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Scottish Golf the Ultimate Bucket-list Trip

What are the ultimate Scottish golfing experiences which must be included on your bucket list trip as a golf enthusiast? As a leading voice within the Scottish golf travel industry I have compiled five bucket list trips that any avid golfer must complete to experience golf in Scotland at it’s best.

Read carefully, a few of these entries and the subsequent order may just surprise you.

#5 Play Kingsbarns Golf Links

Kingsbarns Golf Links, Golf Tourism Scotland Golf Course of the Year 2013

Yes this is the most you will spend on one green fee here in Scotland at around $350 but from an all-round golf experience Kingsbarns has it all. Golf has been played on this land, six miles from St Andrews since 1793 and is rich with golf history however a lot has changed since the reopening in 2000 after many years restoration. A very American service will make you feel at home here. What do I mean by that? Parking lot attendants will welcome you and accompany you to the driving range, the club house facilities are outstanding, the starter slick and the caddies the best in the country. As for the amazing course it is very much playable. Outstanding holes require all sort of links golf shots and the views and course condition are picture perfect. Save, play Kingsbarns Golf Links and leave feeling appreciated from those who make Kingsbarns special.

#4 Play a British Open Championship Venue

Muirfield, The Honorable Company of Edinburgh Golfers 2013 British Open Venue

The chase to play the trophy courses is too often seen here in Scotland. Head down in search for the golfing capital perceived to derive from playing the British Open Championship venues. The scary thing is, these courses aren’t the pinnacle in Scotland. In fact they offer the most limited availability unlike almost all other courses in Scotland. Of course these courses are associated with great champions and memories that are ingrained in golf fans minds, For the best chance to play one of these courses try Carnoustie Golf Links or Turnberry. Other tee-times which may prove more elusive include Royal Troon, Muirfield and the Old Course, St Andrews.

#3 Visit St Andrews, The Home of Golf


Old Course, St Andrews

I said at the beginning ‘read carefully’. A trip to St Andrews is as much about being there than playing there. The allusive game on the hallow St Andrews turf of the Old Course is talked about around the world. Experienced first hand I have seen grown men cry, knees wobble and golf swings malfunction. All because of the historic importance and perhaps a bit of the trophy course hunt effect. The best part of the experience in visiting The Home of Golf, St Andrews is the electricity in the air. Just being in the ‘Auld Town’ full of excited golfers from all over the world confirms your presence; as a golfer you’re pilgrimage is over with or without a tee-time.

#2 Blind Shots, Great Courses and Endless Fun


Cruden Bay Golf Club

Golf in Scotland is so different now to the game that was first shared with the world. Links golf has it’s quirky moments that will make you laugh as much as cry. The unexpected sideways bounce, plateau greens and blind shots are synonymous with the game as it was first played. The unrivaled density of great links golf courses here in Scotland must be experienced. Prestwick, Cruden Bay and North Berwick are just a few outstanding examples. Note though a camera isn’t compulsory but absolutely recommend.

#1 Scottish Golf Culture, History Stuck in Time

I boldly suggest you will feel as much satisfaction standing at a remote golf course honesty box than walking down an Open Championship Scottish fairway. The golf experience which extended across every corner of Scotland hundreds of years ago can be relived tomorrow.  Not for a moment are these courses trivial. The likes of Brora and Machrihanish (pictured above) are some better known examples.The growth of the game to all corners of the world only took place after every area of Scottish society had fallen in love with the game.Most of these courses have moved with the world, others however remain paused in time.

Scotland is an open door, so don’t say if, say when.

Ru Macdonald

Check out the guest post from Trip Bucket here.

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