June 9th, 2010

The Joys of Scottish Golf

by Don

Playing golf in Scotland is often regarded as a ‘must’ for the keen golfer, given Scotland’s rich history in the sport. Although there is no firm proof that golf originated in Scotland it is believed that a variety of the present day version of golf was played in the country as far back as the 15th century. It has also been said that Mary Queen of Scots was the first woman to play golf in Scotland and that she caused a great scandal when she was seen playing at the famous St Andrews course within only a few days of her husband’s murder.

There are many famous golf courses in Scotland and the R&A, which is the world governing body for the game (excluding the United States and Mexico) is based at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews in Fife.

With golf courses considered to be some of the best in the world, a holiday devoted to playing golf in Scotland is a must for any enthusiast of the sport. Below we look at 5 of the top places to play golf in Scotland.

FAIRMONT ST ANDREWS

Fairmont at St. Andrews, Fife, is an award-winning course and resort situated in the very ‘home’ of golf. It has two world-class courses, The Torrance and The Kittocks. The Torrance was originally designed by Sam Torrance but re-opened in July 2009 after improvement work. It now features eight new holes and is a traditional Scottish links with sizeable greens and undulating fairways.

The Kittocks (previously called The Devlin after its’ designer) opened in

2002 and is considered to be the more challenging of the two courses. It has recently been improved after a being included in the five star resort’s £17m refurbishment. The Kittocks offers dramatic views of the coastline and the Grampian Mountains in the distant horizon providing perhaps the ultimate experience for playing golf in Scotland.

TURNBERRY RESORT 5*

Turnberry Golf Resort is situated along the rugged coastline of the outer Firth of Clyde in the south west of Scotland making it another dramatic location for playing golf in Scotland. It was designed by James Miller and features a hotel, a lodge, cottage accommodation and a golf academy alongside three, traditional links courses.

The Ailsa Course was named after the owner of the land where it was built the third Marquess of Ailsa. It was redesigned by Mackenzie Ross and completed in 1951. The Ailsa has hosted The Open Championship four times.

The par-72 Kintyre course opened in 2001 and hosted The Open Championship final qualifying round in 2004. The nine-hole Arran course is regarded as a good introduction for the novice player, it opened in 2002.

OLD COURSE HOTEL ST ANDREWS 5*

The 5-star Old Course Hotel in St Andrews is the perfect place to stay for the keen golfer with its uninterrupted views out to sea over the 17th hole.

The hotel is part of the prestigious Kosaido Golf and Resort Management and incorporates the Kohler Waters Spa.

The Duke’s golf course was carefully designed to fit in with the five links courses along the stunning coastline at St Andrews. It was designed by, five-times Open Champion, Peter Thomson but was renovated in 2006 by Tim Liddy and given five completely new holes. The stunning views over the historic town of St Andrews and the dramatic coastline make this an idyllic place to play golf in Scotland.

MACDONALD CARDRONA HOTEL, GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

Just 23 miles from Edinburgh and set amongst the undulating hills of the Scottish Borders, the Macdonald Cardrona Hotel, Golf and Country Club in Peebles features an 18-hole, par 72 championship golf course alongside state-of-the-art spa facilities.

Considered to be challenging, the 18-hole championship golf course was designed by former Ryder Cup player Dave Thomas. It is set in a combination of woodland, river and mature parkland and has spectacular views of the Tweed Valley. Gaining a growing reputation as a world-class location it has hosted the 2004 and 2007 Euro Pro Tour in 2004 and 2007 and the European Challenge Tour in 2007 and 2008.

GLENEAGLES

The Gleneagles Hotel boasts three championship golf courses set amongst dramatic views of the Perthshire hills. 
The golf courses were designed by two world famous golfers, five times winner of the Open Championship, James Braid, who designed the King’s and Queen’s courses and the legendary Jack Nicklaus, designer of the PGA Centenary Course.

The luxury Gleneagles hotel is currently undergoing redevelopment in preparation for 2014 40th Ryder Cup Matches, which are to be played on the PGA Centenary Course.

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