Scotland is known for many wonderful things: shortbread, scotch whisky, the royal lion rampant, kilts, bagpipes, and the mysterious Loch Ness monster. Did you know that among its many lovely claims to fame, Scotland is also considered to be the world’s best place to play golf? It’s true. In fact, Scotland is even known as The Home of Golf because golf originated here on Scotland’s east coast in Aberdeenshire. Today you’ll find a whopping 550 courses that are spread out all over the country.
The Old Course at Musselburgh, near Edinburgh, is considered to be the first and oldest golf course in the world. Golf was first played on Musselburgh Links in 1672, although there are reports of Mary Queen of Scots playing here as early as 1567. Musselburgh Links is open to the public all year round, and is a great place to experience a piece of golf history. You can even rent hickory golf clubs in order to experience what golf was originally like at the course.
Although Musselburgh is the oldest course, it is not as well known as the course known today as the Home of Golf- St. Andrews. The St. Andrews Links Trust manages a total of seven courses, which makes it the largest golf complex in all of Europe. The most famous of the seven courses is the Old Course, which is the host of the 2010 Open Championship. It is said that golf has been nurtured and developed here for more than 600 years. The world’s most famous golfers have played here, and thousands of other golf enthusiasts have traveled to St. Andrews to follow in their footsteps.
Among Scotland’s most famous and well loved courses is one called Carnoustie, which is located in the town of Carnoustie, Angus, in the east of Scotland. Allan Robertson, who is now recognized as the world’s first professional golfer, was the man who laid out the original course back in the mid 19th century. Later, in 1926, five times Open Championship winner James Braid was called in to revamp the course.
One of the country’s more modern courses, the PGA Centenary Course, was designed by Jack Nicklaus. Nicklaus called the mountainous and scenic course, “the finest parcel of land in the world I have ever been given to work with.” The PGA Centenary Course has quickly become a modern classic.
Although each Scottish golf course definitely does not leave anything to be desired in regards to beauty and scenery, Royal Troon is one that tops the charts in terms of location. It is situated on the southern end of Scotland on the Ayrshire coastline. It was founded in 1878, and over the years has definitely won its reputation among the others as one of the finest championship courses in the world.
With a huge array of wonderful courses from which to choose, you are sure to find one that will become your all-time favorite. The golf courses of Scotland pride themselves in their hospitality, and will be more than happy to welcome you.