Scottish Golf Links: A Cut Above the Rest
A round of Scottish Links Golf is truly unique – it is not like any other kind of golf you have played. It is the layout that the game was born on and the reason why the game grew so popular. There may only be a limited number of ‘true links’ courses in the world; however, you can play some of them on one of our fully escorted golf tours this year!
What really is True Links
Don’t be fooled. Links and true links courses are not the same. ‘True links’ is more special, the soil is sandy, and the grass is characterised by short blades with long roots. The rough is made up of tall wispy grass that makes it difficult for golfers to play out of if they land in it. Drainage on the course is very good, producing a firm surface to make it suitable for golfing all year long.
There are only 246 ‘true links’ golf courses in the world. 82 of them located in Scotland.
How to play the links
The only thing you need to remember when playing on a Links course is to play it on the ground. The short-bladed grass, quick fairways and wind (and even rain!) can seriously affect your round, so it is recommended to putt at every possible occasion.
Experience Scottish Links golf at its purest
Golfers don’t make the journey to Scotland to tee-off on courses like theirs back home. They make the pilgrimage to play on traditional Scottish links courses where the game has been played for centuries. Here are a few courses you must play to truly embellish your golfing experience in Scotland.
Kingsbarns Golf Links (pictured above)
It is one of the newest golf courses in Scotland, however, don’t let that deter you from believing that this course does not have the elements of a traditional ‘true links’ layout. Over 300,000 yards of land was removed in order to replicate a Scottish Links course. The result? Wide, open fairways that roll and twist through dunes and large appealing greens that have made Kingsbarns one of the ultimate (and most popular) links experience to golfers.
The course sweeps along the North Sea providing golfers with some of the most picturesque views at every hole. Voted the best par 5 in Scotland, the 12th is Kingsbarns’ signature and most beautiful hole. From an elevated tee-ground, you’ll follow a gentle dogleg down to the green that sits next to crashing surf. Get your cameras out, you would want to show your friends this spot!
Carnoustie Championship Links
You have not played Scottish Links Golf until you have teed-off at Carnoustie. One of the oldest courses in the world, it has challenged the greatest names in golf over the last few centuries. Carnoustie labels itself as ‘Golf’s Greatest Test’ and for good reason – the course has devilish bunkers and dense roughs that combine with the strong wind that howls from the North Sea to make it very unforgiving and tough for golfers.
Hole 18. That damned 18th will prove the hardest of them all. A staggering 444-yard par-4, with a water hazard (known as the Barry Burn) that snakes its way through the fairway to the unpleasant surprise of golfers. It’s the hole that famously cost Jean Van de Velde an Open Championship as he hit a devastating triple bogey to blow a three-shot lead in 1999. Play the 18th and you will discover for yourself what makes this hole so famous…
North Berwick Golf Club
The course is steeped in history welcoming golfers to its property since the 16th century. Situated along the coastline of West Bay, North Berwick offers a delightful setting for a round of golf. The course is not without its challenges, as you are made to dodge stone walls that are placed in the middle of fairways and in front of greens, as well as play shots from the nearby beach – if you’re unlucky enough to land there – which is a more difficult prospect at high tide.
The signature 15th hole is an exemplary short hole that has been copied by other course designers around the world. A tip to scoring well here is to ensure your tee shot carries all 190 yards, or thereabouts, to the hole. The green is known to be challenging, having fooled even the world’s best golfers with its dramatic slope.
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