Jul 9, 2012

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Golf in Scotland

The ancient sport of golf has been associated with Scotland for centuries. Originating in Aberdeenshire on the east coast and Prestwick in the southwest, Scotland is known as the ‘Home of Golf’.

To say it has an abundance of courses is rather an understatement as there are over 550 in total, including the iconic courses as St. Andrews, Carnoustie, Cameron House and Gleneagles.  Set amongst rolling hills, seaside locations, woodlands and surrounded by mountains, Scotland has some of the most beautiful courses in the world and whichever you choose to visit, you will spend many pleasant hours on the fairways and greens.  Let’s take a look at some of Scotland’s most famous golf courses.

Carnoustie –consists of three courses which are all rated in the top 50 courses in the UK. At 7361 yards the Championship course is reputed to be one of the world’s toughest and has even been known to reduce players to tears.

The Old Course, St. Andrews – is renowned as the most famous golf course in the world and the spiritual home of the game. Set by the sea, it has wide fairways and immense double greens, but the bunkers are the key to surviving this course.

Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29781620@N00/3661266834/

Royal Troon – golfers have been playing here since 1878.  One hundred years later it was awarded the ‘Royal’ status.  There are several architects associated with this ancient course including Willie Fernie, James Braid and Alistair McKenzie.

Gleneagles – home to three championship courses, this is one of the most famous names in the golfing  world.

  • King’s Course – designed in 1919 by James Braid, tests even the most proficient player.  Bordered by mountains in the North; green hills in the south and the Trossachs and Ben Vorlich to the west, this course is both beautiful and exhilarating to play.
  • PGA Centenary – “The finest parcel of land in the world I have ever been given to work with.” This is how the designer, Jack Niklaus, described this modern class course.
  • Queen’s Course – set amongst woodlands, this 3912 yard long course, with its lochans, ditches and water hazards always attracts top professional golfers as well as celebrities from both the entertainment and sport’s worlds.

Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28895119@N00/247734539/sizes/o/in/photostream/

Blairgowrie  – set in Perthshire is made up of two championship courses.

  • Rosemount – an inland course characterised by its beauty
  • Lansdowne – With its tree lined fairways and superb greens it is the home of the Scottish Mid Amateur Championships.  Designed by Peter Allis (known as the voice of Golf) and Dave Thomas, this was where Greg Norman achieved his first professional victory.

Royal Dornoch – originally designed by Tom Morris, this course set in Sutherland, a remote area of the Scottish Highlands, is known as the Gem of the North. Despite being too remote to be part of the major championship golf circuit, five times Open Champion Tom Watson said “It was the most fun I’ve had playing golf in my whole life”

Whether you choose to play at one of these famous courses or at another lesser known course you will have a great time playing golf in Scotland.

Sue Wright is an avid traveller and writer and has spent many years working with travel companies including Travel and Leisure Group.  She has spent the last eight years living and working in Cyprus

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