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With over 500 courses to choose from, deciding where to play golf in Scotland – the ‘Home of Golf’ – can be a daunting task.

Naturally, the temptation will be to stick to the most famous courses, the lauded layouts that are known and held in the highest regard around the world.

However, to do so would be to miss out on some truly exceptional experiences at fabulous courses that perhaps don’t enjoy the same profile as their more renowned contemporaries.

Over the next few pages, we’ve handpicked a selection of the very best Scottish courses that you’ve (probably!) never heard of. Some are fabulous tests. Others are quirky and unique. And others have the most breathtaking views. What do they all have in common? Simple: to play them is to love them…

Stromness Golf Club


Where: Orkney Islands

Located on the outskirts of the town of the same name – the second most populous town in Orkney – on the south-west part of the mainland, Stromness is pure, unadulterated joy. It hugs the coastline, delivering spectacular views across the sea towards the islands of Graemsay and Hoy. At just over 4,800 yards, this 18-hole layout is nice and short, allowing you to get around in under three hours on most days, whilst the long summer days allow you to play well past your typical bedtime.

Dragon’s Tooth

Dragons Tooth

Where: Ballachulish, Fort William

Arguably the finest nine-hole course in the country, a quick jaunt around Dragon’s Tooth is a ‘must’ for any golfer visiting the wild west coast of Scotland. Located within an undulating, tree-lined estate at the entrance to mighty Glencoe, just south of Fort William, it sits in the beautiful Ballachulish valley at the foot of the dramatic Glen Ahulish gorge and at the banks of Loch Linnhe. For the location alone, it’s well worth playing.


Corrie New

Where: Isle of Arran

Whilst most conversations about golf on Arran are dominated by Shiskine, it’s well worth checking out the six other courses on the island, Corrie in particular. A gem of a nine-holer, it is located almost exactly hallway between the Brodick ferry terminal and Lochranza at the northernmost tip of the island. It nestles in hills, which provide a dramatic backdrop to your round. The views over the Firth of Clyde towards the end of your round are spellbinding on a sunny summer’s day.

Cullen Links


Where: Cullen, Moray

Situated halfway between Royal Dornoch and Royal Aberdeen on the shores of the Moray Firth, Cullen is a simply tremendous Old Tom Morris course. Described by acclaimed golf course architect Tom Doak as a “crazy par-64 course [that] is different than anything I’ve played and worth a visit just for the novelty of it”,  it is a hugely enjoyable, quirky links that lingers long in the memory.


Where: Anstruther, Fife

Located around ten miles south of St Andrews, and occupying a stunning parcel of land along the shoreline between Anstruther and Pittenweem, Anstruther is fabulous course that is bursting with charm and personality. It dates back to 1890 and is a splendid nine-hole test for players of all standards. It also happens to be home to one of the toughest par-3s in the UK, the fearsome fifth. Named “Rockies”, it is a card-wrecker that the more sensible golfers treat as a par-4.

St Fillans

St Fillans

Where: St Fillans, Perthshire

Described by two-time major champion Sandy Lyle as his “favourite inland course in Scotland”, St Fillans is the very dictionary definition of “hidden gem”. It was named the “Best Nine-Hole Course In Scotland” at 2019 Scottish Golf Tourism Awards and deservedly so. Set amidst stunning scenery, it delivers breathtaking views of the Birran and is regularly visited by local wildlife. It’s just terrific fun from start to finish.



Where: Oban, Argyll

As the home course of 2019 European Tour ‘Rookie of the Year’ Robert MacIntyre, Glencruitten’s profile has risen sharply in the last 18 months or so. Designed by five-time Open champion James Braid, it nestles among the hills of the Glencruitten Estate on the outskirts of Oban, and is blessed with a colourful array of flora and fauna at the height of the season. Mature trees frame the layout, including two Scots Pine that are part of the ancient Caledonian Forest. At the top of the hill on the fourth hole, meanwhile, you’ll find a listed ancient monument


Durness New

Where: Durness, Sutherland

Routinely described as the most remote course on the British mainland, Durness is a stunning nine-hole track that is located close to Cape Wrath in the far north-west of the country. It opened in 1988 having been designed by three golf enthusiasts on land that overlooks Balnakiel Bay. Inherently beautiful, rugged and exposed, it’s a ‘must’ for any serious golfer. Tie it in with a tour of the North Coast 500 for the ultimate Scottish experience.



Where: Isle of Skye

Built on the site of a mortal feud between the MacDonalds and the MacLeods, Skeabost is a charming nine-hole course located on the Isle of Skye, just off the north-west coast of Scotland. Located within the grounds of the Skeabost House Hotel and by the banks of the River Snizort, it is a compact, tricky course that you’ll be itching to play more than once.



Where: Hill of Tarvit, Fife

Drive just 12 miles west of St Andrews to be transported back in time at the brilliant Kingarrock. The only remaining hickory golf course in the UK, this challenging nine-holer invites you to rekindle the original spirit of golf by playing with the equipment used by those who blazed a trail for golf over a century ago. You can even complete the experience by hiring plus-fours from the pro shop!

King James VI

King James Vi

Where: Perth, Perthshire

The country’s only self-contained ‘island’ course on a river island, King James VI is a quirky place that has to be seen to be believed. Accessible only by foot, its course was designed by Old Tom Morris on Moncrieffe Island in the heart of the River Tay. Interestingly, it takes its name from King James VI of Scotland – later King James I of England and Ireland – who reportedly learned to play golf on Perth’s Inches when he was a young boy.



Where: Eyemouth, Scottish Borders

The first and last course on the east coast of Scotland, Eyemouth has the distinction of being the only coastal links in the Scottish Borders. It opened in 1894 but it wasn’t until 1997 that it was converted to a full 18-hole course – and what a course it is! The par-3 sixth has previously been voted ‘Britain’s No1 Most Extraordinary Golf Hole’, whilst the 13th – the so-called ‘Hawkness Monster’ – is reported to be Scotland’s longest golf hole, measuring 656 yards from the back tees.



Where: Isle of Bute

According to the great Walter Hagen, Rothesay Golf Club has the best views of any golf course in the world. So, if it’s good enough for one of the greatest players ever to play the game… Founded in 1892, Rothesay is home to a challenging James Braid course that works its way around around Canada Hill to deliver spectacular views of the Firth of Clyde, the Cowal Hills, Lochs Ridden and Striven, the Mull of Kintyre, the isle of Arran and the Ayrshire Hills. If it doesn’t take your breath away, you probably weren’t breathing to begin with.

St Medan

St Medan

Where: Port William, Dumfries & Galloway

Located on the shores of Luce Bay in south-west Scotland, the nine-hole course at St Medan offers a picturesque, family-friendly round of golf. Visitors will particularly enjoy the challenge of the fourth. “The Well Hole” is a challenging ‘short ‘ hole, with danger lurking both left and right. Looking for another reason to visit? Try this: St Medan has the unique distinction of being Scotland’s most southerly golf club.


Killin New

Where: Killin, Perthshire

Killin has regularly been described as “the most beautiful nine-hole course in Scotland” and it’s easy to see why. Situated at the head of Loch Tay amid the awe-inspiring scenery of the Perthshire Highlands, it offers the kind of breathtaking panoramic views that courses considerably higher in profile would kill for. It’s no pushover, though, with some holes that will give your skills a thorough examination.



Where: Gairloch, Ross-shire

Gairloch rather boldly proclaims itself to be “possibly the best wee golf course in the Highlands” – and it’s hard to argue. A beautiful nine-hole course that sits among rolling dunes and dates back to 1898, it has a truly enviable location. It hugs a glorious sandy beach, with the Minch and the islands of Skye, Harris and Lewis to the west, the mountains of Torridon to the south, and the wilderness of Letterewe to the east. Visitors are invited to turn up and play, with an honesty box in operation. Just magnificent.

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