Playing Golf On Your Scottish Holiday

Posted on: 12th September 2014

With a population of 5.3 million, the 550 golf courses of Scotland provide the highest ratio in the whole world.

St. Andrew’s Old Course is a championship course where you can go play golf, but you must keep in mind that the courses are for champions. So if you want to enjoy the game, then try picking out a course that is less challenging. If you are visiting in the peak season, then remember that you might face trouble while booking as everyone would want to play at the big names. It is advised to book 3 to 4 months before your arrival; however, you can easily get a reservation even if you book a month or a week ahead. It depends on how relaxed your timing is. If a golf course is attached to your hotel, then you can have the concierge make a reservation for you.
In Scotland, golf is a game for anyone and everyone. The Scottish cities and towns have maintained golf courses for hundreds of years simple for their citizen’s enjoyment. You do not have to be of a specific class or standard to enjoy the privilege of playing golf; you just have to have a want for playing the game. Golf is played by both the ordinary and the wealthy folk in Scotland. Some clubs have popped up that are known for their air of exclusiveness, and have lost touch with the inclusive origins of the game. But that is not true for all the clubs. So, you have a wide variety to choose from.

Boat of Garten Golf ClubTips

Most golf courses in Scotland welcome players with minimum formalities, and some golf courses charge surprisingly low. Some golf courses are pricey, but you can play a great round of golf for between 30-100 pounds. Because of the Internet, many courses now have online booking facility, which makes arranging your tour very easy.

Get information on the topography of the golf courses. It is Scotland where the difference between parkland and links courses was made first. Links courses are situated by the sea, and therefore, subject to sea breezes as well as mists; playing at a links course can be challenging and tricky. Parkland courses are situated in wooded areas where the terrain is more landscaped; they provide easier games. Upland areas have ‘moorland’ courses.

Here are some advices for people from North America:

1.         People tend to play the game quickly, so do not loiter around while others wait for you to finish and leave.

2.         Golf carts that can be driven are available rarely, and caddy carts can hold your clubs while you pull them by hand.

3.         In Scotland, ‘rough’ really, completely, and totally means ‘rough’.

Unless stated otherwise, golf courses are usually open from dawn to dusk, which in June means 10 pm. Some golf courses exhibit SSS, which stands for standard scratch score; it is different from par. The SSS is a score that a scratch golfer can achieve if the conditions are perfect. Clubhouses provide balls, rental clubs, and other game gear. The basic civic courses do not offer this provision. Dress codes are enforced at the establishments; be sure not to wear untailored shorts, jeans, sneakers, and round-neck shirts, as those are glared upon.

Some courses may require evidence of your skills, so check with your choice of golf course before going to avoid any trouble.


The rates are lowered in many courses before the peak season, and after, which is the end of September. It would do you good to ask about the rates before your trip. Regional golf passes can be obtained in some areas; these can help you save money. Check the tourist board for such information.

Contact the local tourist offices for a list of all the golf courses in Scotland. Visit the comprehensive and official website of, which contains information about all the golf courses in the country, special trails, special events, tour operators, regional passes, and convenient accommodations. The UK Golf Guide contains reviews on golf courses by people who have played recently at the courses. Visit the website at

Best Bets

If you fancy teeing off on an austere links course, then you are definitely in the right place. Striking courses, many of which are situated on sand dunes along the ocean, are exactly the kind of golf courses you will come across in Scotland. Highland courses put forward their challenges as you go through the courses of heather and moorland that have rugged mountains all around.

Boat of Garten Golf Club

This spectacular golf course is set against the Cairngorm Mountains. With a rugged terrain, it requires even the most skilful of players to try their best. A steam railway passes along the side of the golf course which is an excellent bonus during your visit here.

Carnoustie Golf Links

This golf course is on the must-do list of many golfers. Carnoustie has been challenging golf players for almost 5 centuries. Many of the best players of the world have been tested by its championship course. ItsBuddon and Burnside courses appeal to the skills of beginners.

Castle Stuart Golf Links

A recent addition to the country’s top class golf courses offers sprawling bunkers, rolling fairways that overlook the Moray Firth, and cliff-top hazards. Visit if you are up for the challenge.

Cruden Bay Golf Club

Built in 1984 by the Great North of Scotland Railway Company, the Cruden Bay Golf Club is an enjoyable but challenging links course. Its remote site beside towering dunes is the reason why it is so irresistible.


It has three courses of 18-holes that are a challenge for the pros, and one course of 9 holes that is a good option if you want a laid-back and more relaxed game. Gleneagles hosted the Ryder Cup Championship in 2014. The PGA National Golf Academy also resides here.

Machrihanish Golf Club

These links deserve a trip because of their spectacular sight in the Mull of Kintyre. The links course provides some of the most exciting matches.

Royal Dornoch Golf Club

With mountain views, pristine beaches, and fast greens, the Royal Dornoch extends across the coastal shelf. The green hills are ablaze with yellow gorse in spring.

St Andrews Links

This is the birthplace of the game of golf. It is the holy grail of golf players all around the world.


Situated along the austere rugged coast of Ayrshire is the famous course of Turnberry by the name of Ailsa, which challenges golf players with a span of ocean on one hole.

Western Gailes Golf Club

Located near Glasgow, this beautiful links course was sculptured by nature. It is among the UK’s most excellent natural courses.

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