The North East Of Scotland has a coastline full of delicious dunes with championship golf courses or stunning parkland courses extending to the foothills of the Cairngorms
Carnoustie Country the home of the notorious Carnoustie Golf Course. This small area from Dundee north to Edzell has a fantastic mixture of links and parkland golf opportunities
Links Golf Courses
The traditional Scottish Links courses are courses set in coastal areas which refers to a links course as being a rough grassy area between the sea and land. The links soil is sandy in nature and is renowned for the fast drainage which provides a firm surface all year round even in winter time. Being near the coast they are often frost and snow free.
Rough is penal on a links course, it is allowed to grow to knee height and very difficult to extract a golf ball without penalty. Links holes were shaped to take into account the natural topography and usually designed as 9 out and 9 in. Wind plays a factor around links courses which do not have sheltered wooded areas and are wide open to the coastal elements.
Golf in the Kintyre Peninsuala has a faraway feel if you are driving!, but Machrihanish is well worth a visit. Oban is practically in the Highlands, however there are 3 very nice courses closer to Glasgow not to be missed
For golfing greatness near to Glasgow, Ayrshire has an abundance of Championship Links Courses. Prestwick the original site for the Open Championship to present day Open courses Troon and Turnberry.
Parkland Golf Courses
Normally located inland, Parkland Courses are lush and green with narrow fairways enclosed by rough and trees. If you think of long beautiful narrow strips of grass bordered by an abundance of trees and well manicured greens at the end you have a typical Parkland Course.
Parkland courses are more inclined to have artificial hazards introduced but the course architect will use any existing features provided by the topography of the chosen ground. The ground for this group of course is more likely to get waterlogged because of the soil type and quite often will need drainage solutions applied. When wet the ground will become waterlogged and unplayable more easily.
Leave Inverness and head North deep into the Highlands you might think, what no Golf?. You will be pleasantly surprised to find championship golf courses are this far North. Pack your clubs they will be missed if you don’t
Over the Erskine Bridge spanning the River Clyde, directly opposite Glasgow Airport are a number of stunning parkland courses. Slightly further North you will find the 2 championship Loch Lomond Courses. The wildlife and scenery on show make playing these courses an experience never to forget.
Heathland Golf Courses
Heathland or Moorland golf courses are generally built on higher ground. The fairways tend to to be undulating and uneven with sharp changes in elevation. The ground topography is all that is required to create hazards with a few bunkers added, they are lined with heather and gorse and even clumps situated in the middle of the fairway. Trees if any are usually Fir.
Because the fairways are more open to the elements they are less manicured. The soil is sandy in nature but slow to drain due to the peaty under-soil. A few of the higher courses are closed for lengthy periods during the winter due to the snow and ice. Being higher up the views from the courses can be quite breathtaking, add the local wildlife a visit to a heathland course is rewarding.
Cross the border into Scotland, turn left at Gretna Green, head along the A76 towards Stranraer and find fine golf courses spread along the way. Make time if you are heading for the ferry to Ireland to visit these courses you will not be disappointed.
East Lothian in golfing parlance is known as the Golf Coast. Easily accessible from Edinburgh all apart from 2 courses lie on the Firth of Forth coastline. Musselburgh, Longniddry, Aberlady, Gullane, Muirfield, Archerfield, North Berwick through to Dunbar. It reads like a who’s who of championship courses.
Scotland The Home of Golf
The most widely accepted theory is that the modern game of golf originated in Scotland in the High Middle Ages. One page that explains the history of golf in Scotland starts off by stating that, “There has been much debate as to the origins of the game and, in some cases, how it was originally played, One thing is certain — the game of golf as we know it was born in Scotland”.
The first golf courses and clubs were established in the country. The first written rules originated in Scotland, as did the establishment of the 18 hole course. Thereafter he modern game was spread by Scots to the rest of the world.
Source (wikipedia Golf in Scotland).
The Kingdom of Fife is well renowned for many things but top of the list will be the abundance of Championship Links courses and fine Golf Resorts. Edinburgh is nearby so base yourself in Fife and play some the finest Golf Courses in Scotland.
The Highlands of Scotland is a wild and lonely place so where better to build some fantastic Heathland Golf Courses. With the back drop of the Cairngorm National Park you might be easily distracted. Arrive in Inverness and there are fine parkland courses.
The Earliest Reference to Golf
Is the purchase of a set of golf clubs by James IV from a bowmaker of St Johnston(Perth)in 1502. Where he played is not known, but it is likely to have been on the open ground called the North Inch at Perth.
It is recorded that Robert Maule of Panmure played golf at Carnoustie in the mid 16th century, as a wager for drink.
Around the same time, in 1552, John Hamilton the Archbishop of St Andrews granted the right of the people of St Andrews to play golf and gather turf on the links, retaining his rights to the rabbit warrens there.
Source (wikipedia Golf in Scotland)
There is a rich variety of Golf Courses in Lanarkshire. Situated in the middle of the central belt, Glasgow and Edinburgh Airports are easily accesible. Take your pick between Parkland, Moorland and Heathland courses they are all here in Lanarkshire.
Midlothian is predominantly the City of Edinburgh and immediate outskirts. South you golf in the shadow of the Pentland Hills, in the City there are stunning courses with the stunning backdrop of Edinburgh Castle and Arthurs Seat. The majority of courses are a short taxi ride from the City Centre.
Oldest Playing Golf Course in the World
Evidence has shown that golf was played on The Old Links at Musselburgh Racecourse in 1672, although Mary, Queen of Scots reputedly played there even earlier in 1567. An entry in the Edinburgh burgh records for 19 April 1592 includes golf in a list of pastimes to be avoided on the Sabbath.
The parish register for neighbouring South Leith records the appearance of four parishioners before the kirk session on 7 December 1610 who “confessed they had prophaned the Sabbath be playing at the gowffe in tyme off preaching and thairfore was ordained to mak thair publict repentance the nixt Sabboth.
Source (wikipedia Golf in Scotland)
Sandwiched between Inverness and Aberdeen this area has nothing to feel inferior regards golf courses. It has its own micro-climate on the coast and many courses are playable when the weather turns bad. Nairn has the more glamorous golf but don’t let that put you off playing the others
Pick an Island, stay and play. Cannot lie, this is a huge area but organise wisely, you can still pack your clubs. Shetland and Orkney are do able together. The islands which make up the Western Isles have wonderful golfing opportunities and they are a must visit.
Old Course at St Andrews
To many golfers, the Old Course at St Andrews, an ancient links course dating to before 1574, is considered to be a site of pilgrimage There are many other famous golf courses in Scotland, including Carnoustie, Gleneagles, Muirfield, Balcomie and Royal Troon.
The world’s first Open Championship was held at Prestwick in 1860. Although golf is often seen as an elitist sport elsewhere in the world, in the land of its birth it enjoys widespread appeal across the social spectrum, in line with the country’s egalitarian tradition.
Perthshire in the heart of Scotlandhas stunning parkland courses all with outstanding scenic outlooks. Perhaps the most famous is Gleneagles with its 3 moorland courses, the Centenery being the venue for the 2014 Ryder Cup. A special mention for The Blairgowrie Golf Club, home to 2 Championship Courses and Murrayshall Hotel with their 2 courses.
Whether you want to play Championship courses within the City of Glasgow or on the outskirts Renfrewshire has them all. Close to Glasgow Airport and easily accessible from Glasgow City Centre. Stunning scenic parkland courses and two Championship Golf Resorts, Mar Hall Hotel Golf and Spa and Gleddoch House you are spoilt for choice.
An example is the Old Course at St Andrews is a charitable trust and Musselburgh Links is public courses. Council-owned courses, with low fees and easy access, are common throughout the country wherever demography and geography allow. (Sadly in common with most things the cost of the upkeep of these council courses are beginning to see some closures).
Therefore, golf courses, whether public or private, are far more common in the Lowlands than in the Highlands and Islands, where shinty (a game which may share a common ancestry with golf) is often the traditional sport. Source (wikipedia Golf in Scotland)
The area known as the Scottish Borders lies South/South East of Edinburgh and has towns scattered over a large area. Most of the towns have their golf course which is usually parkland in nature but all different. The golf architects have taken advantage of the stunning scenery and they have been built using the natural contours to shape the fairways.
The Old Course is the most famous golf course on the planet!. But there are another 5 links courses on the same area of land, all traditional links courses. The Fairmont, Castle and Dukes golf courses are on the outskirts of St Andrews but do not discount these superb golf courses. Just because you have been unable to get a time for the old course do not miss these other beauties.
Scottish courtiers followed James VI to London
When James VI succeeded to the thrones of England and Ireland in 1603 (see Union of the Crowns) a large number of his Scottish courtiers followed him to London.
Scottish noblemen played golf on Blackheath, on the hill behind the palace. Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, the king’s eldest son, was playing golf in 1606. The Royal Blackheath Golf Club traces its origins from these Scottish noblemen, thus claiming a pre-1745 foundation date.
Although it is certainly the oldest English golf club, and the oldest outwith Scotland, there is no evidence that it is the oldest golf club in the world, as is sometimes claimed. This accolade is claimed by The Royal Burgess Golfing Society of Edinburgh who date back to 1735. Source (wikipedia Golf in Scotland)
Like many golf courses in Scotland the scenery can be a welcome distraction at times and Stirling is no exception. A short distance East of Stirling lies the county of Clackmannanshire with half a dozen quality parkland tracks.
A short distance West of Edinburgh Airport there are a number of great golf clubs to enjoy a quick round on. Deer Park Golf and Country Club has a championship golf course at Livingston which is must play.
North American golf
The first record of North American golf was a consignment of 96 golfclubs and 432 golf balls which was shipped from Leith to Charleston, South Carolina, in 1743 and on 29 September 1786 Scottish merchants established the South Carolina Golf Club in Charleston, the first golf club in the United States.
Source (wikipedia Golf in Scotland)