Some of the finest golfing opportunities in the world are found on our verdant shores. From Fife’s coastal path to the Lothians, Highlands and the Western Isles, these sought-after locations boast incredible views, top-rated facilities and well-documented sporting history. Some offer championship courses,- having played host to the Scottish Open – with seasoned pros providing coaching. Many welcome frequent celebrity guests, seeking to perfect their swing. And where there are great courses, you can be sure there are great hotels. Golfing and spa retreats often go hand in hand, so if you’re not so keen on playing, you can still enjoy a dreamy break, without setting foot on the green. Here are some of the beautiful upscale properties to book for a golfing break.
Murrayshall Country House Hotel & Golf Club, Perthshire
Suitable for all the family (including any four-legged members who can join for the stay). This hotel has not one, but two courses – the Murrayshall and the Lynedoch. 27 holes stretch across Perthshire parkland, along with a driving range and Pro Shop. PGA tuition can be arranged and visitors aren’t asked for a handicap certificate. The Stutts Clubhouse bar & grill with its outdoor courtyard is a delightful spot to enjoy a sociable post-round bite to eat and drink. The hotel has 40 newly refurbished bedrooms, fantastic brasserie for dinner, lunch and breakfast and there’s a dedicated Head of Golf to meet all your play-related needs.
The Machrie Hotel & Golf Links, Isle of Islay
Practice your swing to a backdrop of the Atlantic Ocean in this beautiful Hebridean island setting. Golf Monthly describes the hideaway as: “Wild and desolate. The Machrie is a wonderful modern interpretation of the classic links game”. The sport has been a pastime on the grounds – originally designed by Willie Campbell – since 1891. However more recently, architect DJ Russell redesigned the course with a grand reopening taking place in May 2017. In addition to an 18-hole championship links, Machrie has a Wee course (six holes, par-3). For inclement weather, there’s a 5-bay driving range and an indoor golf studio with a Trackman Golf Simulator providing analytics. The cosy resort also has an on-site screening room and boutique spa facility for off-course relaxation time.
The Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire
Home of three championship courses (as well as a fourth) and The PGA National Golf Academy for Scotland, Gleneagles hosted The Ryder Cup in 2014 and the 2019 Solheim Cup – making it the only venue to have held both tournaments. There’s a total of 63 holes to be played here, including two 19th holes. The historic hotel established in 1924 and flanked by the epic Perthshire hills was also the venue for the G8 summit of world leaders in 2005. Lodges, luxury rooms, a concierge and plethora of high-end restaurants and bars ensure you never need to leave its prestigious grounds during your break away.
Links House at Royal Dornoch, Sutherland
Ultra boutique with just 15 rooms, Links House has a prime location, just steps away from the Royal Dornoch’s first tee and a short walk to the beach. Clubs are available to borrow if you’re unable to bring your own, along with a range of other activity supplies. Play the neighbouring course ranked #2 in Scotland and #4 in the world by Golf Digest, as well as a further four championship course nearby. It’s not only golf that’s the highlight of a stay at Links House – the two AA Rosette-awarded restaurant offers some of the finest food in the region. The 19th-century hotel also benefits from two honesty bars and sumptuous furnishings.
Old Course Hotel, St Andrews, Fife
One of the most famous Scottish golf hotels, the Old Course is a 144 roomed AA Five Red-Star resort, frequently holding society and corporate golf events. The Duke’s is a stunning course with sea views and if the weather’s inclement, players can head indoors to The Swing Studio to play a round on one of 60 virtual courses, with optional tuition. There’s also a renowned Pro Shop here, and Golfino stocking designer golf clothing. In the hotel, you’ll find a Kohler Waters Spa, a range of refined eateries, bars and upscale rooms with traditional Scottish decor.