The Clubhouse

Best golf destinations in Scotland

The standout golf destination in the whole of golf, we review our favorite spots in the birthplace of our sport!

Chris Williams
Chris Williams
6 mins read
LuxuryScotlandStay & playUK & IrelandGolf toursCity breaksSelf-cateringGolf & cityLinks

Scotland truly is a special place to play golf. From the fast-running links turf, centuries of history and tradition, and the magical feeling of playing the sport right in the center of a town, it really is an experience like no other.

While there’s fabulous golf to be found across the country, many of the top courses are focused around four main regions. So, join us as we dive into more detail about the best golf destinations in Scotland in St Andrews, Edinburgh & East Lothian, Ayrshire, and Aberdeen.

St Andrews

Where else could we start but the original Home of Golf. The Old Course is obviously the main attraction here, however, within the St Andrews Links Trust you’ll find six others that are equally enjoyable and make great additions to a trip. The Castle Course and The New Course (ironically built as recently as 1895!), are two of the most popular supporting layouts, but we also love the Jubilee and Eden designs too.

In addition to those owned and managed by The Links Trust, there’s also two courses at Fairmont St Andrews, which is a perfect base for a trip to the region. The Torrance and Kittocks courses offer stunning views across the bay into the Grey Auld Toon and can both be stretched back to Championship length for those looking for a challenge.

St Andrews Links

Those staying at The Old Course Hotel may also want to take advantage of the hotel’s relationship with the Dukes Course, including the transfers that are available to this layout which features the most changes in elevation of any course within the town.

You won’t have to travel too far either to experience some other world-class destinations in the wider area, with the likes of Kingsbarns and Carnoustie all reachable in under half-an-hour. There are also some great local courses, such as Monifieth, Crail Golfing Society, and Blairgowrie, all of which we’d recommend checking out if time allows.

Old Course Hotel, St Andrews

With so many incredible layouts within the region, it’s easy to see why St Andrews continues to top the bucket list for golfers from around the world – the only downside is trying to fit all these courses (and the many local pubs and restaurants) into your golf trip!

Edinburgh & East Lothian

With more than 20 courses stretched out across East Lothian (Scotland’s Golf Coast), this area to the east of Edinburgh is a true golfing Mecca for those that want to take in multiple venues on their trip.

From world-class layouts such as Muirfield, Archerfield, Renaissance, North Berwick, Dunbar, and the three courses at Gullane, through to the more typical members’ clubs at Kilspindie and Longniddry, the region is one of the strongest in the whole of the UK.

Longniddry Golf Club, East Lothian

Those looking for more of a resort-based vacation should consider Dalmahoy Hotel & Country Club, with its two on-site courses offering more of a parkland layout to others in the region. This can provide some variety to a tour to East Lothian, allowing golfers to truly experience every type of golf imaginable.

Plus, being located closer to Edinburgh means that golfers can take a day trip to the historic capital city. Whatever you’re looking for, Edinburgh and East Lothian will most certainly have you covered.

City of Edinburgh


Swinging across to the other side of the country now with a visit to the South West coast. Ayrshire is famed for its Open Championship courses in Royal Troon, Turnberry, and Prestwick, although there’s also a plethora of championship venues that offer an equally challenging (and enjoyable) links experience!

Trump Turnberry, Ailsa Course

Two of our most popular outside of the Open courses are Western Gailes and Dundonald – with the latter now boasting some of the finest self-catering accommodation for golfers in the UK. The Lodges at Dundonald are an ideal base for creating a home-away-from-home, allowing for easy exploration of the region, and a brilliant golf course just yards from your front door. Plus, with easy access to Glasgow, guests can enjoy a day trip or evening out in the lively city center.

Turnberry is also an ideal base for those that want to be immersed in the sport, with the famed Ailsa Course being complimented by the Robert The Bruce layout – a track that would garner significantly more praise if it weren’t for the excellence of its bigger brother.

Western Gailes Golf Club


Our final Scottish destination is also our most northerly, however, Aberdeen is definitely worth the trip for an unforgettable golfing experience. Plus, the region is home to its own airport that can be easily reached from major cities in England for those not keen on the drive up to this part of the country.

There are two courses that really headline this region: Trump International Golf Links, and Royal Aberdeen. Both are magnificent courses which offer immaculate playing surfaces – albeit an interesting contrast when it comes to the history and traditions of their respective clubhouses and memberships.

Trump International Golf Links

However, the quality of the land here is made use of by some other excellent layouts, notably at Murcar Links and Cruden Bay. International awareness of these world-class courses has heightened over recent years, but with it has come continual improvements to the courses themselves – which all feature regularly in UK Top 100 rankings.

Feeling inspired?
Now you've seen the best golf destinations in Scotland, take a look at some more of our Scotland golf vacations and start planning the ultimate golf experience!


Chris Williams avatar
Chris Williams

UK Travel Consultant

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