Known the world over as the Home of Golf, Scotland’s roster of courses is headlined with the likes of the Old Course, Turnberry, Muirfield, Royal Dornoch and Kingsbarns. World class links by every measure but what many don’t know is the long list of championship links courses available to Scotland’s visitors at half or more of the cost of some of the better-known courses.
Prestwick & St Nicholas
- Dundonald Links: one would think a course that has held the Men’s and Women’s Scottish Open in the same year (2017) would be more well-known but Dundonald has continued to fly under the radar of many outside Scotland. Designed by Kyle Phillips and owned and managed by Loch Lomond, Dundonald provides a classic test of links golf and is situated in an area that is surrounded by an impressive roster of other links such as Royal Troon, Prestwick, Western Gailes, & Glasgow Gailes….all just a few minutes ride from each other.
- Dunbar Golf Club: situated in East Lothian just south of Edinburgh, this stretch if land is known as Scotland’s Golf Coast which is home to the likes of Muirfield, North Berwick, and Gullane. Established in 1856 Dunbar Golf Club offers a brilliant example of links golf with sweeping ocean views and a membership who warmly welcomes visitors with a true “member for a day” experience. The course has been used as an Open qualifying venue and has hosted many prestigious amateur and professional events in its long history.
- Panmure: situated just 2 miles from Carnoustie, Panmure Golf Club is a historic links founded in 1845 that consistently ranks as one of the top hidden gems from locals and visitors alike. In 1953, Ben Hogan came across the pond to attempt to add the Open Championship to his resume and he spent two weeks practicing at Panmure prior to the tournament at Carnoustie. His favorite hole at Panmure was the 6th and his suggestion of placing a cleverly hidden pot bunker at the front right of the green was adopted by the members which stands as a fitting tribute to Hogan. His practice at Panmure paid off as he won the Open Championship by 4 strokes with a course record of 68 in the final round
- Fortrose & Rosemarkie: golf has been played at this club since 1793 and is situated on the Chanonry Peninsula in the Black Isle with views over the Moray Firth very close to the city of Inverness. Situated amongst the likes of Royal Dornoch, Castle Stuart and Nairn, Fortrose and Rosemarkie has an unmatched history in Highlands links golf. Open Champion James Braid redesigned the course in 1932 and it has hosted a long resume of both professional and amateur tournaments. The incredible sea views offered by the course as well as the warm welcome into the historic clubhouse provide a classic Scottish links golf experience.
- Elie: In the St Andrews area lies a course that you continually hear as the course you must play if you have not and that is Elie. Only 12 miles from St Andrews golf has been played on these links since the 15th century. 5-time Open Champion James Braid learned the game over the Elie links winning his first tournament at age 8 before going on to his storied career playing and designing golf courses. Elie offers one of the most unique starts to a round of golf as players will notice a submarine periscope coming out of the starters hut. The first is a blind shot and the periscope which was salvaged from the HMS Excalibur in 1966 provides a clear view for the starter so he can safely invite golfers to the first tee.