Host to many Open Championships and memorable Ryder Cup Tournaments, Scotland is unquestionably the ‘Home of Golf’.
The 2018 Open was played in Scotland at Carnoustie and watched by millions around the globe. It delivered one of most entertaining final Open days of all time, ending with a victory for first-time Major winner Francesco Molinari. It also, once again, confirmed Scotland’s premier status in the world of golf.
Why not take a luxury golf break in Scotland and follow in the footsteps of legendary golfers on some of Scotland’s championship golf courses – breath taking, exhilarating, challenging and very memorable.
Golf is not just a game in Scotland; it’s a way of life. And what a life that is… legendary Scottish championship golf courses, loch-side gems, challenging links layouts, lush hillsides, leafy parkland courses and glorious seaside links golf courses blessed with sandy soil and salty sea air. And, to make your golfing life easier, many of Scotland’s regions offer special golf passes that allow you to play a number of top courses at bargain prices.
However, be warned, with over 550 courses to choose from you face one very big dilemma if you take a golf holiday in Scotland… namely deciding which courses to play.
With such a huge range of superb golf courses in Scotland it comes as no surprise that many Open Championships and two Ryder Cups have been hosted in Scotland.
Such is the interest in golf in Scotland that golfers wanting to attend Open Championships and other major golf events in Scotland must be quick off the mark to book their accommodation. In recent years The Old Course Hotel, Gleneagles, Trump Turnberry Resort, Greywalls and Lochgreen House Hotel have all featured as host hotels for major championships.
Starting in Scotland’s south west corner, Luxury Scotland has four member hotels that offer guests a chance to enjoy some of Scotland’s golfing favourites. Knockinaam Lodge, Glenapp Castle, Lochgreen House Hotel and Trump Turnberry.
Luxury boutique hotel Knockinaam Lodge at Port Patrick with its own beach and 30 acres of landscaped grounds provides easy access to eighteen 18-hole golf courses in Dumfries and Galloway.
Further north and we have Glenapp Castle Hotel providing an ideal base to explore Ayrshire and it’s 40 Golf Courses including including Prestwick, the ‘Birthplace of The Open’. Glenapp Castle is just 20 miles from Trump Turnberry’s famous Ailsa links course.
The iconic Ailsa course at Trump Turnberry, an Open Championship venue four times over, offers one of the world’s great golfing experiences. Its undulating greens and ocean-hugging fairways combined with its stunning cliff top setting make it one of the ‘must play’ golf courses in Scotland.
The Trump Turnberry Hotel provides majestic luxury accommodation and every facility for today’s golfers including a golfing academy and practice links.
Less than an hour’s drive from Trump Turnberry, golfers can enjoy the famed Royal Troon and Prestwick courses, also considered top Scottish championship links courses. Visitors considering playing these courses might consider staying at the nearby delightful Lochgreen House Hotel offering luxury accommodation complete with spa facilities. With an award winning restaurant, thirty two elegant bedrooms with luxurious bathrooms and views out over Royal Troon, Lochgreen delights with sensational views of the Ayrshire coast.
Glasgow has some of best parkland and moorland golf courses in Central Scotland.
While we might not automatically connect Glasgow with great golf, we would be quite wrong to dismiss some of best parkland and moorland golf courses in Central Scotland. In particular, Cawder Championship Course, Cathkin Braes, Haggs Castle and the members only Glasgow Golf Club also know as Killermont and designed by Tom Morris, have all hosted international golf events.
Guests staying at One Devonshire Gardens can access all of them within 30 minutes drive from this iconic Glasgow Hotel.
Also 30 minutes drive from One Devonshire Gardens, we find The Carrick 18-hole golf course on Loch Lomond boasts nine holes in the Scottish lowlands and nine holes in the Scottish highlands.
This is a true gem of a course, winding through a dramatic landscape and featuring sloping fairways, slick greens, lagoons and 118 bunkers, The views of Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond from the highlands’ nine are spectacular, and the lowlands’ nine border the banks of the famous Scottish loch.
Moving to the East of Scotland and every golfer will recognise the Road Hole at The Old Course Hotel & Golf Resort in St Andrews on Scotland’s east coast.
Just a short walk from the Old Course Hotel, is perhaps the most famous courses in Scotland.
The ‘Home of Golf’, this is where the world’s greatest golfers battled for the famous Claret Jug over the Old Course.. There are a further eight championship courses within easy reach of the Old Course Hotel including Carnoustie, the venue for seven Open Championships including the 2018 British Open and the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
Many of Scotland’s championship golf courses are traditional links courses.Located close to the sea with dramatic, often treacherous bunkers, links courses attract golfers from around the world who come to Scotland to play these classic courses.
With dramatic seascape views and often treacherous bunkers, Scotland’s links courses attract golfers from around the world.
There’s something very special about them. The ball sits up beautifully on these links fairways begging to be hit, the courses are well drained and usually playable all year round. With far-reaching sea views, they can take your breath away.
These scenic golf courses, although man-made to some extent, blend perfectly with the natural topography of the Scottish coastline and countryside.
One of Scotland’s most exclusive links courts Muirfield has also hosted no less than 16 Open Championships since its first in 1892.
The exclusive Greywalls Hotel & Chez Roux is situated right on the edge of historic Muirfield and overlooks Muirfield’s 9th and 18th holes. Greywalls is the hotel of choice for many of the world’s top golfers when playing at Championship events. It is also an idyllic relaxing base from which to explore East Lothian also known as Scotland’s Golf Coast.
Not only does Greywalls have Muirfield literally on its doorstep, within a few mile guests can enjoy the championship golf courses of Gullane, North Berwick, Luffness, Archerfield and Renaissance. All of which is within easy reach of Edinburgh with its wide choice of luxury hotels, should any golfer wants to mix city and golf or work and pleasure.
In 2019 Gleneagles will celebrate its golfing centenary.
We cannot mention golf in Scotland without mentioning another golfing great – Gleneagles. Since the famous King’s and Queen’s courses were first opened in 1919, this stunning countryside estate in the heart of Scotland continues to attract the elite of the golf world.
The Gleneagles resort in Perthshire has received many accolades and international awards and is home to three superb championship golf courses including the Jack Nicklaus-designed PGA Centenary Course – the Host Venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup when Europe challenged America and won the prestigious trophy.
As well as famous golf venues, Perthshire has a host of excellent golf courses including Auchterarder, Blairgowrie, Pitlochry and Crieff. These are easily reached from Gleneagles and from Kinloch House Hotel. Kinloch House is a delightful Scottish country house hotel whose guests can also enjoy the majestic links courses of Carnoustie and St Andrews.
Escaping north to the Highlands doesn’t mean that golf will escape you. Even in the tiny village of Crinan at the end of the Crinan Canal. You are never far from a championship course. Less than 90 minutes’ drive from Crinan Hotel which nestles at the end of historical Crinan Canal, there are several excellent courses within easy reach.
Machrihanish on the Mull of Kintyre is a championship links course with outstanding views across to Ireland and Islay.
Dunaverty also has wonderful views across to the Island of Sanda, to Aisla Craig and the Ayrshire Coast. With green fees for both costing a total of around £100 and a chance to enjoy the freshest seafood (and a huge range of excellent Scotch whiskies) at the Crinan Hotel, it makes sense to enjoy the less well known courses if you have the opportunity.
Another stunning Highland location with good golf connections is Airds Hotel at Port Appin.
Not far from Oban, overlooking Loch Linnhe and the mountains, this intimate luxury country house offers four golf courses within an hour’s drive – Fort William, Taynuilt, Balachullish and James Braid’s hidden gem, the Glencruitten Golf Course.
The Belmond Royal Scotsman train often has occasional golf departures during which guests can play golf on a number of Scottish golf courses including those hidden gems in the Highlands.
Depending on the itinerary you can play golf when cruising on the Hebridean Princess. This small luxury yacht provides cruises with a difference and exploring some of the most remote parts of Scotland.
In the Scottish Highlands, the Castle Stuart Golf Links has gained quite a reputation in the golfing world.
The venue for several of the Scottish Open Championship, this is links course close to the capital of the Scottish Highlands, Inverness. When staying at Rocpool Reserve Hotel, an elegant, discreet, boutique hotel in Inverness, or Boath House Hotel in Nairn, you can enjoy playing Royal Stuart, Royal Dornoch, Fortrose and another James Braid course, Rosemarkie. All Scottish classics that feature on many a golfer’s wish list.
Rocpool Reserve is an exclusive city hideaway that wouldn’t be out of place in a more cosmopolitain location. Boath House in Nairn is a beautiful Scottish Regency House set in a 20-acre garden and is renowned for its excellent cuisine.
Over to the north-east of Scotland and we have the spectacular Trump International Golf Links, a masterpiece of golf design which winds through the magnificent sand dunes on the rugged Aberdeen coast providing breath taking views over the dramatic coastline and North Sea.
The estate includes MacLeod House & Lodge, a 19 bedroom 5-star hotel featuring secret stairways, lavish Italian marble bathrooms, opulent furnishings and other signature Trump touches.
Just thirteen miles away you will also find luxury accommodation at the Marcliffe Hotel & Spa, a luxurious relaxed and elegant 5-star country hotel set in eleven acres of wooded grounds on the outskirts of historic Aberdeen city.
In addition to more excellent golf courses such as Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay and Murcar, visitors to this Grampian region can also enjoy many historic Scottish castles, stunning landscapes and Scotch Whisky distilleries.
It is often said by non-golfers that “golf is a good walk ruined” but as golfers, we know just how very wrong that can be. Some of the best walks ever and the most spectacular views of Scotland you’ll find are enjoyed on our Scottish championship golf courses.
So, golfers AND walkers, if experiencing some of Scotland’s 500+ golf courses does not leave you breathless, the spectacular scenery undoubtedly will… But don’t worry, gasping is not considered a hazard under the rules of golf!