Suggest putting together a bespoke Scottish Golf Vacation to your group of like-minded fairway fanatics and minds will naturally drift to thoughts of a nervous opening tee shot in front of numerous casual spectators at The Old Course in St Andrews, the opportunity to test your golf game on one of the country’s modern highly rated venues such as Castle Stuart, Trump Aberdeen and Dumbarnie Links or start praying for a calm day and prepare to tee it up on “Golf’s Greatest Test“; The Championship Course at Carnoustie.
However for the dedicated golf traveller seeking that very special experience, Scotland’s Highlands & Islands have witnessed a dramatic increase in enquiries particularly from international golfers determined to explore these stunning locations and their many historic golf courses.
Generations of golfers from across the globe have played the classic links of Ayrshire at Prestwick, Royal Troon, Barassie, Gailes, Western Gailes and Turnberry against the backdrop of the great granite ridges of the Goatfell range on the Isle of Arran.
Just a short ferry trip across The Firth of Clyde you will discover no fewer than seven golf courses, featuring a great mixture of three 18 hole courses, three 9 hole courses and of course the very popular and highly photographed 12 hole Shiskine.
Head further west from Arran back to the mainland and down the Kintyre Peninsula to Machrihanish, Mach Dunes and Dunaverty before another crossing out to every whisky drinker’s favourite island of Islay and the very impressive redevelopment of The Machrie Links with its fantastic hotel. Islay’s neighbouring island Jura now boasts one of the most talked about golf course creations anywhere in the world. Ardfin is simply stunning and for anyone prepared to part with the eye watering green fee it guarantees an unforgettable golf experience.
Heading north you will want to complete your Inner Hebridean tour with a visit to Isle of Skye Golf Club; an unexpected gem amidst Skye’s dramatic landscape with stunning views across to Raasay. The course provides a fun test of golf with its combination of 9 greens and 18 tees. You should allow some time to appreciate this historic island and its incredible scenery before making your way to the main ferry terminal for the Outer Hebrides at Uig. I can personally recommend a visit to the Skye Brewery Company, conveniently located at the pier, for some much needed refreshments.
From Uig, another glorious 1hr 40mins of west coast cruising will bring you to Harris; famous the world over for glorious deserted beaches, Harris Tweed and for some very nice Gin. The Isle of Harris Golf Club is located in Scarista on the west coast of the island; often described as one of the world’s finest settings for the game of golf.
The resurgence of interest in Scotland’s island golf clubs received a massive boost when the fully restored Askernish Golf Club on the Isle of South Uist was unveiled to the golf world after an incredible effort to revive “the holy grail of links golf”; the original course being laid out by Old Tom in 1891. The most natural golf course you will ever experience. It is a challenge to get here but very much worth all the effort.If your schedule does not allow for ferry travel then flights are available from Glasgow Airport to Benbecula.
The members at these island golf clubs are rightly proud of their courses and make sure any visitor is very well looked after. Golf is the primary reason for your trip but make sure you take the time to enjoy your surroundings, absorb the sights and sounds of a more relaxed way of life and don’t forget to tell your friends all about it when you get home.