Spotlight on… Scottish Links
Now that we are well and truly into the colder months, many golfers are looking to the coast to find links courses that provide the best conditions for winter golf.
East Lothian is one area in Scotland that offers an abundance of great links courses and is home to ‘Scotland’s Golf Coast’. With 16 fantastic golf courses spread out along a 20-mile stretch, East Lothian boasts some of the finest links golf Scotland has to offer. With such a high number of courses provided across a relatively small stretch of land it isn’t hard to see why East Lothian attracts golfing enthusiasts from far and wide.
When looking at Scotland’s best links courses it would be hard to overlook Ayrshire, an area which lays claim to 47 courses, 5 of which are in the UK top 100 and 3 courses are Open Championship venues. Ayrshire is widely renowned as the birthplace of The Open when the very first was played at Prestwick Golf Club back in 1860.
Here are some top picks for some great tracks in Ayrshire and East Lothian:
The King Robert the Bruce Course was recently redesigned by Donald Steel and is truly links golf at its exhilarating best. Undulating greens, glorious fairways and magnificent ocean holes, all with stunning views of Kintyre, Arran, and the famous Turnberry Lighthouse.
Opened in the early 1920s this Harry Colt designed golf course has seen a number of changes from the most respected of designers. If you do want to keep getting the driver out of the bag make sure you are straight with it as some unwelcoming rough awaits the stray tee shot. With a unique blend of woodland and links this par 68 has a standard scratch score of 71.
A traditional Scottish links golf course occupying a prime position on the shores of the Firth of Clyde. The deep bunkers, running fairways, undulating greens and strands of gorse test the skills of players of all abilities.
Established in 1887, the Irvine Golf Club is a traditional links course designed by one of Scotland’s most famous course designers – James Braid. Its seaside location, which benefits from the Gulf Stream, means that this course is open year round.
At 6903 yards long from the championship tees with a par of 71 this Open Championship Qualifying course is a great test of golf. It is simply traditional links at its best, with its undulating fairways, fine greens and subtle qualities; it is an honest test of golfing skills in true links fashion.
This cliff top course has views of the bird sanctuary, Bass Rock. This is an all year round course and normal greens and tees are always in play. Measuring 6275 yards, par 70 for men and 73 for ladies, the course provides a challenging round of golf.
This course was laid out by Willie Park Jr in 1898. Running alongside No. 1 for the first seven holes, the course sweeps down to a nature reserve next to Aberlady Bay before turning back. The beauty of the East Lothian coastline and the challenge of the layout create an unforgettable