There are many reasons to visit Scotland for a golf holiday. Not least of which is the fact that it was the birthplace of the game and therefore is home to some of the most traditional courses where we can enjoy golf in its purest form. There are many other reasons which make Scotland the perfect place for a golf break so Your Golf Travel brings you the A to Z of golf in Scotland.
A – Atmosphere
From links courses where you are battered by howling winds and the sound of the waves crashing into craggy coastlines to the peaceful seclusion of highland gems; Scottish golf courses provide an ambience that few others can muster.
B – Barry Burn
The water that winds its way across the 17th and 18th at Carnoustie is the finest, best-known and thoroughly terrifying feature in all of the game.
C – Carnoustie
The Championship Course at Carnoustie is widely regarded as one of the most difficult courses in the world. This renowned layout is protected by mind boggling undulations and devilish pot bunkers. When the weather is rough this course can bring even the best golfers to their knees.
D – Duel in the Sun
The battle between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson during the 1977 Open at Turnberry has gone down as one of the finest displays in golf history. With two of the games greats strutting their stuff on a sun kissed Scottish gem, golf just doesn’t get any better.
E – Epitome of Golf
Scotland is the birthplace of golf and offers golf in its purest form to the masses. Scottish courses are truly at the pinnacle of the game.
F – Fun
While sampling the joys of Scottish golf, remember that the golf is just a game. Be sure to have fun and soak up all that Scotland has to offer. The challenges that links courses will provide and the beauty of the highlands will make it hard not to do so.
G – Gleneagles
Home to three of the finest courses in the UK, Gleneagles provides golfers with ample opportunity to sample the best Scotland has to offer. Perhaps these courses are the most famous inland courses that can be found at the Home of Golf.
H – Home of Golf
Stick and ball games had been around for centuries before golf in its current form was invented. Scotland though, can clearly lay claim golf as we know it today, played over 18 holes.
I – Inland Classics
Links golf is not all that Scotland has to offer. Move away from the coast and you will still be in the midst of an amazing array of top notch courses. Gleneagles, Spey Valley and Blairgowrie are just the tip of the ice berg.
It may seem strange to include a Frenchman in the A to Z of Scottish golf but he and Carnoustie provided us with one of golf’s most iconic moments. The aforementioned Carnoustie and Barry Burn conspired against poor old Jean and provided golf fans all over the world with an advert for the perils that can face golfers in Scotland! Poor old Jean Van de Velde had a three shot lead coming up the last hole of the 1999 Open and should have played the 18th the way the course and conditions demanded. He didn’t…and he suffered a harsh lesson in what classic Scottish links courses can do if you make the slightest mistake.
K – Kingsbarns
Golf was resurrected at the Kingsbarns Links at the start of the 21st Century. Kingsbarns is the only course to be built on Scottish links land in the over 70 years and this young Kyle Phillips layout provides golfers with 18 stunning and challenging holes. Phillips may be American, but he clearly understands what it takes to create a classic Scottish links. It is hard to choose a signature hole, such is the quality of each and every hole, but there are two that stand out. The par 3 15th is already considered one of the best short holes in the world and the tee shot over the crashing waves and beach rocks will certainly test your bottle. The par 5 12th hugs the rugged coastline and it is perhaps foolish to go for the green in two, but when in Rome…
The links courses in Scotland are perhaps what the home of golf is most famous for. For sheer quantity and quality Scotland is unrivalled in the golfing world when it comes to the sandy turf of the links!
M – Monty
A son of Scotland, Colin Montgomerie has enjoyed almost unrivalled success on the European Tour. He spent an impressive 400 consecutive weeks in the world top ten and has won a record eight European order of merit titles; seven of which were consecutive. Monty has also enjoyed an impressive Ryder Cup career both as a player and as a captain.
N – Nineteenth Hole
After a day of battling the elements on the devilish links and highland layouts, is there a better way to unwind than to shoot the breeze over a cold pint or a wee Scottish dram at the club’s 19th hole?
O – The Open
The Open is without question the most prestigious championship in golf and Scotland boasts an impressive collection of host courses including, of course, St Andrews; which is synonymous with the Open and has seen a host of legendary champions including Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus.
We all struggle with bunkers from time to time and therefore are fortunate enough not to come face to face with the pot bunkers that are common place on the famous links of Scotland. Be sure to steer clear of these fiendish traps when you visit courses like of Troon and St Andrews because if you find them it is likely you will be forced to play out sideways before advancing your ball further up the hole!
Q – Quality
With five current Open Championship venues and countless lesser known gems, the quality of the golf courses on offer in Scotland is difficult to come by anywhere else in the world.
R – Royal and Ancient
A golf tour of Scotland wouldn’t be complete without paying a visit to the games original governing body, The Royal and Ancient. Thanks for all those pesky rules chaps!
S – St Andrews
Securing a game at St Andrews is more attainable than people think and you simply can’t match the sense of tradition and the feeling that you’re playing a very special course that you get at The Home of Golf.
T – Tradition
Scotland is home to the oldest courses in the world and was the birthplace of the modern game of golf. Scotland has paved the way for modern golf clubs and balls, provided the first 18 hole layouts and rationalised the rules of the modern game. It doesn’t get any more traditional than that!
U – Unsung Heroes
Understandably, Scotland is famous for its classic links layouts but it would be foolish to assume that is all that the home of golf has to offer! Head inland and you will surely stumble upon countless hidden gems that are the unsung heroes of Scottish golf. Look out for Glasgow Gailes and the Boat of Garten Golf Club. There are also lesser known links courses to sample including Craigielaw.
V – Value for Money
It will probably surprise you to learn that the average price for a round of golf in Scotland is just £40! Considering the quality and quantity of the historic courses on offer in Scotland you will be hard pressed to find a better value destination for a golf holiday.
W – Washout
A large proportion of club golfers wouldn’t argue if they were slapped with the label of fair-weather players. Considering the importance of the weather conditions to traditional Scottish golf courses we would urge you to put on a brave face and meet the challenge head on if the weather takes a turn for the worse!
X – X Factor
This is linked to many of the aspects we have already highlighted that make Scottish golf so special. There are many intangible factors that make Scotland a heavy hitter in the golfing world; not least of which is the history and tradition surrounding countless Scottish courses. You definitely get the sense that you’re playing somewhere special when on a golf break in Scotland.
Y – Yellow Heather
A common feature on many Scottish links and indeed highland courses is the gorgeous yellow heather that lies in wait for any stray golf balls. If you thought hitting a ball into the trees was bad then just you wait! Along with the gorse and pot bunkers, the yellow heather provides Scottish courses with a mean defence.
Z – Zzzzzzz…
Any golf tour to Scotland is bound to take its toll. With so many amazing courses on offer you will want to play until you drop. Conveniently, Scotland is also home to countless hotels that provide golfers with the perfect place to catch some Z’s after a long day on the fairways such as the five star Gleneagles hotel or the Fairmont at St Andrews.