17 of the Best Scottish Golf Courses

17 of the Best Scottish Golf Courses

The best Scottish golf courses are difficult to narrow down. As the birthplace of the sport, it’s no wonder that some of the world’s top courses can be found in Scotland. From rolling hills and postcard-like scenery to impeccable green and famous courses, Scotland has it all. Planning a trip to this golfer’s paradise? Fantastic, you’re going to want to determine which courses you’ll choose.

The decision won’t be easy, but here are 17 of the best Scottish golf courses to get you started.

New Course at St. Andrews

St. Andrews is one of Scotland’s most famous courses. And, while the old course garners a lot of attention, it’s the new course that is really impressing players. Like the old course, it runs along the coastline, offering sea views and a peak at the steeples jutting from the town below.

The new course is slightly more difficult than the old and it goes clockwise so that much of the challenge is on the left. The course was built in 1895 by Tom Morris, and is a classic links course with challenging green and fairways.

St Andrews

Jubilee Course

Also located at St. Andrews, the Jubilee course is one of Scotland’s favorites. It has a par 72 and is 6742 yards. This third championship course is considered to be one of the most challenging links in the area.

Jubilee was built in 1897 and was originally meant for beginners and women golfers. However, players noticed that its location was prime, and they decided to make it a championship course in 1988.

Golfers play this course in an out-and-back way, although there are no shared fairways or double greens. It’s full of par threes, has gorgeous views of the bay, and offers a landscape with modest dunes. This course has been the home of quite a few amateur championships.

Old Course St. Andrews

And finally, the Old Course at St. Andrews must make the list. It is 6721 yards and has a par 72. This course is the oldest and most famous in the entire world, which makes it a must-visit no matter what. What’s even better is that this Scottish golf course is public so that anyone can have the experience.

Its best-known features are the Hell Bunker, Swilcan Bridge, and the fact that it has double greens. In fact, only four holes have their own green. The course can be played in any direction and it also is home to 112 bunkers, all which have their own history. On Sundays, the course actually shuts down so that it can ‘rest.’ Although sometimes, it is opened as a park area for the public.

Muirfield Gullane

The links here are privately owned and used for The Open Championship on rotation. The course has seen a lot of famous winners like Phil Mickelson, Jack Nicklaus, Henry Cotton, and Ernie Els.

The course sports a links that is a little different from the norm. Instead of the usual layout, Muirfield was the first to establish two loops with nine holes each. One loop is counterclockwise while the other goes clockwise.

This usually means that each hole faces a different wind pattern, which can make the game more challenging. And, this course is home to one of the oldest golf associations in the world, ‘The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers.”

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Royal Dornoch Course

This course is infamous amongst the golf community. Players come from all over the world just to experience it.  In fact, it was voted the best course in Scotland and the 5th best in the world, according to Golfer’s Digest in 2016. It’s a natural links course that is secluded amongst the wild, making it an attractive destination.

The course was founded in 1877 and features white sandy beach as well as plenty of challenges. It’s the third oldest course in the world, and has been the talk of the golfing town well before it was officially established.

The layout is out-and-back, and there are raised dome greens and plenty of par 4s. There is even a long par 4 at the 14th hole that measures nearly 445 yards.

North Berwick West Links 

Golf has been played on this links land since the early 17th century. However, it was in 1832 that the official golf club was created. While there was some dispute about the land in the beginning, the course eventually took shape. Since then, this true links course has been the site of many Championship events. Golfers love the course beach and the challenge that the sea brings in at high tide. There are even walls in the middle of the fairway that make it even more of a challenge.

This course has three holes that are most well known; The 13th ‘Pit,’ the 14th ‘Perfection,’ and the 15th, ‘Redan.’ With the course running along the outskirts of the town, players get to straddle two worlds throughout the game.

Turnberry 

This course is located right on the coastline and is made up of three links courses, a 5-star hotel, and a golf academy. The land was originally used as an airbase during the first world war. After the war ended, the first two courses were built on the property.

During World War II the course was used again for military purposes. However, in 1949, the Ailsa course was constructed here. The Kintyre course was opened in 2001 and the Arran course opened in 2002.

Across the courses, many championships have been won by some of golf’s biggest names like Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. The Ailsa course has been compared to Pebble Beach and many of the holes offer a great view of the famous lighthouse. Visitors can also get a glimpse of the Isle of Arran, right from the course.

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Royal Troon 

This course was founded in 1878. There are actually two courses, but the old is considered the best. It’s a traditional links course that offers one of the most challenging greens in the game. Players will face plenty of wind, gorse, broom, and a deep rough.

In 1923, the old course was redesigned in preparation for the Open Championship.  Some of its noteworthy features include the seaside opening which offers lots of space and two blind tree shots.

The course is also known for its long finish and famous holes. It’s par 3 8th hole is known as one of the best in the world. And, the longest and shortest holes in Open Championship can be found here.

Loch Lomond

This golf course and club are considered to be the most exclusive in all of Scotland. Top golfers fly in from all over the world to get the 5-star treatment at the clubhouse.

This course is full of little surprises like the remains of Rossdhu Castle behind the 8th hole. It’s also located on Loch Lomond National Park, so you can imagine that it’s quite scenic

Prestwick 

Located close to Glasgow, this course is a classic links design. Visitors love the sandy beach features as well as the railroad tracks that run along some of the holes on the course. There is a river that runs through the property which is great for both nature lovers and those who like a challenge.

Players will find sand dunes, blind shots, and some infamous holes like the par 4 17th. Prestwick is like a pilgrimage for golfers who travel far and wide to play on this classic course. With plenty of quirks and tons of charm, this unique course has been deemed one of the best in Scotland.

Gleneagles

The Gleneagles golf courses are considered some of the top in the world.  There are four to choose from and they each offer their own charm. The PGA Centenary course was create by Jack Nicklaus and was once the home of the Ryder Cup in 2014. It’s set in beautiful countryside and offers challenging tees at 6,815 yards as well as 5,322 yards.

The Queen’s course is set amongst beautiful woodlands and has been visited by famous golfers like Johnny Miller and Tom Watson. It’s 3,192 yards long and features challenges like water hazards and ditches.

The King’s Course was built in 1919 and is considered a masterpiece of design.  The views here are stunning with mountain faces, rolling hills, and tall peaks. Be ready for the challenging par 3 at the 5th hole.

Carnoustie Championship Course

This course is considered historic and has been the location for Open Championship rotation. Golf has been played here since the 16th century, and the course went on to host many great players over the years. The green is located along the sea and the course has been voted the most difficult in Ireland and Britain. So, if you’re a newbie to the sport, you may want to save this course for another time.

It is said to have one of the best back nines in the world. And, the last three holes of the course are considered the best closing holes in all of golf. While this course may not be the most scenic, it’s certainly challenging and iconic. Plus, it’s said that every hole here is absolutely unique.

carnoustie

Kingsbarn 

This course was opened in 2000, even though there was a course there before it during the 1700s. The North Sea can be seen from almost every part of the course, which makes it one of the most scenic places to play.

It’s said that Kingsbarn is always in pristine condition and that the hollows and humps make it the perfect challenge. Kingsbarn is also considered one of the true links courses in Scotland. While the course is suitable for golfers of all levels, it still offers the challenges that pros will love.

Cruden Bay  

Seaside holes are part of the charm at this classic course. Visitors love the challenges that arise with the blind shots, deep valleys, and hills. The hills are part of what makes it so challenging, but they are also the feature that makes the course so beautiful.

Visitors will also have fantastic views of Slain Castle while they play on this classic, Scottish course.

Castle Stuart 

Opened in 2009, this course has received incredible views over the past few years. It was the venue for the Scottish Open four different years, which helped the course earn international attention.

Some of its most notable holes are the 18th, par 5 and the short par four 3rd hole. The course is quite wide from the tee but it offers plenty of challenges that even more advanced golfers can appreciate.

Machrihanish Championship Course 

Considerably remote, this old course is both unique and thrilling. The holes are surrounded by authentic, natural scenes and the twists of the course make it quite the challenge.

The course is most loved for its opener which is an icon for its difficulty. Players must take the tee shot which is played across the beach and the ocean.

A visit to this course is more than just a game. It’s a whole new experience.

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Gullane No.1 

This course is one of Scotland’s most charming golf destinations. The terrain is full of rolling green and the collection of bunkers gives golfers the right amount of difficulty to keep things interesting.

The views expand out towards Firth of Forth and all the way to Edinburgh. Players have been hitting the green here since 1884 and the par 5 3rd has built a reputation for being one of the best holes in the world.

Whether amateur or veteran, any golfer can come and enjoy this classic, Scottish course. 

Scotland is the birthplace of golf, and anyone serious about the sport should experience the courses there. Whether you want tried and tested golf resorts or some off-the-beaten-path gems, you’ll be sure to find it in this lush country.  

If you are planning a golf holiday in Scotland, make sure to add a few of these courses to your itinerary. And, if you can’t make them all in one trip, you’ll just have an excuse to return next year.

Happy Golfing!

Inspiration for 2018 – Long Haul

This week’s blog is a guide to some of our best long-haul golf holidays which would be perfect for you to book now to enjoy this year. With a lack of vitamin D available right now in the UK, it is time to start thinking about where your next golf escape will be to and one of these brilliant hotels is the perfect retreat from the bad weather and into the sun…

First up we have the Arabella Hotel and Spa which boasts a fantastic location in the Cape Provinces overlooking a beautiful lagoon and surrounded by stunning lush landscape. The hotel boasts an excellent design where the classic elegance of old world style is mixed with the modern design trends and everything is very luxurious form the service to the spa to the dining options. Whilst you are here, spend time rejuvenating in the Arabella Spa which boasts everything you could need to feel completely relaxed including a sauna, a pool and an extensive list of beauty and massage treatments to choose from. If you are looking to be active, there is a fully-equipped gym and some tennis courts to play on and of course, there is the award-winning golf course onsite. After a day exploring the local area or relaxing within the hotel and playing a round of excellent golf, you can enjoy delicious cuisine and relaxing bars within the hotel that each boast stunning views. This is the perfect destination for your next golf break and it isn’t hard to see why…

Situated just six minutes’ walk from the longest stretch of white sandy beach in the stunning Belle Mare region of Mauritius is the five-star Long Beach Golf and Spa Resort. This hotel boasts excellent views and a stunning surrounding landscape comprising of a tropical lagoon with a beautiful coral landscape perfect for snorkelling and exploring! Whilst you are here, you can enjoy having three outdoor pools, an extensive spa as well as a modern fitness centre and other activities onsite including tennis, windsurfing and snorkelling in the lagoon. You are just 15 minutes’ drive from the centre of Flacq and 30 minutes’ from the brilliant Ile Aux Cerfs Golf Club and many of our packages include free golf transfers to both this course and Anahita Golf Course. Enjoy dining in one of the five restaurants which all serve delicious cuisine which has been created using fresh and seasonal ingredients before enjoying a post-dinner drink out on the terrace. This is a fantastically luxurious hotel with all of the amenities that you would want or need to have the perfect long haul golf escape.

The five-star Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel and Resort boasts an excellent location sat right on the trendy Leblon Beach in Rio’s South Zone. Whilst you are not spending time on this beautiful beach, you can relax around the pool area that has been newly designed and features a lush tropical landscape as well as a Jacuzzi which faces the brilliant ocean. Whilst you are not out playing golf or relaxing by the beach or pool, you can relax in the Shine Spa or workout in the fully-equipped gym. There are excellent dining options within the hotel as by the pool you can enjoy Casarao Restaurant where you can access a buffet at lunch but brilliant cuts of meat during dinner whilst enjoying a lovely, casual atmosphere. Alternatively, by the pool area, there is the Casa de Cachaca where you can get some great snacks and drink some classic cocktails. Within the hotel, there is the Bene Restaurant which serves delicious Italian cuisine and boasts a Dry Martini Bar and then, on the 26th floor, you can find L’Etoile which boasts panoramic views from the dining area and superb French food. With so much to do, see, eat and drink both at the hotel and within the local area, it is no surprise that we are highly recommending the Sheraton Grand Rio Hotel and Resort as your next golf break in 2018…

Last, but certainly not least, is Hyatt House Hotel which is located just five minutes’ walk from the beautiful Old Town Scottsdale. The hotel boasts a year-round outdoor swimming pool as well as a fully-equipped fitness centre for you to enjoy during your stay here. Each of the rooms is fully air-conditioned and spacious with both a seating area, dining area as well as a fully-fitted kitchen. There are other welcome amenities as well including a work desk, a and a flat-screen cable TV. There is a brilliant restaurant onsite and where you can be served breakfast, lunch and dinner but of course, as you are so close to the centre of Scottsdale, you can venture out to find many brilliant restaurants and bars to enjoy! There are many different golf courses in the local area which you can reach easily including: Talking Stick Golf Club, Las Sendas Golf Club, McCormick Ranch and McDowell Mountain. This is a great little hotel which boasts excellent facilities and the facilities for you to enjoy self-catering in your suites. Hyatt House Hotel is a brilliant destination for your next golf break to South Africa where you can find plenty of great golf, service and amenities.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and no matter where you are planning your next golf break to be, that you give us a call to see what we can offer you!

Inspiration for 2018 – Europe

This week’s blog is a guide to some of the best hotels, golf courses and areas that there are on offer in Europe. We are almost halfway through January and it is time to start thinking about where your golf escape will be this year. Europe is a great place to go for your golf break with it not being too far but you can still be guaranteed of certain temperatures and climates dependent on what time of year you go which is very different from staying in the UK.

The Hotel Tivoli Carvoeiro is a fantastic five-star hotel which is situated in an idyllic location just 10 minutes’ walk from the beautiful town of Carvoeiro and overlooking the Vale Covo Beach. Each of the rooms is spacious and is decorated with an elegant contemporary design and fitted with all of the amenities that you would expect from a hotel of this standard including air conditioning, a minibar, WiFi and a TV. Although you are within such close distance of Carvoeiro where there are many bars, restaurants and shops to explore, the hotel boasts two of its own restaurants. One of the restaurants specialises in Portuguese cuisine and the “Mare Bistro” serves the freshest catch of the day every day. Whilst you are not out playing on the several golf courses that are nearby – Alamos, Morgado and Salgados, you can spend time relaxing by the hotel’s outdoor pool, venture into Carvoeiro or spend time relaxing at the Tivoli Spa. This is an excellent hotel which boasts everything that you could possibly need for a great golf break to the Algarve whether it be for a trip with a partner, friends or family.

The luxurious four-star Melia Marbella Banus is up next as a suggestion and it isn’t hard to see why. Whilst staying here, you are just one minutes’ walk from the beach and the hotel also boasts other leisure facilities including three outdoor pools, a spa which is fully equipped with a sauna, Turkish bath and hot tub as well as tennis and paddle tennis courts. Each of the 200 modern guest rooms is fully-fitted with air conditioning, a satellite TV and a private balcony from which you can enjoy beautiful views over the hotel’s surroundings. There are two excellent restaurants within the hotel which serve a wide range of different cuisines so that everyone can find something to eat and afterwards you can relax in one of the bars. As you are situated in the heart of Puerto Banus here, you will never struggle to find somewhere great to eat, drink or explore during the day or in the evenings. This is an excellent hotel and one that should be on your radar for 2018, especially as there are so many golf courses within the local area for you to play like Los Naranjos, Atalaya Old, El Paraiso, Rio Real and Santa Clara.

If you are looking for a spectacular golf course to play in 2018 then look no further than the great Crete Golf Club. The course was designed by the highly acclaimed Bob Hunt and the beautiful course is situated in a perfect location in Hersonissos which is on the outskirts of the bustling resort of Malia. With the Mediterranean landscape as its backdrop as well as the year-long warm climate and excellent facilities, it is no surprise that we are highly recommending this course for you to play this year. There is a wide range of different holes with different lengths that you will need to tackle successfully in order to score well including some technically challenging short holes and some very long power play holes. You will wind your way through rocks and ravines and get to look at some truly magnificent views of the coast and nearby mountains as you go. There is no doubt that this is an excellent course and one that is well worth a visit and if you stay at the brilliant Ikaros Beach Luxury Resort and Spa which is a five-star luxury hotel located directly on the beach then you have easy access to Crete Golf Club as it is under 20 minutes’ away.

Costa Navarino is the perfect destination for a golf holiday and it isn’t hard to see why it is on our list of recommendations when you learn that it is home to the luxurious five-star hotel as well as some of the most beautiful beaches and superb golf courses. You can reach the resort of Costa Navarino in under an hour’s drive from Kalamata International Airport where it lies in Messinia. If you choose to stay at The Westin Resort then you can enjoy a very luxurious stay with al fresco lunches, poolside refreshments and delicious cocktails in the evenings as well as many different leisure facilities including the Anazoe Spa and Thalassotherapy with an indoor pool. There are also some fantastic restaurants and bars including the Morais Restaurant and the 1827 Lounge and Bar which serves a range of aromatic teas (as well as many stronger beverages!). The on-site Dunes Golf Course is situated close to the sea and boasts a links-like feel and as you venture further inland on the course you can experience a typical Greek landscape with olive and citrus groves. The course can present golfers of all abilities with a challenge with its large undulating greens and steep bunkers that you must avoid! This is a fantastic resort regardless of which hotel and golf courses you choose to sample…

Last, but certainly not least, is the Il Picciolo Etna Golf Resort and Spa which is a lovely four-star hotel situated right at the foot of the volcano within the Mount Etna Nature Park. Whilst you are here, you can spend time soaking up the scenery with walks and exploring as you will get to see unforgettable views and scenery with vineyards, orchards and Mediterranean vegetation as well as the stunning beaches and ancient Greek ruins which are nearby. As you are located so far above sea level here (2,133 feet to be exact) there is a pleasant and cool breeze almost all year round. Whilst you are staying here, you can enjoy spending time at the wellness centre with its large swimming pool, sauna and other wellness amenities. There is so much for everyone to do here including exploring the Mount Etna National Park, trekking, mountain biking and wine vineyard tours but the best thing to do is play the excellent Il Picciolo Golf Club. The Il Picciolo Golf Club is an exciting golf course located within the Mount Etna National Park and the course winds its way through a mass of oak trees, vineyards and hazelnut trees as well as ancient lava flows which have been carved out by Mount Etna. This is an excellent hotel and golf club combination and one that you mustn’t miss out on this year.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and that it has sparked your interest for some of the brilliant hotels, courses and resorts that are on offer right now…

Inspiration for 2018 – UK

This week’s blog is on a fantastic golf tour within the UK and should be your inspiration for 2018. Not only are we now offering tours in different counties within the UK and Ireland but there are so many brilliant luxurious hotels and golf courses that you can find and book on our website that are perfect for your 2018 golf holiday.

 

If you are looking for a great golf break in Sussex then our Sussex Tour offers you the chance to stay at the fantastic four-star Ashdown Park Hotel which is a luxurious country house that boasts award-winning dining experiences and an outstanding spa and country club. You can walk from the main building to The Country Club and Spa where you can find the comfy Fairway Lounge to relax in and have a bite to eat or the spa which boasts a large indoor swimming pool, a sauna, a steam room and a Jacuzzi and you can enjoy a range of different health and beauty treatments here as well. Each of the rooms boasts free Molton Brown toiletries, a satellite TV and have stunning views across the hotel’s surroundings. Whilst you are staying at the Ashdown Park Hotel, you can play three fantastic golf courses which are in the local area: Piltdown Golf Club, Crowborough Beacon Golf Club and the Royal Ashdown Forest West Course. These are all exciting courses that will complete your stay and your Sussex Tour at this luxurious hotel.

The four-star Forest of Arden Marriott Hotel and Country Club is just under four miles from Birmingham Airport and boasts extensive leisure facilities and very spacious rooms for you to relax in. The hotel features a spa Cedarwood Spa as well as a fitness centre and a pool complex, all of which you can enjoy whilst you are not playing a round on either of the Forest of Arden courses(Aylesford & Championship). Within the local area, there is the famous Bullring shopping centre which is in Birmingham’s city centre as well as the NEC complex. There are 36-holes of outstanding golf here, one of the courses has been used in the past for both the English Open and the British Masters so make sure that you come and see why this is a great hotel with some very special golf.

Situated in the beautiful county of Hampshire is the four-star Sandford Springs Hotel and Golf Club which boasts three different 9-hole golf courses which means that you can play a different 18-holes of golf up to three times! Whilst you are here and not on the golf course, you can enjoy a massage for a small extra charge, enjoy walking through the hotel’s grounds or spend time exploring the local area. This small but elegant and luxurious hotel is situated halfway between Newbury and Basingstoke and offers guests a chance to stay in a luxurious setting in the countryside but close to some exciting and vibrant cities and towns that you can explore. Every morning, breakfast is served in your room and you can enjoy your other meals in the clubhouse’s Kingsclere Bar and Restaurant which overlooks the course offering stunning views whilst you eat. With excellent golf, great location and elegant accommodation this is the perfect choice for your next golf holiday within the UK.

Set in the Cheshire countryside is the four-star Macdonald Portal Hotel, Golf and Spa. Each of the rooms within the hotel boast spacious ensuite bathrooms with large bathtubs and walk-in showers, there are also many luxury facilities and amenities in the bedrooms including a flat-screen TV and a minibar. From some of the rooms, you can look out onto the rolling hills beyond the hotel and the golf course. There are two brilliant golf courses for you to play when you stay at the fantastic Macdonald Portal Hotel, the Championship Course and the Premier Course are both situated at the Macdonald Portal Hotel and both of them offer every golfer an enjoyable and challenging round of golf. Whilst you are not playing golf, you can enjoy the extensive spa facilities where there is an indoor pool, a range of different health and beauty treatments available as well as a fully-equipped gym and salt and ice rooms. The dining options within the hotel are also outstanding, you can enjoy a steak in the award-winning Scottish Steakhouse or delicious and organic food within the Ranulf Restaurant. With brilliant golf, beautiful surroundings to explore as well as all of the brilliant facilities and restaurants here, it is no surprise that this is one of our top suggestions for your 2018 UK golf break.

Last, but certainly not least, if you are looking for five-star luxury and to stay in a prestigious hotel and play outstanding golf then there is nowhere better than the Gleneagles Hotel. This prestigious resort is set right in the heart of Scotland and offers 232 individually designed rooms which are all fitted with the amenities and facilities expected of a hotel of this rating. Whilst you are here, you can dine in the only two Michelin Star restaurant in the whole of Scotland and enjoy golf on the three different championship courses: PGA Centenary Course, The Kings Course and The Queens Course. Whether all of your group are going to play golf or not, everyone can appreciate the masterpiece which is the Gleneagles Resort and there are many other facilities and amenities for non-golfers to enjoy including horse-riding and the extensive spa and fitness facilities where you can find two swimming pools, a sauna, a steam room, an outdoor hot tub and a fully-equipped gymnasium. This is a fantastic and luxurious hotel where you can expect the highest service from all of the staff members as well as brilliant facilities, golf, rooms and dining options.

We hope that you have enjoyed this week’s blog and have taken a note of some of these brilliant hotels and their courses that you could be enjoying soon…