Scotland is well known for its amazing championship golf courses, from the world famous Old Course at St Andrews to the PGA® Centenary Course at Gleneagles where the Ryder Cup was held in 2014.
But what other courses should you book a tee time on during your golf break in Scotland? These 9 stunning Scottish golf courses will give you a taste of the different rounds you can play in Scotland, including sweeping seaside links courses, inland beauties and island gems.
1. Balcomie Links, Crail
Balcomie Links, Crail Golfing Society
Laid out by golf legend 'Old' Tom Morris and opened in 1895, Balcomie Links combines stunning sea views and an often demanding course layout. Take on notoriously tricky holes, such as the devilishly challenging 5th, a 447 yard par four named 'Hell's hole', which Sam Torrance claimed was probably the hardest par four in Scotland.
2. Brora Golf Course, Brora
Brora Golf Club © Glyn Satterley
Brora Golf Course is one of the best examples of a James Braid golf course in Scotland and has hardly been altered from Braid's original plan. Test your skills on this sweeping links course which offers plenty of natural features (which could well become natural hazards) such as bent grass, sand, burn water and swathes of yellow gorse.
3. Shiskine Golf Course, Isle of Arran
Shiskine Golf Club, Isle of Arran
This quirky 12 hole golf course is a fun challenge in an unforgettable island location. Expect a few blind holes at Shiskine Golf Course, including the 'Crows Nest' and the 'Himalayas', as well as beautiful views out from the west coast of Arran to the Kilbrannan Sound and the Mull of Kintyre. Arran is easily accessible from the mainland. Simply board the ferry at Ardrossan.
4. Boat of Garten Golf Course, Boat of Garten
Boat of Garten Golf Club
Nestled in the magnificent Cairngorms National Park, Boat of Garten Golf Course is a beautiful James Braid designed course that offers a picturesque layout complete with tree-lined fairways and views of towering mountains. You might even spot a few deer on the fairways or a steam train passing along the Strathspey Railway next to the course.
5. Askernish Golf Course, Isle of South Uist
Askersnish Golf Club, Isle of South Uist
Originally designed by 'Old' Tom Morris, this testing 18 hole links course, set on a stunning stretch of island machair, fell into decline from 1920 onwards and was even used as an airstrip for a number of years. Reclaimed by a group of local golfers, Askernish Golf Course was brought back to life in 2008 and now draws visitors from all over the world to this stunning island in the Outer Hebrides.
6. Cruden Bay Golf Course, Cruden Bay
Cruden Bay Golf Club
Set on a sweeping bay to the north of Aberdeen, Cruden Bay Golf Course offers panoramic views across the North Sea and challenging links layout. 'Old' Tom Morris designed the original 18 hole course, which was opened in 1899, and although the course has been improved and expanded over the years, many of Morris' original greens and routing remain the same today.
7. West Links, North Berwick
West Links, North Berwick Golf Club © West Links
The quaint seaside town of North Berwick is the perfect spot for this testing links layout. Just 45 minutes from Edinburgh, the West Links course offers breathtaking views out across the glittering Firth of Forth to the Bass Rock and islands of Craigleith, Lamb and Fidra. Kids will enjoy playing the dedicated Children's Course too, where they can test their skills on the 9 hole par 3 course.
8. Prestwick Golf Course, Prestwick
Prestwick Golf Club © AG Firth
Renowned as the birthplace of The Open Championship, Prestwick Golf Course rightly deserves its prestigious place in golf history. Originally laid out as 12 holes by 'Old' Tom Morris, the current course still retains many of Morris' original features and will really test your golf skills.
9. Rosemount Golf Course, Blairgowrie
Rosemount Course at Blairgowrie Golf Club © Blairgowrie Golf Club
Set in the heart of stunning Perthshire countryside, the Rosemount Golf Course boasts avenues lined with heather, pine and silver birch. The course was originally designed by Dr Alister MacKenzie, renowned architect of the Augusta National course in the USA, with later remodelling by James Braid.