Scotland is famed worldwide as the Home of Golf with over 550 golf courses throughout the country. Golfers can enjoy year round opportunities to play everything from prestigious links to surprising traditional island golf and there are a plethora of good value offers available making golf accessible to all budgets and skills. In addition to the iconic golf offering there are also surprising experiences and courses for the visitor to enjoy.
Below are some of Scotland’s most surprising golfing treats found the length and breadth of the country, for more information and the latest offers visit www.visitscotland.com/surprise
Thanks to its northerly location, Shetland enjoys extensive daylight during the summer months from 5am in the morning until 10pm at night. Perhaps more surprisingly, during the summer period golfing hours can extend until midnight making it the perfect destination for golfers who want to tee off into the wee small hours.
Play Britain’s most northerly golf course, Whalsay, the wildlife strewn nine hole Asta Golf Club with some of the best views found on any course and the 18 hole Dale golf course located just outside Lerwick and at the head of the sea loch of Dales Voe. Green fees range from £10 – £20 for a day ticket
In addition to boasting some wonderful golf courses such as Royal Aberdeen, one of the oldest courses in the world and home to the Walker Cup this September and Cruden Bay golf course and its links to Slains Castle the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, the north-east is also rich in history, culture and cuisine. There are more castles per acre than anywhere else in the UK, the world’s only malt whisky trail and over 50 golf courses to choose from so there’s something to tempt the taste buds on and off the course.
Stay and play offers are available at Meldrum House for two nights dinner, bed and breakfast and a round of
golf on Murcur, Cruden Bay and Meldrum for £345pp available until 2012.
St Andrews is home to the Open Championship every five years so what better way to immerse in golfing history than following in the footsteps of golfing greats and playing the famous Old Course. It is now even easier to play the old Course with the new ballot system, now extended to 48 hours for golfers wishing to play the course. This means golfers who have been unable to book in advance have a greater chance to play when they are in St Andrews. This is the first time in history this has happened.
In addition to the many courses in St Andrews there are also a number of other golfing gems throughout Fife including Balcomie Links, Elie and Lundin Links as well as Crail Gofling Society, one of the oldest golf clubs in
For something a little different why not try the game of a bygone era – hickory golf. The Kingarrock Hickory Club will provide all you need for a surprising take on the modern game. The cost of the round, including a nip, hire of clubs and refreshments on completion is £25.
What most golfers will find surprising about golf in the Scottish Borders, other than the wealth of championship course and hidden gems, is the region’s the close proximity to Edinburgh. Many of the courses are easily accessible from Edinburgh city centre within an hour.
In addition to the short distance from the capital, to play golf in the Borders needn’t break the bank, Championship courses such as The Roxburghe and the course know as “Gleneagles of the South”, Cardrona are all included in the Freedom of the Fairways golf pass along with a further 19 courses. The pass operates from April until the end of October with a three-day passport, valid for up to six rounds on consecutive weekdays, for just £95 or a five day passport (valid for up to ten rounds) for £130.
With a mild climate due to the close proximity to the Gulf Stream, the south west not only has some of Scotland’s most historical golf courses and insights into Scottish history, it is also the ideal place to play golf year round.
To experience some of Scotland’s history while playing golf try Lochmaben Golf Course. Not only does it provide a test for golfers it also lays close to the site of Robert the Bruce’s castle, to add to the golfing challenge there is a a huge defensive motte to contend with!
Dumfries & Galloway offers fantastic value and quality for golfers. The Tiger Trail and the Gateway to Golf Pass offer a range of great deals starting at £80 for a three round pass or £120 for a six round pass.
Perthshire is renowned around the world as having some of the finest courses in the country – Gleneagles itself is home to three championship courses: the King’s Course and Queen’s Course, and the more recent PGA Centenary Course, the setting of the forthcoming 2014 Ryder Cup between Europe and America. This course is open to golfers so why not try and emulate some of the pros who will be playing there in three years’ time?
Away from the championship courses there’s a wealth of James Braid and Tom Morris designed courses providing stunning scenery and an insight into the history of the area. The Perthshire Green Card provides the ideal way to play courses such as Blairgowrie, Alyth, Taymouth Castle and Pitlochry; available at £99 for five rounds and £65 for three rounds.
Playing a round of golf in the shadows of the Cairngorm mountain range is sure to surprise even the most travelled of golfers. The Boat of Garten golf course does exactly that with stunning views of the mountains and the occasional passing steam train all adding to a special golf experience.
At Royal Dornoch, in the Sutherland area of the Highlands, there’s a chance you might share a fairway with a celebrity. Over the years the legendary links course, the third oldest course in the world, has built a dedicated following of well-known sports and entertainments personalities many of whom are Honorary members. Take advantage of the Dornoch Firth golf pass and receive 30% a round at Royal Dornoch, Brora, Golspie, and Tain. The pass cost £30 and is valid for 12 months.
With a number of golf courses regularly appearing in various magazine ‘top 100’ lists, award winning golf resorts and spas hogging the limelight in travel pages, major developments gaining worldwide headlines and a host of events showcasing the country to a global audience, Scotland is a leading golf holiday destination.
For more information on golf in Scotland and to plan a trip please visit www.visitscotland.com/surprise