The top golf courses in Scotland are a delight for lovers of links golf
As well as being one of the top golf courses in Scotland, some view this track as the toughest test of golf in Scotland, with ditches weaving through and alongside holes, and out of bounds ready to capture wayward drives on many holes. A round over this undulating and supremely firm linksland studded with bunkers demands length, accuracy and a delicate touch to score well.
In the 1999 Open this course was dubbed Carnasty. The winning score was 6 over; of the 444 rounds played in that championship 102 were in the 80s and two in the 90s. The average round score was 78.31.
The design is forgiving off the tee. But it requires strategy to plot a low-scoring route round this links, as you need to approach the sloping greens from the correct angle to end up near the pins.
The course covers a glorious stretch of coastline with some of the most striking holes running along the water’s edge.
Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to look natural. Such is the case at Kingsbarns, for much earth was moved to create this natural-looking linksland.
The course is the creation not only of many bulldozers but American architect Kyle Phillips, who studied traditional Scottish links to ensure his layout looked and felt like an ancient piece of linksland.
Golf was first played here in 1793, but the nine-hole course which existed at the start of the Second World War was closed during the war and never reopened.
The North Sea is visible from every hole and the par-3 15th has a tee shot over sea and rocks.
Muirfield may lack the drama or views of some links courses, but it is considered by many the fairest test of golf on The Open rota.
Jack Nicklaus and Sir Nick Faldo both won their first Opens here. Nicklaus was so enamoured by the course that he has described as “the best in Britain” that he named one of his courses Muirfield Village. Faldo named his house in Kier Park in Ascot, Muirfield.
This links on the edge of the edge of the Firth of Forth some quirky designs.
The 15th green was laid out in 1869, and this redan green has been copied throughout the world by various celebrated architects.
A less copied feature of the course is the wall in front of the green on the par-4 13th.