Did you know that the origins of golf date all the way back to 15th-century Scotland?
St. Andrews is considered to be the birthplace of modern golf, with its “Royal and Ancient” Old Course dating back to 1764. So it’s no surprise that this famous course always makes the list of the best golf courses in Scotland.
But while St. Andrews is indeed a Mecca for all golf enthusiasts, it’s far from the only great course in Scotland.
In this post, we’ll count down five additional courses that are more than worthy of a visit.
Golfers seeking the ultimate challenge should head to Carnoustie. It’s ranked as one of the most difficult courses in Scotland because of its undulating fairways, plentiful bunkers, and relentless winds.
In fact, during the ’99 British Open, commentators dubbed the course “Carnasty.” The average round score that year was 78.31, and Paul Lawrie’s winning score was 6 over par.
Wondering if you can do better? Head up to Carnoustie to find out.
What makes Kingsbarn so unique? Like other great Scottish courses, it features a rugged, natural appearance that seems to blend in with the landscape.
In reality, though, this challenging course was masterminded by American course architect Kyle Phillips. With the help of a lot of bulldozers, he was able to create a modern course that looks and plays like the ancient Scottish links.
Another impressive feature of Kingsbarn? The North Sea is visible from every hole on course!
Muirfield may not offer the sweeping panoramas or dramatic views as the other courses on the list. What makes it one of the best golf courses in Scotland is its rich history.
Sir Nick Faldo and Jack Nicklaus both won their first Opens on this course. The links date back to 1744, and the course has hosted an impressive 15 British Opens over the years.
If you’re looking to walk in the footsteps of some of golf’s greatest legends, Muirfield is an excellent place to do so.
4. Castle Stuart
In contrast to the ancient courses on our list, Castle Stuart just opened its links in 2009.
But don’t let its newness fool you. The course was designed by architect Gil Hanse and hosted four Scottish opens between 2011 and 2016.
Its rolling par five 18th hole is considered one of the best closers in all of Scotland. And although the fairways are wide, there’s a definite bite around the greens that’s sure to challenge even the most seasoned golfers.
5. Prestwick (Old Course)
If we asked you which course hosted the first Open Championship, would you guess St. Andrews?
If so, you’d be wrong. The honors actually go to the old course at Prestwick, which hosted the historic event in 1860.
It’s consistently ranked as one of the most fun courses in Scotland, with a front nine that parallels a railway line and fairways full of natural–and challenging–undulations.
Ready to Visit the Best Golf Courses in Scotland?
As the birthplace of golf, Scotland offers no shortage of incredible courses to choose from. Which course on our list will you visit first?
Looking for more information on the best golf courses in Scotland (and the rest of the UK)? Check our course guides for more helpful tips.
We also invite you to contact us with any questions or concerns. See you on the links!
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