Scotland is a golfer’s paradise. Every corner of the country contains great golfing options, from world-famous championship links to hidden gems. Thanks to Scotland’s compact dimensions, no course is out of reach and it’s possible to see much of the country in a relatively short space of time. Browse our course guides for some inspiration – then get in touch to discuss your college’s tour of Scotland.
Castle Stuart is only 10 years old but it’s fast becoming one of Scotland’s most highly-regarded courses. Laid out along the banks of the Moray Firth, the layout makes the most of the undulating terrain to create a stunning modern links.
This testing inland layout weaves its way through ancient Caledonian forests and the small greens are ferociously well protected.
Today we answer the call of the wild at unspoiled, untamed Brora. Established in 1891 and playing to its current routing for around 100 years, a round here feels like an adventure.
Dornoch’s remote location means it will never host major events, but no golfer who makes the journey doubts its quality. Ask Tom Watson – a vocal Royal Dornoch fan.
The jewel in the crown is majestic Royal Dornoch – a must play for any serious golfer. Throw in a backdrop of stunning Highland scenery and it’s easy to see why Scotland’s north country has a special place in the heart of so many golfers.
Ayrshire and The West
Opened in 2005, this Kyle Philips-designed layout hosted the 2017 Scottish Open on both the men’s and women’s European Tour.
Troon’s Championship Links is one of the world’s finest golfing tests, having hosted the Open on nine occasions.
The links at West Kilbride comes to life on the back nine with a thrilling succession of outstanding shoreline holes.
There has been a course among the dunes at Machrie since 1891 but a comprehensive redesign in 2017 has taken this remote outpost into the highest rank of Scottish links courses.
Turnberry’s redeveloped Ailsa course, Royal Troon and Old Prestwick understandably grab most of the limelight in this part of the country but several less-heralded layouts deserve attention, too. Meanwhile, a trip ever further west to the spectacular links at Machrihanish and Machrie is an unforgettable adventure.
St Andrews and Fife
An intriguing mix of links and heathland, Scotscraig has been a regular final qualifying venue when the Open Championship is held at nearby St Andrews.
The New Course is only 125 years old has been a regular venue for Open Championship final qualifying. It’s a devilish challenge from the tee – undulating fairways and penal gorse abound.
Leven Links, a traditional links challenge featuring rolling fairways, pot bunkers, ancient sand dunes and, quite possibly, the best closing hole in all Scotland.
A stunning modern imagining of what a links course should be, in an unforgettable setting, Kingsbarns has established itself as one of Scotland’s top courses since opening in 1999.
The Old Course at St Andrews is, of course, the star attraction but the sheer scale and variety of the options for visiting golfers is remarkable. St Andrews itself boasts no fewer than seven championship-standard links while many, many more fantastic challenges are just a short drive from the ‘Auld Grey Toon’.
Cruden Bay (pictured) is great fun on a grand scale; towering sand hills, cavernous bunkers and dramatic plateau greens abound.
The links at Murcar has recently enjoyed a return to prominence, thanks in part to hosting an event on the men’s European Tour in 2016.
Golf has been played over the links in the season town of Montrose, 45 minutes north of Dundee, since 1562.
For many years one of Scotland’s under-appreciated gems, Royal Aberdeen’s profile has risen in recent years thanks to successfully hosting events such as the 2005 Seniors British Open
The area is home to some truly stunning links including Royal Aberdeen, Trump International Golf Links and unique, brilliant Cruden Bay – one of Golf Digest’s top 100 courses in the world.
Edinburgh and the Lothians
A delightful, historical parkland course, renowned for its welcoming appeal to golfers of all abilities.
North Berwick is a course like no other, but that’s not to say some holes doesn’t seem familiar when it’s played for the first time.
Don’t be fooled by the name – the course is a classic links created in 1894 by Tom Morris with holes on each side of a coastal road.
The oldest golf course in the world with records emanating as far back as 1567, Musselburgh Links hosted the Open Championship on 6 occasions between 1874 and 1889.
The West Links at North Berwick has for centuries been an inspiration to course architects around the world while a growing number of modern links have further added to the area’s appeal.
Carnoustie and Central Scotland
A classy inland course with crisp turf and fairways pitching and rolling through avenues of trees. Formed from the minds of great architects Dr Alistair McKenzie and James Braid, it’s where Greg Norman, the Great White Shark, won his first European Tour professional event.
The King’s was one of the world’s first ‘resort’ courses and nearly 100 years on it remains one of the best. James Braid’s layout rolls through spectacular Highland scenery and the quality of the golfing challenge is suitably majestic.
One of Scotland’s newest championship standard golf courses. Challenging holes stretch over undulating fairways, hug inland lagoons and overlook the glittering waters of the Loch and rugged mountains beyond.
Routed through swathes of pine and birch trees, virtually every hole is played in isolation. Accuracy from the tee is premium. It’s a wonderfully comforting, peaceful setting to play the beautiful game.