Millions of tourists travel to the United Kingdom yearly to soak up the history, meet the people, sample the often carb-heavy foods, and test the world-famous British hospitality. England is the main attraction on the British Isles, with visitors from across the globe hoping to catch a glimpse of the Royal Family. London is vibrant and friendly, but it can be expensive, and the air quality in the UK capital could be better.
There’s an alternative to enjoying a city break in London that has clean air, access to countless acres of wilderness, and stunning scenery. Scotland is known and loved in the tourist industry, attracting a steady stream of wide-eyed Americans who come to see the mountains, castles, and lochs. Forget the Royal Family; spotting the Loch Ness Monster trumps all. Taste the famous Scotch whisky, known as the ‘water of life,’ taste the national dish, haggis and absorb the nation’s love for sports.
Soccer is the most popular professional sport in Scotland. But this welcoming country bordering the north of England is credited with creating and spreading the sport of golf. It has the oldest courses, the most famous players and the best visitor attractions. As gambling is legal in the UK, visitors can grab the Betus bonus and make predictions on The Open’s next champion.
Scotland has it all
Scotland has everything you need to brighten your vacation with an exciting visit to a famous golf course. Watch the best players battle on the most challenging links courses for four days before officials crown the champion and present the trophy. See the stars of the show strut their stuff on the fairways of famous courses, including St Andrews.
Fancy adding a trip to a famous Scottish golf course to your bucket list? We’re here to help. Our team of experts presents the best golf courses to visit in Scotland. There are dozens available, with each course steeped in history. The top golf attractions attract a global audience, so you can be sure transport is simple, and you can get about by road, rail, or sea.
You’ll love the beautiful simplicity of an afternoon spent in the Scottish countryside watching golf. Plan your vacation to coincide with a professional tournament of note, usually played between May and September, weather permitting. But you can also get closer to the action than ever before, playing a round or two at a course you’ve only seen on television until now.
Keep reading as we bring you the best golf courses to visit in Scotland as a spectator or a player. Cheer home the likes of Rory McIlroy or play a two-ball with friends, family, and fellow enthusiasts. If you’re stuck for company, you’ll always find a friendly native happy to take you on at their beloved sport. Here are the Scottish golf courses every fan should visit this year.
St Andrews in Fife is universally recognized as the home of golf and attracts players from across the globe. A round is costly on the old course, which opened in 1552 and has welcomed the most famous names in sport, show business, politics, and the arts. The green fees are between £98 and £270. You can be sure of a lengthy waiting list too.
St Andrews’s old course isn’t for the casual golf player, and you’ll be in danger of showing yourself up if your game is anything less than top-notch. The course includes several double greens and just two short holes. It’s a must-visit for any player or golf enthusiast.
In East Lothian, Muirfield was founded in 1744 and opened publicly in 1922. As you can imagine, players from across the United Kingdom and overseas rushed to book a spot to play one of the most exclusive rounds of golf you’re likely to find.
Today, Muirfield welcomes thousands of visitors every year, and with green fees between £285 and £420, it’s a surprise they didn’t throw the doors open and profit sooner than 100 years ago. The pros have described Muirfield as a perfect links course.
Love him or hate his politics, Donald Trump is the most famous golf-loving billionaire. Trump Turnberry was created in 1902 and designed by Archibald Kennedy and William Fernie but was re-designed and modernized in 2016 thanks to heavy investment from Trump.
Turnberry has hosted four Opens in its history, including in 2009, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the UK’s best-loved Major return in the coming years. Trump Turnberry is expensive, but it’s the cream of the crop for golf lovers.
The Carnoustie golf course is found in Angus and dates back to 1842. It ranks fifth in the top 100 golf courses, with green fees at £270. Here we have another expensive round of golf, but few grudges about paying a high price to sample a piece of sporting history.
The demanding links course pushes players to breaking point, separating the hobbyists from the professionals. But Carnoustie doesn’t respect reputation and has broken many stars. Play a round of golf, if it’s within your vacation budget, or relax and watch the players battle through.
“On the bonnie, bonnie, banks of Loch Lomond.”
Ever wondered what the old Scottish song was alluding to? Bonnie means beautiful in that part of the world, and they don’t come much more stunning than Loch Lomond. Sit on the banks of the loch and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
Loch Lomond Golf Course hosts its annual event during the summer months, and if you’re lucky enough to be in town during the Scottish Open, you can purchase course-side tickets to see some top names in sports attempt to navigate this tricky links course.
Things to keep in mind
The weather in Scotland is unpredictable, with locals saying you often see all four seasons in one day. If you’re a visitor, dress to impress, but keep a kagool or small rain jacket in your backpack. We promise you’ll need it at least once a day.