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Episode 89 – How Difficult Is Links Golf?

Ru Macdonald & Graylyn Loomis discuss how difficult Scottish links golf really is.

For many golfers planning a trip they often think back to seeing Tiger Woods battling the rough at Muirfield while hearing scare-stories of golfers shooting 100+ on a blustery day at Prestwick or Nairn.

On this episode we share the factors involved in making links golf difficult and some ways you can help, partially at least overcome them.


Attempting anything new is always going to be difficult and links golf when it’s new to you is no different. Knowing when to hit that knock down shot or when to putt from the fairway, it all comes down to experience. As Graylyn shares there is no substitute for playing with locals or having a good caddie to guide you round.


Vulnerable when it’s warm and sunny links courses biggest defence is the weather so be sure to be ready for it. Golf will be harder when you’re cold and wet. Pack the right gear and embrace it.

Scottish golf vacation hints and tips.

Tips to playing better golf on Scottish links.


Walking only. After numerous rounds of golf day after day you’ll soon find yourself beat up. Throw in the fact that you’re not always going to shoot the lights out and you can become exhausted really quickly. Don’t over do it.


Yes the greens are slower. Before leaving for Scotland practise those uphill putts as you’ll need to swing the blade a little firmer on the Scottish links. With the risk of wind greens are never going to be ultra quick. Add in the fact that you’ll be hitting putts 60-70 yards in length from off the green. As we said in the episode ‘your putter should be your best friend’ when golfing in Scotland!


While we’re without water hazards here our bunkers are proper bunkers. Should you find yourself in one consider it a one stroke penalty. If you miss a fairway it’s worth playing lateral to help speed up play and preserve your supply of golf balls.

Good news..

The courses are short (6200 yard par 70s) so you’ll have plenty looks at birdies. Below are some of the slope ratings.

Old Course Slope Rating: 129

Carnoustie Slope Rating: 144

Kingsbarns Slope Rating: 132

Royal Dornoch Slope Rating: 129


*In other news check out the new direct flights into Scotland.

Be sure to check out Graylyn’s appearance on Play Golf Getaways’ latest episode where he talked among other things his Scottish Golf Trip Planning Consulting and love of Scottish golf.

Follow Ru on Snapchat ScottishGolf and Instagram @scottishgolfpodcast.



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