The Clubhouse

Top items to bring on a golf break to Scotland

Don't forget to pack the essentials for your next Scottish golf trip! Check out our top tips...

Chris Williams
Chris Williams
3 mins read
ScotlandUK & IrelandLinksGolf tours

You’ve sorted travel plans, organised a hotel and secured those all-important tee times for your forthcoming golf break to Scotland. All that remains is to firstly retain your excitement, and secondly to pack your bags.

Scotland is a small country that can be extremely unpredictable, particularly when it comes to the weather. That has to be a paramount focus in your preparations, in addition to the various golfing and day to day items that you’ll need to make the Scottish golf trip experience as smooth and as satisfying as possible. Here are just a few important things to consider.

1. Handicap certificate

It would be the nightmare scenario; after having secured a precious tee-time on the legendary Old Course at St. Andrews, or the noble championship links at Carnoustie, that you wouldn’t be allowed to play. That may sound extreme and unlikely, but it can happen if you don’t provide a valid handicap certificate.

In the past, many Open Rota courses were quite flexible with their policies, but with the number of visitors they now receive each year, regulations have become much stricter. The St. Andrews Links Trust would steadfastly prohibit you from playing if a valid certificate wasn’t provided. Handicap limits are generally 24 for men and 28 for women, so ensure that you have that accreditation. It is your key to the legendary courses of Scotland.

2. Rain gear and umbrellas

You may not believe this fact – but it can rain a lot in Scotland. Though the weather isn’t anywhere near as bad (honestly, it’s not) as people often suggest, packing quality rain gear is essential!

A high-quality umbrella – one that can withstand the worst meteorological conditions – is something else to consider, but also be prepared for the weather potentially being wonderful.

It can become pleasantly warm and dry throughout summer, with many visitors being fortunate enough to experience those ideal conditions. However, think of packing bad weather gear as being the equivalent of playing a provisional ball. It’s a simple insurance policy that can make all the difference.

3. Paracetamol (and other medications)

With some potential late nights and some (considerable) alcoholic consumption, there is a slight chance that you might not quite be at your best when standing on the first tee of some courses on your trip. Therefore, in order to fend off the attacks of a regrettable hangover, it might just be sensible to bring some paracetamol, it could be a lifesaver.

4. Lip balm

If you are battling the elements on a traditional links course, with the breeze howling and the sun beating down mercilessly from above, your skin is going to be put under a lot of stress. That is why the aforementioned moisturiser is such a crucial item to pack. However, it would be careless to ignore the potential plight of your lips, which could also become arid after a few days of golf in Scotland.

Speaking from experience, crusty lips aren’t particularly attractive to look at. They can also sour the experience of consuming a wee dram of Scotch or an ample portion of Haggis. In order to avoid that undesirable fate, ensure that some lip balm is included in your itinerary.

5. Golf GPS software

It may seem like heresy to use the most contemporary technology to assist your game in the nation where the sport was born, but GPS applications can be so useful when playing courses for the first time, particularly ones that possess a number of hidden hazards, which is commonplace on a links.

Although caddies are often available (particularly on the marquee courses) and detailed guides also being on offer at many venues, having pre-installed GPS software on your phone may be a cost-effective or alternative way of attaining that on-course information.

That said if you can afford to do so, hire a caddie when you can. In addition to offering a wealth of golfing knowledge, they can also be gifted raconteurs – offering stories of famous clients, local events, and maybe even tales of the sordid activities of their brethren in the evening.

6. Moisturiser and sun cream

This is particularly important for those who are dermatologically proactive. After potentially spending five hours on a golf course battling strong winds (or enjoying bright sunshine), your skin is going to be pretty dry.

If you wish to avoid your face resembling a sturdy form of leather, then it would be a shrewd idea to pack some moisturising products. It can surely be agreed by most people that it’s best not to look like Mickey Rourke, so ensure that your face is protected in order to escape that traumatic destiny.

7. Quality camera

This may not seem a necessity these days with the standard of images that can now be taken on mobile phones and tablet devices, however, it would be remiss not to bring along a quality camera with you as Scotland is a beautifully scenic country with a rich and vivid history.

From the breathtaking grandeur of the Highlands to the unrivalled tranquillity of Loch Ness, or even the majestic architecture of Edinburgh, there is much to see. It would be unfortunate not to properly capture those vistas and landmarks in order to share them with friends and family back home.

8. Leave some space

There is unquestionably much to pack for a golf trip to Scotland, but try to keep the less essential items to a minimum.

With so many potential souvenirs and a plethora of branded merchandise available at all of the major courses and visitor attractions throughout the country, you might become overwhelmed with the urge to spend vast sums of money on a never-ending selection of items. Although a welcome boost to the local economy, and a delight for anyone you’re buying gifts for, it could also stretch the limits of your luggage capacity, so it is important to leave some space!

Planning a golf break to scotland?
Now you know what to bring on a golf break to Scotland, it is time to start planning it! Contact the travel experts at Golfbreaks; let them do the work and save you money.


Chris Williams avatar
Chris Williams

UK Travel Consultant

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