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Scotland’s Signature Courses & Notable Short Holes That Shouldn’t Be Missed

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Golf in south west ScotlandSometimes it feels like there are more Golf courses in Scotland in people. This is where golf was born, and the Scottish passion for it is so intense that James II actually had to ban the game by an Act of Parliament in 1457. It didn’t work and now five and a half centuries later, there are 578 golf courses in the country.

Here are some key highlights for every traveller’s hit list:

Signature courses

  • Old Course, St. Andrews: This is the Mecca to which every golfer aspires to visit (and tee off, of course) at least once in his/her lifetime.
  • Muirfield: Located in Edinburgh, this is the home of the world’s oldest golf club. If there are no hidden dangers at St. Andrews, the opposite holds true here. Not because the dangers are hidden, but because they are in plain view for everyone to see. This course is the ultimate test for any golfer.
  • Trump Turnberry, Ailsa: Although it is famous for being where Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson battled out their Duel in the Sun for the 1977 Open Championship, the views are exemplary and that’s what makes this 18-hole course a must-visit if you are ever in Scotland.
  • Royal Troon: The back nine holes are as demanding as in any championship golf course. Which is perhaps why it has been chosen to host the 2016 Open championship. It overlooks the sea, but the 18-hole course with its uneven dunes is intimidating rather than pleasing on the eyes. Is there any reason for you to come here? If you love a good, nay great, challenge, then definitely yes.
  • Gleneagles: The 2014 Ryder Cup was hosted here on a PGA Centenary Course that was specially designed by Jack Nicklaus.
  • Carnoustie: It has hosted seven Open Championships, one Seniors Open and a Ladies Open. The view is great, no matter whichever time of the day you are teeing off (the experience is different at various times of the day), and the course is challenging enough for that perfect blend of leisure and sport.

Notable short holes in Scotland

  • The 4th at Cruden Bay: The name seems to lend itself rightly to the hole. ‘Crude’ is a very apt adjective that no one would disagree with.
  • Balgownie Links, Royal Aberdeen Golf Course: It was here in 1783 that the rule of allowing only five minutes to look for a lost ball was established. Good luck. You are going to need it if your ball gets lost in the modern-day course designed by James Braid. The finest of the first nine holes in golf can be found here.
  • Redan, North Berwick Golf Club: This is a hole which came into being after the sea receded. The ridges add to the challenge and it is doubtful that you would forget teeing off here.
  • Blair Atholl: There is the Blair Castle in the background, which gives you a feeling of how the game was played centuries ago.

For more information about Scotland’s courses, get in touch with us. We can tell you everything, down to the last hole, about every course. You can then choose at which courses/holes you would like to enjoy your game and we would be happy to put together a custom-designed Scottish golf tour that is just for you.