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Gleneagles King's Course

10 Hidden Gems

The Lesser-Known Treasures That Offer an Exceptional Golf Experience

There are so many big-name courses in Scotland that you can easily miss out on some genuinely magnificent courses. Some of the smaller and less well-known courses have just as much to offer. When it comes to an exceptional experience, here are some of the best courses that you might not have heard of.

1. Balcomie Links, Crail

This short course is a hidden jewel. Located only 12 miles from St Andrews it is often overlooked. However, by focusing on its more famous neighbour scores of golfers are missing out on a delightful course. With so much character and variable conditions, this course demands to be played more than once. You can comfortably enjoy the course twice in one day. This will give you the chance to truly appreciate all this course has to offer.

2. Brora Golf Course, Brora

The opening nine hugs the shoreline of the North Sea, before the traditional out and back design, brings you home again. There are not many courses where you can play so many of your holes this close to the views of the sea. With no dunes between you and the water, you have nothing to hold back the wind, which makes for a challenging and invigorating game.

3. Dundonald Links

This Links almost didn’t come to pass. The initial plan was that it be part of a golf and residential complex. A project that was doomed to remain unfinished. Luckily Loch Lomond Golf Course was on hand to save the course and see it finished. This course lies in prime golfing countryside. It is quickly gaining popularity and has even hosted The Scottish Open.

4. Boat of Garten Golf Course, Boat of Garten

Boat of Garten, also known as Osprey village, is known for so many things - steam trains, birds of prey skiing. However, it should also be known for its enchanting golf course.  This 18 hole course is the epitome of fun. The pitch and roll of the fairways will keep you on your toes, especially during the summer months. While it is a short course, it truly packs a punch.

5. Nairn Championship

Nairn is a course that has been touched by many an exceptional architect. The original design was by Archie Simpson, which was extended by Tom Morris. James Braid made some alterations and was followed by Ben Sayers. James Braid wasn’t done though because he returned to make some final finishing touches. With so many hands, this course could feel disjointed, but instead, it is an exercise in golfing perfection.

6. Gullane No.1

The town of Gullane lives for golf. There are five courses to find here, including the renowned Muirfield. So, it is understandable how this course gets overlooked. The Gullane No 1 course is, however, a genuinely fascinating course. The turf is exquisite. Unlike most Links courses you will need to make both up and downhill shots. You won’t find many courses with the character of this one.

7. St Andrew’s Castle

This is a ‘marmite’ course if there ever was one. With its location on top of a cliff, it has some brutal westward winds to contend with. There is a fair amount of undulation to navigate. This is one you should play if only so you can have an opinion on it. As long as you don’t expect it to be a true Links course, you should be fine.

8. Lundin Links

The history of this course is fascinating. The original course was split in two and shared between two different clubs. As a result, this course has the honour of being an unintentional collaboration between Tom Morris and James Braid. This course has a little bit of everything going on, which makes it a very enjoyable course to play.

9. Rosemount Golf Course, Blairgowrie

Sitting at the feet of the Grampian mountains nestled amongst the heather and pine is James Braid designed 18 hole course. This inland course is undeniably pretty. The turf is crisp. The fairways pitch and roll their way through the stands of trees. Every hole is surrounded by a copse of trees which creates a natural amphitheatre for every final dramatic moment.

10. Moray Old

Believe it or not, but the weather in this part of Scotland allows for golf to be played every day of the year. This gem is hidden far in the north of Scotland but is National respected. It has hosted serval national championships over the years. The course has a long history with the local whiskey distilleries, which is all the more reason for a visit.

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