Scotland

Finnigan Fairways Scotland 

Carnoustie

Legend has it that people were golfing in Carnoustie approximately fifty years prior to Columbus discovering America. Official documents prove that golf was being played here by 1529 although it seems to have been busy with golfers up to two hundred years prior to that!

Carnoustie has tremendous links with over two hundred and fifty courses in America mostly as a result of the emigrants who left Carnoustie and taught golf throughout the world.

Even if you don’t play the course, the contents of the clubhouse alone are certainly worth a visit. For instance, the Gold Cross medal displayed in the cabinet was actually made from a gold nugget uncovered by a former member in the Gold rush and sent to the club.

This is a club which is absolutely steeped in the history of golf and is therefore completely unmissable!

Trump Turnberry Ailsa Course

What a course! One of the top three courses in Britain and more often than not, it is considered to be one of the top twenty courses in the world. It is little wonder when you consider the challenging fairways and subtle greens. Who would pass up the opportunity to play the world famous ninth hole where the tee seems to be set in the sea with a backdrop of Bruce’s Castle? If that’s not enough what about the Lighthouse hole, a sight that is time after time displayed throughout the world. After playing the course you may find yourself choosing another hole as your personal favourite. The golfing world became very conscious of the top-quality Ailsa course as a result of a now renowned golf match between Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson, two of the finest golfers who ever lived. Ailsa course is unmissable!

Nairn

Only at Nairn Golf Club is it possible to see the sea from every hole in Scotland. It is therefore immediately understandable that this course is so challenging because you may strike your ball into the sea from any one of the first seven holes!

This course is truly one of Scotland’s real gems. Not only are the roughs hazardous but the greens are truly spectacular.

Where else in the world can you be challenged both mentally and physically and still are surrounded by such beauty.

Only in the Scottish Highlands!

Royal Troon

Royal Troon Golf Club was formed in 1878 but didn’t actually have 18 holes until 1888. In its centenary year Troon Golf Club received the Royal accolade and to this day remains the last club to have earned this title. It is very widely recognised that Royal Troon is one of the most prestigious and most desirable courses to play, if not in the UK, then in the world, if for no other reason than to play the world famous eighth, the Postage Stamp, where you can tell the wee story about the guy having a hole in one and then going out the next day and having another hole in one on what is recognised as a tough par 3. However when you play this magnificent course you realise that each hole is tougher than the next. Every effort should be made to play this course at least once in your lifetime. However, if you do plan to enjoy this rare experience, it is extremely important that you plan your golf trip well in advance. Royal Troon has been known to be fully booked up to a year in advance; such is the demand for this course.

Royal Dornoch

Many a great golfer has been humbled at Royal Dornoch. It provides all the necessary challenges of any top course along with the feeling of tranquillity and scenery of such beauty that can only be found in the Scottish Highlands. Although the fairways are wide and rambling, don’t be deceived, not all holes are always visible from every point of the fairways. You have to be “canny” and pick your spot wisely. With the surround of the North Sea, mountains and hills, one could be forgiven for thinking that they have died and gone to Heaven! However, when you’ve finished the golf, the warm, friendly locals will soon remind you that you couldn’t be anywhere else bar Scotland.

Kingsbarns

Although Kingsbarns is every bit as breathtaking and challenging as the traditional Scottish Links courses, it differs greatly in that it is a man-made development. Such is the course’s popularity with locals and tourists alike, the course is being mentioned in the same breath as the Scottish open and may even be mentioned along with the British Open in the not too distant future.

The course is very popular with Americans who have marked it down on their list of “must play again courses” when they return. It would seem once seen and played never forgotten.

Cruden Bay

‘Golf Magazine’ ranks Cruden Bay, a universally distinguished traditional links course, no 52 in the world. The breathtaking surroundings certainly defend this title! Such a course extends an invitation commanding skill, disposition and impressive perspective to all keen golfers.  The neighbouring Sandy Beach or Slains Castle situated high on cliffs may also entice non-golfers.

Royal Aberdeen

Aberdeen can be closely linked to the origins of golf, the earliest reference to a golf hole in Scotland was made in local Aberdeen records dating back to 1625. Royal Aberdeen Golf Club was initially set up as The Society of Golfers at Aberdeen in 1780 making it the sixth oldest golf club in the world.

Trump International

The land for this course was purchased by Donald Trump in 2006 and finally opened in July 2012. Set amidst the great dunes of Scotland, Trump International embraces mile after mile of spectacular Aberdeenshire coastline and guarantees the experience of a lifetime.

Muirfield

Fairstone Scottish Amateur Final, Muirfield Golf Club, East Lothian. Pic Kenny Smith, Kenny Smith Photography 6 Bluebell Grove, Kelty, Fife, KY4 0GX Tel 07809 450119,

Muirfield is the home of the “Honourable Company of Edinburgh golfers” and is apparently the oldest golf club in the world, having been formed in 1744, although there were originally only 5 holes. The rules of golf were drawn up by members of this Club. It took another 150 years for Old Tom Morris to design Muirfield to be ready for play, initially with only 16 holes. The last two holes were added a few months later. Today Muirfield is a renowned host to major championships amateur and professional, international and national, men and ladies.

North Berwick

North Berwick sits above sea level and therefore provides stunning views across to Craig Leith, Bass Rock and Fidra, believed to be the inspiration behind Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Treasure Island”

Prestwick

Prestwick GC – home of the first British Open : credit – Mark Alexander

Blind shots from the tee at the 5th and 17th add plenty mystery and charm to the course. The most famous hole is the 3rd, where the fairway simply ends about 300 yards from the tee, where the land descends into a vast, deep bunker, nicknamed the ‘Cardinal’.  Many championship hopes have died in this bunker. 

Western Gailes

Western Gailes Golf Club

Situated between the sea and a rail line, this course does not simply look the part. The classic links course includes all great elements of a course such as hilly fairways, shaggy dunes, and constant coastal winds. The sea breezes and incredible views here provide a unique experience for all serious golfers.

St Andrews- Old Course

Swilken Bridge on the 18th hole.

To trace the history of golf back to its origins, you have to look back to The Old Course in St. Andrews.  It was there that golf was really shaped into the game we all play and love. The Old Course is the most iconic course in Scotland and lives up to its name. The first recorded evidence of golf being played there was in the early 1500s.

This natural and wild course will test your golfing skills, for you have to try your hardest to stay out of bunkers. 

Castle Stuart

Castle Stuart can be described as a throwback to golf as it once was – a simple walk through pleasing natural surrounds with some companionable and competitive rules attached to it.

Dumbarnie

Dumbarnie offers golf a fresh and unique challenge.  Described as “an unparalleled, memorable golf experience” it has very generous fairways, large undulating greens and boasts stunning views of the Forth Estuary, East Lothian and the East Neuk of Fife.