Golf in Scotland is an impossible dream … the cost of crossing the Atlantic for a one week tour in the Home of Golf is just too expensive. Or so we’re told. But one of the great things about golf in Scotland is the exceptional value of some of our most enjoyable courses.
College Links Golf is committed to providing tours that meet the budget of any program. Our $2k Tour was created to show that it’s possible to bring a team for a week’s golf in summer for just $2,000 per head*. The courses we’ve chosen may not have a high profile but ask any Scot and they’ll tell you we’ve selected some of the best courses in the country; places where players will experience a pure form of links golf and receive the warmest of welcomes from club staff and fellow golfers. All have hosted final qualifying for Open Championships at either Royal Troon or Turnberry as well as some of the most prestigious events in the UK amateur circuit.
Our $2k Tour is based on the Ayrshire Coast, a remarkable strip of golfing country where course after course runs together along the shore. Our accommodation will be in the quiet town of Ayr, which boasts a great variety of shops, cafes and restaurants and is famed as the birthplace of Robert Burns, Scotland’s national poet.
Interested? Read on!
Day One: Arrival
A College Links representative will meet you at either Glasgow or Edinburgh International Airports (see ‘travel notes’ at the foot of the page) and transfer your group to the Ayrshire coast. You’ll have a chance to check into your chosen accommodation and freshen up. There’s a chance to explore the attractions of Ayr or, if any members of the tour party would like to work on their game, we can arrange for practice facilities at a local course to be made available.
Day Two: Dundonald Links, par 72, 7,100 yards
Dundonald Links opened in 2004 and has matured into a championship-quality test that is noted for the outstanding condition of its fairways and greens. Designed by Kyle Phillips, renowned for his work at Kingsbarns near St Andrews, this modern links is a tough test and proved a stern challenge for golfers on the men’s and women’s European Tours when the Scottish Open was held here in 2017. Dundonald’s signature hole is the 18th. A decent tee shot at the par five 18th will bring the green into range but the narrow burn which wraps itself round much of the green has broken many a heart and wrecked many a scorecard.
Day Three: Gailes Links, par 71, 6,903 yards
Gailes Links does not have the seaside views of neighbouring Western Gailes (see Day Three). What it does have is velvety greens, tight fairways and acres of gorse and heather. One of the features of Gailes (pictured) is its fairness; there are fewer random bounces than is usual on a links course and a good shot is almost always rewarded while the greens are wonderfully true. This is showcased at the 12th – a par 3 to a plateau green flanked by an ocean of gorse. It’s a particular test of nerve when played in a cross-wind. Gailes Links is a multiple Open qualifying venue and home of the Tennant Cup – the oldest amateur strokeplay event in the world.
Day Four: Western Gailes, par 71, 7,014 yards
This glorious links, shoehorned between a railway line and the sea, is up there with Scotland’s very best links layouts. Large dunes, cunning burns, fast greens and terrific views of the Isle of Arran combine to make it a beautiful challenge. A firm favourite of leading players who have encountered it during qualifying for the Open Championship, the fast-running fairways and firm greens require imaginative shotmaking and a delicate touch. After your round, take some time to soak in the atmosphere of the stately clubhouse, with a great locker room and a memorable club museum up the stairs.
Day Five: The Irvine Golf Club, par 71, 6,594 yards
Designed by five-time Open Champion James Braid, the Irvine Golf Club (known to one and all as ‘Bogside’) is a hidden gem on the Ayrshire coast. The links fairways, built on sand, are divided by plenty of gorse and heather, while every hole has its own unique character together with true and fast greens. The course demands accurate shot-making throughout with an emphasis on accuracy rather than out-and-out length off the tee. The club is rightly proud of the prestigious list of Scottish national champions who have played out of Bogside, a testament to the course’s enduring challenge.
Day Six: Kilmarnock Barassie, par 72, 6,852 yards
This classic links has everything – great conditioning, humps, hollows, undulations, blind shots, penal rough and lightning-fast greens. An Open Qualifying venue, Barassie regularly hosts some of the country’s most prestigious events, most recently the 2019 Scottish Women’s Amateur Championship. Noted for its renowned use of fairway cross-bunkering, Barassie is a challenge in any conditions but when the wind whips in from the sea it becomes an extremely demanding test of ball-striking and course management.
Day Seven: Dundonald Links, par 72, 7,100 yards
The last day of our tour takes us back to the start – a round at Dundonald Links (pictured). On this final day we can arrange for your team to play a fun but competitive fixture against a Scottish university team* – a great way to build friendships and add a competitive element to your Scottish adventure. For an additional fee we can also substitute your round here for 18 holes at Royal Troon or the Ailsa course at Turnberry, venues that have hosted multiple Open Championships and are consistently ranked in the world’s top 50 courses. Playing a second round at Dundonald is an appealing option in its own right, however. Whatever choice you make for your final day, your team will have enjoyed a week of exceptional links golf – we guarantee it!
College Links Golf offers full-service ground-based golf tours. Our service doesn’t include flights. We’ll meet you at the airport and arrange accommodation, golf, transfers and breakfast at your accommodation. All other meals can be provided by prior arrangement for an additional charge. Your accommodation will be based on two people sharing a twin room with en suite bathroom facilities.
Glasgow and Edinburgh International Airports daily flights from New York (Newark and JFK), Chicago O’Hare, Boston Logan and Washington Dulles. The transfer time from Glasgow to Ayr is 45 mins. Transfer time from Edinburgh to Ayr is 1hr 45 mins.
Additional rounds of golf and matches against Scottish university teams can be arranged. Ask us for prices.
Prices for our $2K Tour start at just £1,575 per person – or $2,000 at the exchange rate of $1.27-£1 – and are based on a party of eight touring in June 2021.
We’d love to make this tour happen for team – click here if you’d like to talk with us.