Golf Vacations in Scotland
For any golfer who has fallen in love with the game of golf, a trip to play the famous ‘Links Courses’ of Scotland must be scheduled in at some point during their lifetime.
Links golf is simply the purest form of the game and Scotland is home to some of the most famous links courses in the world; the Old Course at St. Andrew’s, Royal Troon, Muirfield, Turnberry, Carnoustie, Royal Dornoch, to name just a few and will always be considered the ‘must play’ courses.
However, what separates Scotland out from any other country in the world when it comes to links golf is there are so many courses less well known but in many cases definitely the equal of their more illustrious cousins like: North Berwick, Western Gailes, Machrihanish, Crail, Elie, Panmure, Murcar and Brora to enjoy. Quite literally, there are around a 100 links courses to discover and you will find yourself drifting back to play as many as you can during your golfing life. There are three main areas for golf in Scotland; the west coast which stretches from Irvine down to Turnberry and within this area the more famous courses include; Prestwick, Turnberry and Royal Troon. These three courses have played host to the British Open when it is played in Scotland, albeit the last time an Open Championship was played at Prestwick was back in 1925.
The next major area is the east coast, approximately a 2 ½ hour ride across the country to East Lothian and Fife. Approximately 20 miles east of Edinburgh the East Lothian coastline is home to The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, or more simply known as Muirfield, as well as terrific links courses such as Gullane, North Berwick, Luffness New and Dunbar. St Andrews may be just to the north of East Lothian, but it's a two hour ride around Edinburgh and across the Firth of Forth into the county of Fife and is considered by many as ‘the home of golf’. There are several courses in the town of St Andrews which include the Old, New, Jubilee, Eden and Castle Courses and don’t be fooled by the New Course as it was built way back in 1895 by Old Tom Morris! It is the last recognised links golf course in the world that still has the original Old Tom Morris greens.
Just along the coast is Kingsbarns Golf Links opened in July 2000 with the mighty Carnoustie a 50 minute ride north of St. Andrews. If there was ever a course to test every level of your golfing ability, it will be Carnoustie or maybe the recent tag of ’Carnasty’ is more suitable!
Further North, Aberdeen and the Highlands are the next major golfing areas. Probably the most famous course in the Highlands will be Royal Dornoch but these days with new courses built over the past few years, Castle Stuart and Trump International, this area can now comfortably offer a terrific trip for 6/7 days for you to consider for your next golfing trip, especially when you add in wonderful courses like Nairn, Cruden Bay and Royal Aberdeen - venue to the Walker Cup in 2011.
We have put together several sample itineraries for you to browse over, but would encourage you to maybe include a couple of these hidden gems to get the most out of your golf trip to Scotland. These sample itineraries are intended to let you see what is possible, so the length of stay plus the amount of golf played can of course be changed to suit your group.