For those who have already paid their entry fee for the competition you have the option to carry forward your payment to next year's Open or to request a refund. If you require a refund, please email with your address and the amount.


    It will be 150 Years on the 6th February 2020 when our most famous member James Braid was born in Earlsferry.

    Made an Honorary Member of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club, St Andrews in 1950 and commemorated in the World Golf Hall of Fame, Pinehurst, USA in 1976 his legacy continues to live on.  Read about his achievements in our James Braid Biography.