Scotland is famous for its golf courses and is a go-to destination for golfing holidays. The courses range from world-famous, to the lesser known local hang outs. They also range in price, difficulty and surrounding location. Because of this it can be tricky to choose the perfect golfing destination for you.
But if you’re currently planning a trip or you’re looking for some inspiration for a great golfing getaway – then look no further! My Baggage have found 11 must-visit golf courses in the Scottish Highlands for you. You could even hit the road and complete a number of these courses in one trip.
1. Macdonald Spey Valley Golf Course
The Macdonald Aviemore Resort is home to the Spey Valley Golf Course, which in turn is home to Scotland’s longest hole (635 yards). The 18-hole championship course is situated on the banks of the River Spey and offers breathtaking views across the Caledonian forests. In amongst the flora and fauna of the Scottish Highlands it can be hard not to get distracted by your surroundings, but on a course that will challenge even the most talented golfers, you better take your A-game.
2. Boat of Garten
Following on from Macdonald Aviemore, just a short drive down the road you’ll find Boat of Garten Golf and Tennis Club. Also located on the banks of the River Spey, this 18-hole course is nestled amongst the beautiful Cairngorm scenery. What’s more, despite it being fairly short in length, Boat of Garten is known to be challenging and is certainly not a course you want to miss.
3. Tain Golf Club
One of the best settings in the highlands, Tain Golf Club shows some of the best backdrops Scotland has to offer. Overlooking the Dornoch Firth you can play golf with the sea on one side and mountains on the other. The location itself is sheltered which offers more favourable weather conditions and the course guarantees a great round of golf for beginners and experts alike.
4. Durness Golf Club
Next on our list is the challenging but equally beautiful Durness Golf Course. This is an 18-hole course, and all of the holes offer different views and challenges. It was designed by local golf enthusiasts and had been open since 1988. Whether you’re a guest or a member of the club you can enjoy a round of golf almost all year round.
5. Castle Stuart Golf Course
Castle Stuart is the newest contender on our list having only opened in 2009, but since then the course has already got a name for itself worldwide. In fact, the Scottish Open has been held here a number of times and with the breaking views of Castle Stuart and Moray Firth, it’s no wonder this has become such a popular course. It’s also close to some of the other great courses on this list, such as the upcoming entry, Nairn Golf Club.
6. Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Course
Just 20 minutes outside Inverness this historic golf course is located on the Canonry Peninsula in Scotland. The reason this course is described as historic and is certainly not to be missed is because it is the 15th oldest (recorded) golf course in the whole world – pretty impressive stuff! The course has been through changes since its first opening, being redesigned by James Braid in 1932. As you play you can take in the beautiful views over the Moray Firth as well as feeling like you’re teeing off from a little piece of history.
7. Nairn Golf Club
As previously mentioned above, Nairn Golf Club is another course not to be missed. James Braid also played a part in designing this course (as well as Tom Morris), making it a very popular and challenge destination. The careful design does its best to fight off the winds from Moray Firth, but nothing is certain, and this course ensure no golfer gets lazy – there’s always a challenge to be had here.
8. Dragon’s Tooth Golf Course
Yes, you read that right, Dragon’s Tooth is the name of a beautiful estate in the highlands, found just at the foot of Ben Vhair, close to Fort William. And this is so much more than just a great golf course! You can go on Segway tours, stay in the stunning luxury lodges and suites – complete with outdoor hot tubs – and soak up the relaxation of its perfect location. Hole 9 of the course has actually been voted the best 9th hole in the whole of Scotland, so you definitely don’t want to miss out on this course.
9. Wick Golf Club
Found on the east coast this course is one of the most northernly on our list of great courses. Founded in 1870 this is the oldest club in the Scottish Highlands and offers backdrops of the bay and beautiful dunes. But if this traditional course and its surroundings aren’t enticing enough, you might even be lucky enough to spot dolphins or orcas off the coast of the nearby Sinclair Bay.
10. Brora Golf Club
We hope you’re not getting sick of hearing his name just yet because the next course on our list was also partially designed by James Braid. Brora Golf Club can be found between the hills and the sea and has been described as a ‘quirky and fun place to play’. If you stay nearby, you’ll also be within driving distance of a number of other great courses including Golspie, Dornoch, Wick and Thurso.
11. Royal Dornoch Golf Club
Finally, on our list is the Royal Dornoch Golf Club. This club is well known by those in the golfing world and offers two 18-hole courses to choose from. To give you an idea of how popular this destination is, one of the courses (the Championship course) has been referred to as the ‘king of Scottish links courses. Best of all, this area has its own microclimate which means it is often warmer than other areas in Scotland and has less rainfall.