Itinerary - The Golfer's Tour (10 nights)
Scotland has a great many fine golf courses and many would claim that the West coast of Scotland has more landscape that gets to the heart of the game. Certainly playing golf on some of the Western Isles, where the grass is mown by sheep and bunkers are created by cutting the tops off the hillocks to expose the sand below is inspiring, but is the reliability of the wind and weather (less interrupted by the Gulf Stream) of the East coast between Aberdeen and Berwick on Tweed that the purists will say is the finest golfing country in the world. The general standard of the courses is very high in Scotland and so if you are unable to play on the courses that are featured below then there are usually several options nearby which will often be considerably cheaper and easier to get off on.
Cruden Bay - This is one of my favourite courses and is the furthest North you can get from Aberdeen before the coastline turns in to the Moray Firth. You will have no trouble getting a tee-off time and it is well worth the effort to get to. Just as a matter of interest this is where the major gas pipeline from the North Sea Oil fields, makes its landfall.
Royal Aberdeen - A difficult, gorse covered course that can get brutal when the wind is up. A significant course and a smart golf club. Be organised about booking your time.
Carnoustie - One of the ugliest clubhouses (recently rebuilt as a hotel instead) but a Major course that many consider to have the best closing 6 holes of any course in the world. The fairways can be narrow and undulating and nasty drainage ditches jump out at you but you certainly can feel the history of the great Open championships that have been played here.
St Andrews - The Royal and Ancient is the most famous of the courses at St Andrews but there are about 5 or 6 courses that are build in a very similar style with huge wide open areas and vast greens and bunkers littered around like confetti. Even the most modern of the courses (opened only a few years ago - the Castle course) is wonderful to play and you would do well to stay in St Andrews for more than one day
Kings Barns - The most recommended of the Fife courses. This course should not present too many difficulties in getting a tee time and you will have a great day out. Hereafter the tour jumps across the Firth of Forth missing out any of the Edinburgh Courses. This is not to say that there are no courses with merit.
Gullane - There are 3 Gullane Course all of which present few problems in getting to play on. The No 1 course can get very exposed on the top of Gullane hill and the No 2 Course has some nasty sloping fairway holes, but throughout the courses are kept in great condition and are a real test of pure hitting - everything always is that little bit longer a carry than you think with classic bunkers and pure links grass.
Muirfield - a smart club that you will need to apply to 6 months in advance. However it is one of the most famous of the Open Championship courses but also a very fair course with the difficulty lying in the subtlety of the bunker positioning and the borrows on the greens. Great lunches available and usually a memorable experience.
North Berwick - West links not East Links (which is still good but has a few weak holes). This is a fun course with no difficulties with tee-off times (usually). Lots of blind greens, burns, quarries, shots over walls, double hump-bank greens and the famous Redan hole which has been copied all over the world. In my opinion a must for the serious golfer.
Dunbar - The tightest of all the featured courses listed above but a very good course. A True links built between the rocky foreshore and the arable land, the holes change direction subtlety so that you are always experiencing slightly different wind directions. Relatively easy to get a tee-off time.
What other people say
"We highly recommend booking through Private House Stays. We organised our whole Scottish trip using it."Hank and Marlene Kopoknok