The course was initially designed by Willie Park Jnr, one of the founders of golf course architecture. Subsequent revisions by Dr Alistair MacKenzie in 1921-22 and Fred Hawtree between 1972-74 have created a challenging layout of 6,446 yards (Par 71 / SSS 71), that wends between mature trees. The course is characterised by well placed bunkers, mature trees lining the beautifully manicured fairways and undulating greens full of character and deceptive slopes. Extensive practice facilities are also available to both members and visitors. An ongoing programme of green reconstruction to USGA specification has improved both consistency and speed, and with many subtle borrows, a good score at Bruntsfield is always well earned.
The course record of 63 was set by Charlie Simpson in 2009, and equalled later that year by David Donaldson. Both rounds took place in Society competitions.
Bruntsfield has hosted the (British) Seniors Amateur Championship (1988), Scottish Strokeplay Championship (1992), Scottish Mid Amateur Championship (2001), Scottish Youths Championship (1998), (British) Boys Amateur Championship (3 times, most recently in 1975) and Lothians Championship (2006). It has been nominated as a Regional Qualifying course for the 2011 Open Championship.