Playing golf in Scotland is a feeling that sometimes crosses the human boundary. It’s like, something compels you to want to set foot in ‘the promised land’ sometime in your life. It may seem an exaggeration, but everyone who arrives in St. Andrews for the first time finds it a magical place, and the reality is that they are not far off the mark. The experience of arriving at the Royal & Ancient building and sitting on one of the benches there to see the 1st tee and the 18th green of the Old Course is truly indescribable.
Why play golf in Scotland?
If playing golf in Scotland has become a dream for you, there is much more to it than the Old Course at St Andrews, although it is the centrepiece of any scheduled trip to the birthplace of golf. Playing there is not easy, there are very few tee times and only a few agencies have guaranteed tee times to get your ball on the tee of hole 1, under the watchful eye of the R&A. The other formula is to go to the ‘ballot’ (draw for the remaining tee shots) and gamble that you won’t get your shot, and you will have to go back the way you came.
At Lowgolf we can help you to get guaranteed tee times, of course, but if you are late and don’t want to gamble on the ballot, you will be interested to know that there are a number of other legendary courses that will make your experience truly unforgettable.
In terms of golf, Scotland is divided into 5 very different parts: West Coast, East Lothian, Aberdeenshire, Highlands and Fife, where we find the legendary Old Course and other top level courses such as Kingsbarns Golf Links, for many the best in the region and possibly in Scotland, as the design and views of this spectacular course overlooking St. Andrews on almost all its holes, make it unique.
In Fife it competes with Carnoustie Golf Links, where the 147th edition of The Open was played and won by Francesco Molinari. According to Miguel Angel Jimenez “it is the greatest test I have ever played in my life”. The region also has Loch Lomond. Without being a Links course, it is the desire of millions of golfers from all over the world, perhaps because it is practically impossible to play there unless you are accompanied by a partner and it is also in a privileged location. Gleneagles, which is also very close to St. Andrews, hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup and with its imposing hotel is undoubtedly one of the top destinations on any trip to the islands.
There is life beyond the Old Course
If after this you still want to play golf in Scotland, The Renaissance Club is another course you should not miss, not only because the last two Scottish Opens have been played there, being the prelude to The Open and where the best players in the world congregate, but also because it is considered one of the 100 best courses in the world, according to Golf Digest.
If you prefer to forget the hustle and bustle of St Andrews and escape to the Highlands or Aberdeenshire, perhaps you should go and play the course between the dunes that the President of the United States managed to build: the majestic Trump International Golf. It also has a 5-star hotel, Trump MacLeod House & Lodge, making it one of Scotland’s most luxurious resorts.
Nearby are Cruden Bay and Royal Aberdeen, which has some of the best front nine holes in the world and the overall variety of the course ensures a fun golfing experience.
To finish our tour of Scotland, courses such as Muirfield (The Open 2013), Royal Troon (The Open 2016) Castle Stuart and Royal Dornoch should be a firm fixture on your trip if you have more time or a second trip to the islands. Truly stunning and different courses that will definitely make you fall head over heels for Scotland and you won’t be able to go without planning another trip in the future.
Dumbarnie Golf and The Open 2022
Finally, it is worth mentioning a new course called Dumbarnie Links, which they speak highly of and compare with Kingsbarns Golf Club. Those privileged enough to have been able to play it corroborate the elegance of the design and the orientation of the course, in fact, it will be one of our chosen courses to play golf in Scotland during our trip to The Open 2022, where we will play the 150th edition of an The Open that will return to the Old Course after some turbulent times.