Elite Golf in Scotland

PGA Fellow Professional

Elite Golf in Scotland

Elite Golf in Scotland

Elite Golf in Scotland is a short golf blog post that looks at some of the best golf experiences in the country they call ‘The home of golf’.

There is playing golf and there is enjoying a golfing experience. These are two entirely different things.

It’s OK to turn up and play your local course with your friends on a regular basis. The social side of golf is an essential factor, as is the exercise.

Your local course never plays the same way and is a pleasurable pastime. Having familiar surroundings is also important to some people.

I would argue that there is another side of the game that many have not yet tried for themselves. A side of the game that is a little bit more expensive, more of a treat for most of us.

If you haven’t yet tried this side of the game, then I suggest that you give it a go. I like to call it Resort Golf.

Most golfers seem to believe that paying a large sum of money for a round of golf is like throwing money out of the window.

It is my opinion that this is a must if want to have a life experience. This will be something that you talk about, in a positive way, for the rest of your life.

Resort Golf is like a dream.

Resort golf is unlike anything that you may have experienced in your life.

You turn up at the resort and your eyes and mouth open. Your body is filled with excitement and wonders at the sights.

Right from the entrance, you are faced with beauty. Everything is in tip-top shape.

The grass, shrubs and plants are all manicured. The surroundings are steeped in history and you find yourself in the middle of a surreal atmosphere.

Anybody and everybody that has ever played elite golf have visited this club. From top amateurs to professionals have all been here.

The Scottish Open, The Open Championship, Solheim Cup and Ryder Cup are just some of the huge events that have been played on these courses.

There is nothing like a Resort Course to get your Golfing blood running through your veins at rapid speed.

My Top 10 Resort Courses (In Price Order, most expensive first)
Trump Turnberry’s Ailsa Course – 450 GBP

This has to be one of the most iconic courses in Scotland. From the Pro-Celebrity Challenge on the BBC to The 1977 Open Championship ‘Dual in the Sun’ battle between Jack Nicklaus & Tom Watson.
The Ailsa Course has seen it all. Relive those amazing moments by playing the course for yourself, but only if you can afford to do so. My favourite hole is the Par 3 9th named Bruce’s Castle because it’s the most stunning Par 3 you will ever play.
Check out their website for more details.

Trump International Golf Links – 395 GBP

Another one of Trumps’ triumphs in Scotland. Built in 2012 to give you the impression that it has been there for a hundred years.
Find out more information by clicking here. Everybody who has played it is amazed at how young this course really is. The 6th hole Par 3 183 yards is my favourite hole on the course because of the playability and scenery.

Kingsbarns – 374 GBP

Just a 10 minutes drive from the Home of Golf lies the Kingsbarns Links. Golf has been played here since 1793 and the golf club was founded in 1922. After being ploughed over for the second time in its history, the new course was developed at the start of the 21st century.
Very American in design and is home of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. My favourite hole is the 15th Par 3 across the edge of the Sea because that is where I watched many Tour Players hit their tee shots.
Take a look at their website for more information.

Muirfield – 325 GBP

The home of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers and a history in golf that is the envy of many courses. Previously Muirfield has hosted The Open Championship a massive 16 times, also The Ryder Cup, The Curtis Cup & The Walker Cup have been played there as well as The AIG Women’s Open Championship, and 11 Amateur Championships to name but a few. My favourite hole is the Par 3 13th. At 191 yards, 15 paces across and riddled with bunkers, it’s a tough short hole due to the green being elevated.
You can find out more by visiting their website.

Royal Troon, Old Course – 315 GBP

The Open Championship has been played here a total of 9 times as well as many other national and international events. The course is stunning and it’s the home of the famous Par 3 hole named the Postage Stamp. At just 123 yards, it’s the shortest hole in The Open Championship but is also one of the most difficult in the history of the game. Beware of the 5 deep, nasty, score-crushing bunkers that surround the green because they have ruined many dreams in the past.
Book your next round here by visiting their website.

St Andrews, The Old Course – 295 GBP

As many historians call ‘The Home of Golf’, St Andrews really does have it all. The Old Course, throughout its history, has held the Open Championship a record 30 times. The most recent was in 2022 which was the 150th Open Championship. If I had to choose a signature hole it would be the famous 17th Par 4 Road Hole at 455 yards. Hitting your tee shot over the edge of the Old Course Hotel is daunting. But then you have to avoid the Road Hole Bunker on the left of the green and the road behind the green because they can kill a good score. My favourite hole would have to be the 174-yard Par 3 11th which really changes due to the wind.
Check out their website for more details about The Old Course or any of the other 6 courses that are run by the St Andrews Links Trust.

Dumbarnie Golf Links – 286 GBP

One of the new courses on the scene opened in 2020. Lots of tournaments have been held there including the Trust Golf Women’s Scottish Open in 2021. The course is in great condition, but it can have a little rough/unfinished feel to it if you leave the fairway because of the rubble and bare areas that are still visible. My favourite hole is the downhill 157-yard Par 3 because it can play a lot longer than that when the wind picks up from off the sea.
Find out more on their website.

Carnoustie, Championship Course – 282 GBP

Another of the fantastic links courses on the ‘Open Circuit’. Golf has been played here since 1560. Carnoustie has held 8 Open Championships, including Paul Lawrie’s win in 1999 because, in the same year, Van de Velde collapsed. The Senior Open has been played twice here and so has the Women’s Open. Each year the course also plays a role in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. My favourite hole is the Par 3 8th hole due to it being the first on the course and it always feels like a bit of a relief when you reach it.
There is more to be discovered on their website.

Gleneagles, PGA Centenary, King’s Course & Queen’s Course – 275 GBP

For me, this is the ultimate venue. Not just for golf either. Gleneagles has everything covered on your away break.
Three challenging golf courses in their own right. The PGA Centenary Course was home to the 2014 Ryder Cup and the 2019 Solheim Cup. The Scottish Open has been played 8 times on the King’s Course. In 2022, Darren Clarke won the 35th Senior Open which was also played on the King’s Course. The Queen’s Course is stunning. The course is under 6000 yards and Par 68 but don’t let this fool you because the course is also a little more narrow than the other two. My favourite hole is the second on The King’s Course. 516 yards Par 5 because this is where strategy is the name of the game. A hole that, for some, is reachable in 2 shots but 3 shots are the safer option.
To find out more information, visit the website.

Castle Stuart/Cabot Highlands – 270 GBP

The course opened in 2009 and is a treat to play. Phil Mickelson calls it his favourite course in Scotland. If you have time, play the shorter Par 3 course where no hole is longer than 100 yards, it’s excellent.
My favourite hole on the main course is the Par 3 downhill 11th because of the views that you get across the Moray Firth and beyond.
Find more information on their (rather annoying) website.


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