For those not familiar with the sport of golf, you may think of it as a private-club type of event, where the rich swing their iron clubs in goofy pants surrounded by elegance.
In some cases, you may be right, but there is a different element you may not know about – Scotland. Where it all began.
You see, in Scotland, it’s not about belonging to exclusive clubs and being invited to private conventions in order to set foot on the green. Instead, in Scotland, in the words of former U.S. Open Champion Geoff Ogiluy, golf is “really for the people,” the every man’s game.
The people of Scotland cherish golf, and nearly all Scottish people understand the game. But to understand what golfing in Scotland is all about, you must go back in time, to where it all began.
In America, and elsewhere where golf is played, inclement weather can cause either a delay or a cancellation in the tournament. In Scotland, bad weather is embraced, as it is considered part of the game.
A links golf course isn’t just a type of course, it is the oldest course style in the world. What is links golf? It is best described as rising ground and ridges and a coastal area of dunes and at times open parkland.
When it comes to playing on a links course, you are talking about modifying your whole game. Everything is different, from your grip to your swing. The way you walk to the way you think. It can be frustrating and a game of psychological contest. So, if you have a temper like Happy Gilmore, you may not thrive on a links course. But if you love a challenge, you will love playing in Scotland.
Legendary Courses In Scotland
There are hundred of courses in Scotland where you could play and have a great experience. But there are a few that separate themselves from the rest because of their culture and rich history.
The Old Course In St. Andrews
When you ask an expert where you should play, if you had the chance to play in Scotland, they will most likely refer you to where it all began, the origins of golf itself, The Old Course.
This course presents different wind patterns, where your stroke is completely different than that of a parkland course. With playful challenges by mother nature herself, this course will indeed elevate your game.
The Old Course
The town of St. Andrew is the perfect complement to this course, and the people are enriched by golf culture all year round. The higher dunes and sea views present their own challenges and for 500 years or more, The Old Course has hosted many legends of the game.
Championship Course At Carnoustie
Located in in Carnoustie, Angus, Scotland, this is the neighbor of The Old Course in St. Andrews. Golf has been played at Carnoustie as far back as the early 16th century. This course is designed as one of the more difficult to golf in championship play, and has earned the nickname “The Beast”. Many golfers have succumbed to mother nature’s own game, and have failed as a result.
Carnoustie Golf Hotel
For those who continue to play and truly love the game of golf, and all of it’s challenges–then Carnoustie is a must stop venue for teeing off.
Muirfield Golf Course
You’d be welcomed to play at this place of legends on certain days, and you would immediately be taken aback at how many greats have come and gone at this course.
Muirfield has so many extravagant views and spectacular sights to see, that it’s hard to focus on your game because you are so overwhelmed by its beauty.
So who has played at Muirfield in Gullane, Scotland? How about Phil Mickelson, Nick Faldo, Tom Watson, and the great Jack Nicklaus? Each one calls Muirfield one of their favorite link courses.
The bumps, the dunes, the climbs and impressive backdrop create a Scottish golf experience that all golf lovers should be lucky enough to experience.
Tiger Wood’s marveled over the rich culture of golf in Scotland. Many golfers love it too, and whether or not you are beginner or a veteran of golf, the game is distinctively different when it comes to playing in Scotland as opposed to the U.S.
From exclusive to inclusive, private to open to the everyday man, golf in Scotland is a sport that is sacred to its people.