Scotland is the home of golf. No matter where the original roots of the game may have sprung from, be it the Romans, the Chinese, the French or even the English, there’s no doubt that the game as we know it has its foot firmly planted in Scottish soil. The history of golf is also deeply entwined with the country.
In the 15th century, King James II tried to ban it because he wanted everyone to practice archery instead of golf. The links course at St. Andrews dates from the 16th century and is a pilgrimage site to most serious golfers. The rules of golf were compiled in the 18th century for the “gentleman golfers” of Edinburgh. And the oldest golf competition in the world, The Open Championship was first played in 1860 in Ayrshire, Scotland. So, if you are a golfer or have one in the family, you will need to schedule at least one game into your itinerary.
Here are some of the best places to play golf while you are in Scotland:
1. St Andrews Links. There’s the Old Course and the New Course. Play the Old Course for history’s sake, the New Course for a bigger challenge to your game. And of course teeing off in front of the iconic clubhouse is a peak life moment for any serious golfer.
2. Muirfield Golf Course. Again history brings you here. This is home to that Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers who wrote down the first rules of the game.
3. Royal Dornoch Golf Club. Another links course and a good challenge, it’s a little out of the way north of Inverness but the champions think it’s worth the journey.
4. Turnberry Resort. Another spectacular course that has hosted The Open Championship, on the west coast south of Ayr.
5. Royal Troon Golf Club. This is a tough course, especially the Old Course of the two links. There’s history here, challenges, and often strong winds to contend with also.