5 best golf courses in Scotland

The Open Championship returns to Scotland this week for the 145th edition of golf’s oldest major tournament. Royal Troon will play host to the event for the ninth time, but there’s certainly no shortage of options when the tournament moves to Scotland.

Here’s an overview of the five best golf courses in Scotland.

St Andrews (Old Course)

Location: St Andrews, Scotland
Open Championships: 29
Lowest 18-hole score: 62 (10-under)

The storied Home of Golf. The sport has been played at St Andrews for over 500 years. Fittingly, no course has hosted more Open Championships – including the first back in 1873.


Location: Gullane, Scotland
Open Championships: 16
Lowest 18-hole score: 64 (7-under)

Muirfield is home to “The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers” – the club credited with producing the first known Rules of Golf back in 1774.

Turnberry (Ailsa)

Location: South Ayrshire, Scotland
Open Championships: 4
Lowest 18-hole score: 63 (7-under)

Established in 1906, Turnberry didn’t host its first Open until 1977 – but it was worth the wait, as Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson went head-to-head in the famous “Duel in the Sun,” which still stands as one of golf’s greatest finishes.

Carnoustie (Championship)

Location: Carnoustie, Scotland
Open Championships: 7
Lowest 18-hole score: 64 (7-under)

Sir Michael Bonallack said of Carnoustie, “When the wind is blowing, it is the toughest golf course in Britain. And when it’s not blowing, it’s probably still the toughest.”

Royal Dornoch

Location: Sutherland, Scotland
Open Championships: 0
Lowest 18-hole score: 62 (8-under)

World-famous course architect Donald Ross grew up playing golf at Dornoch. While it’s located off the beaten path and has never hosted a major tournament, it remains one of the world’s top golf destinations.

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