Home / Fraserburgh / Episode 22 – Playing Scotland’s Hidden Gems with Robert Thompson and Ian Andrew

Episode 22 – Playing Scotland’s Hidden Gems with Robert Thompson and Ian Andrew

Robert Thompson, founder of and Ian Andrew, one of the most outspoken golf architects in the business talk over their recent golf trip to Scotland. Interestingly the itinerary was packed full of lesser known Scottish golf experiences aligned to some topical golf courses the gents just had to visit. Be ready for a very interesting and resourceful guide from two leading professionals in the golf business. Below is a summary of the trip.

Ardgowan Hotel

Both agreed an excellent location to walk onto the Old Course and around the Auld Grey Town

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Old Course St Andrews & Redesign

Ian has never been one for not passing comment on historical course reconstruction which he is so passionate about.This section of the episode (6mins) Ian boldly suggests the work of Winter 2013 should not have been done.

Lundin Links Golf Club

A good start for a trip near St Andrews to warm you up for a week of golf.

T: +44 (0)1333 320 202  W: 

Elie Golf House Club – The Surprise of the Trip

Both noted Elie as the highlight of the trip from a golf experience and architectural point of view.

ellie ep22‘If you miss Elie, you miss something special. These places are where you feel links golf.’ (Ian Andrew)

‘It ranks up there with the best Scottish links I have played. The vistas, playing in and out of town and the golf offered, was as good as any holes we played during the trip.’ (Robert Thompson)

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Crail Golfing Society

Golf as it was. A very spectacular run along the coast early on. It is short and quirky. Again a good start for a golf trip in St Andrews.

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Eden Course – St Andrews – The Old Course Sibling

Ian talks at length of his love for this fantastic golf option at The Home of Golf. He notes it like a similar experience as playing the Old Course. ‘As an architect it was an educational experience to see the colt greens. if 27 is your limit, play 9 at Eden! Read Co-host Graylyn Loomis’ Eden review here.

eden ep 22

Royal Aberdeen (Scottish Open 2014 Venue)

Both agree that the front 9 is an unforgettable set of holes. You get through 9 holes and you can’t help but say wow. Ian is really looking forward to watching the world’s best tackle the links at Balgownie for the Scottish Open and believes the players will love it. If the wind blows from a mix of directions it could prove a formidable and memorable tournament.

royal aberdeen ep 22

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*Murcar Golf Links is also touched upon and will be featured in an upcoming episode ahead of the Scottish Open on the podcast.

Trump International Scotland Stay & Play

Ian Andrew noted it as the best site he had ever seen. While he missed the ground options for the windy days that aside the routing makes it one of the best courses ever built. Robert echos these sentiments but noted that he’d prefer if Donald Trump was reserved in telling the world this, let the golfing community decide!

The accommodation at the onsite MacLeod House was 5 Star luxury and enjoy by both.

T: +44 (0) 1358 74 33 00 W:

Fraserburgh Golf Club (Scotland’s Biggest Secret?)

‘Thirteen as an architect was mind blowing. This will make it into my future work. That to me is when the experience is at it’s greatest.’ (Ian Andrew)

It was the first time on the trip that the holes went in all directions. Both agree this was another highlight of the trip and a must play in Scotland for classic links golf.

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Accommodation – Culloden House

Near Inverness this stunning building had the gents drinking Scotch late at night.


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Castle Stuart Golf Links

A great course, the detailing of dunes, concepts and play ability to enjoy the golf course. It says to us as golfers, have some fun!  The site was good but the architecture was brilliant.

Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club

It was another great lesser known course that was in a fantastic setting and with a mix of holes which proved really enjoyable to both and a perfect final round on their trip.

T: +44 (0)1381 620 529 W: www.fortrose

Golf fans are very intimidated by cost around Scotland golf travel, Ian and Robert believe you are smarter off playing the lesser known courses as the experiences are of the equal, Don’t underestimate the golf that is on offer on the second tier courses. Some of the most exceptional holes (specifically quirky) are found on these. The smaller the club, the more personal the experience.


Each week we ask our guests to share their Scottish golf travel experiences in our Recounter.

Favourite Golf Course & Accommodation
Castle Stuart /Culloden House (Robert Thompson Top)
Eden Course / Ardgowan Hotel

FAVOURITE Scottish Shot
Second into #3 Castle Stuart
Bump and run into #13 Fraserburgh

1 Equipment Option
Wind jacket / compression shirt

Unfriendly people / Only playing Open rota courses

Parting bit of Advice
Don’t worry about the driving
Stay in one area and golf the lesser known courses

For Scottish golf course reviews read Co-Host Graylyn Loomis’ blog – Living As A Links Golfer


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