The top 18 courses in Scotland
We love to look at what people think about the golf in Scotland. OK there is the obvious courses to revere like St Andrews Old Course, but there is a cornucopia of treasures to be found not too far away. Here we give you the top 18 – OK you may have different idea’s but see if your list matches. If you want to see some sample Scotland golf tours that we can arrange for you click here. You will not be disappointed – after all AGS is value driven, tailored for you… always memorable!
1. Royal Dornoch
It’s the timeless setting that makes Royal Dornoch such a pleasing place to play golf. It’s wild, isolated and, at the same time, absolutely beautiful; there’s the blaze of colour in early summer when the gorse is in flower.
2. Royal Troon (Old)
One of the great links courses in Scotland, the Old Course is a challenging test of golfing ability. With the wind to contend with, and deep rough interspersed with gorse and broom, accurate shot making is essential.
3. St. Andrews (Old Course)
Where in the world can you walk in the spike marks of every legendary figure to have played the game. Augusta National is rightfully hallowed, but Bobby Jones himself said that if he had to play only one course for the rest of his days he’d grow old on the Old Course.
The course has hosted 15 British Opens, most recently in 2002, when Ernie Els was champion. Although it’s private, tee times are available with advance planning.
5. Turnberry (Ailsa)
The Ailsa course may lack the natural contours of other British Open rotation links, but it’s easy to understand why: During World War II, 18-inch-thick concrete was poured over parts of the layout for use as runways.
6. Carnoustie (Championship)
‘Tis nae wind, nae golf, the Scots like to say. That’s seldom a concern at Carnoustie, where there’s always wind. But needless to say this is a stunning golf course an challenge.
A considerable amount of dirt was moved to create this links-style course, it looks as if it has always been there. Kingsbarns was built by American developers and an American architect about six miles from St. Andrews.
8. Loch Lomond
Host of the Scottish Open held a week before the Open Championship. The 7,100 yard 18-hole golf course was designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish.
9. Cruden Bay
This classic course offers one wild links hole after another, including the difficult par-4 14th with its amazing funnel-shaped green.
Machrihanish Golf Club is a links course set in the sandy dunes of western Scotland. A 6,225-yard par-70 layout, the combination of winds off the Atlantic Ocean, fescue grasses and cavernous pot bunkers make this course both beautiful and challenging.
11. North Berwick (West)
The West course, an ancient Scottish configuration, may be exceeded only by Prestwick among the classic courses of the U.K., but few layouts have been more influential — or fun to play.
12. Western Gailes
A well-balanced links crossed by three burns, its higher holes offering impressive views of the Firth of Clyde and the ragged peaks of Arran. Like many of Scotland’s older links, the course is wedged between the sea and a railway. Constant changes in direction invite the wind from all angles. The greens at Western Gailes, imaginatively contoured and demanding careful approach, are among the finest in Scotland.
13. Royal Aberdeen (Balgonrie)
A traditional old Scottish links, it is well-bunkered with undulating fairways. It has an excellent balance of holes, strong par 4’s, tricky par 3’s and two classic par 5’s, with the 8th (signature hole) protected by nine bunkers.
The courses in the southwest of Scotland range from classic Open venues to one of the game’s most lovable dowagers, Prestwick, a priceless antique and birthplace of the Open Championship (1860). Prestwick hosted its last professional event in 1925, the same year competitors grumbled that success here depended a wee bit too heavily on the rub of the green. But for antiquarians with a sense of humor, this throwback of a links, sandwiched between the seashore and a railway line, has giddy surprises in store. Take, for example, the par-five third hole and its infamous Cardinal bunker. The fairway, incongruously, stops abruptly in front of a bunker big enough to sleep a brontosaurus. An elevated section of fairway, propped up by blackened timbers, swings sharply to the right above the sand pit. Forget your instincts. Follow your caddie’s instructions to the letter.
15. Gullane (No. 1)
Gullane offers a unique range of golfing experiences for members and visitors alike, combining a major role in the history of golf in Scotland, great golfing conditions, and a truly spectacular environment.
16. Gleneagles (Kings)
The King’s Course, opened in 1919, is a masterpiece of golf course design, which has tested the aristocracy of golf, both professional and amateur. James Braid’s plan for the King’s Course was to test even the best players’ shot-making skills over the eighteen holes.
Nestling on the shores of the Moray Firth this Traditional Scottish Golf Links Course was created from a Highland wilderness of gorse and heather, and tests the talents of professional and amateur alike. Founded in 1887, it is now one of the best courses in Scotland, and has hosted a large number of important championships.
18. St. Andrews (New)
The oldest ‘new’ course in the world, the second course at the Home of Golf was built by the Keeper of the Green Tom Morris in 1895 and it was imaginatively named to differentiate from its famous neighbour. Boasting undulating fairways and challenging greens, the New Course is a classic test of Links golf.