Sign up for our daily newsletter

Latest news, reviews, analysis and opinion, plus unmissable deals for bunkered subscriptions, events, and our commercial partners.

If you want a quintessential Scottish golfing experience then you need to add a dash of whisky to the mix. So, what if you could combine play on a classic links with a trip to one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries and throw in a connection to Rabbie Burns to boot?

Well, head down to the Borders and you can experience exactly that. You can play on a course laid out by the esteemed Mackenzie Ross, tour one of Scotland’s oldest distilleries and enjoy food and drink in the Bard’s favourite howff.

Here we’ll take you through the delights of combining all three on a golf day out in Dumfries and Galloway.

The golf

Southerness golf course
The Southerness links offers some of the best golf in Dumfries and Galloway. David J Whyte © Linksland

If you’re visiting Dumfries and Galloway, then you must play Southerness. Nestled in a picturesque location on the Solway Coast, it offers beautiful views from its rolling fairways. The course itself was designed by Mackenzie Ross, who was behind the restoration of Turnberry after the Second World War, and is seen as his finest solo work. It offers an exciting challenge for players of all skill levels with every element of links golf on display. A sea breeze stiffens the test as you stroll through the whin-lined fairways, with the hills of the Lake District visible across the water.

It plays to around 6,500 yards and the par is just 69. But don’t let that deceive you – the course rating is 73 and could even play above that on a windy day. Signature hole is the 12th, a left- to-right dogleg that stretches out to 424 yards and has a green with the sandy bay of the Solway Firth as a backdrop.

The whisky

Stills at the Annandale Distillery.
A tour of Annandale Distillery will let you see the whisky making process in action.

Annandale Distillery is one of the oldest in Scotland, with a history that reaches back to 1830. It’s now in its fourth era of whisky production and its drams are enjoyed all around the world.

Avail yourself of a tour and you’ll start off at their kiln where they tell you about the history of the distillery which lay dormant for almost 100 years. It was closed by the Johnny Walker company in 1924 but then reopened by the present owners in 2007. They spent £17.5million to overhaul it before production finally took place again in 2014.

From there it’s on to see the new spirit actually being produced. You’ll be introduced to Annandale’s unique twin copper stills distillation process and you’ll be taught what makes their whisky different to drams you’d find anywhere else.

Then it’s on to the archaeological site where you can see the location of the original stills from back in the 1800s. Final stop is the bonded warehouse where you can see all the casks waiting to be poured for their various owners.

The tour itself lasts about an hour and is very interactive. You can get your hands on the casks and smell what’s going on with the whisky at the different points throughout its life.

Obviously, that’s going to give you a bit of a thirst. But don’t worry, you’ll get to taste a range of whiskies, including the distillery’s celebrated peated malt, Man O’ Words, the unpeated Man O’ Swords, the new make spirit: Rascally Liquor®, and blended whiskies.

If you like what you’ve tasted then you can snap up a bottle in the store. Or if you want to invest yourself, you can buy a cask which you can keep on site and then bottle yourself later on. You can get peated and unpeated and it means you would have your very own whisky.

You can also enjoy a whisky-tasting masterclass where one of the distillery’s knowledgeable guides will elevate your appreciation of these delicious drams.

Then if you’re feeling peckish, pull up a chair in the award-winning Maltings Coffee Shop, where a warm welcome awaits along with a seasonal menu filled with homemade cakes, sandwiches, light bites and afternoon teas.

The Bard

The Globe Inn entrance
The Globe Inn is the perfect place to dine after a day’s golfing and whisky tasting around Dumfries.

If you’re looking for the perfect way to round off your day then pop into The Globe Inn in Dumfries. The Globe was Rabbie Burns’ favourite howff and where he was inspired to write many of his most famous works.

Burns spent most of his nights there after moving his family to Dumfries to work as an excise man. His table and chair from where he used to hold court are still there in the Burns Dining Room.

The famed poet was also known to fling open the windows by his table and read out the newspaper to passers-by who would stop to hear the latest from events of the time such as the French Revolution.

At The Globe you can enjoy a la carte dining at the 1610 Restaurant, which fuses modern and classic culinary delights. You can also settle yourself into the bar where there are over 300 whiskies to choose from, including some of Annandale Distillery’s drams that are only available here or at the distillery itself.

So make your way down to the Borders, and let the Annandale Distillery help you enjoy a true Scottish golf experience in Dumfries and Galloway.

About Partnership content

Some bunkered online content is funded by outside parties. The revenue from this helps to sustain our independent news gathering. You will always know if you are reading paid-for material as it will be clearly labelled as “Partnership” on the site and on social media channels.

This can take two different forms.

“Presented by”

This means the content has been paid for and produced by the named advertiser.

“In partnership with”

This means the content has been paid for and approved by the named advertiser but written and edited by our own commercial content team.

More Reads

Image Turnberry green

The bunkered Golf Course Guide - Scotland

Now, with bunkered, you can discover the golf courses Scotland has to offer. Trust us, you will not be disappointed.

Find Courses