The world of golf returns home as the 150th Open Championship will be played at the Old Course in St. Andrews.
Fans are excited, Tour pros are excited, even LIV golfers are allowed in on the action.
We know most golf fans will be spending the next week and more dreaming of hitting the Scottish links, so we here at golf week let’s do everything in our power to make this dream a little more real.
Last week we brought you some of the best golf holidays in the UK, but this week we’re focusing on Scotland and the 10 best courses the home of golf has to offer.
These rankings come directly from the hundreds of Golfweek’s top reviewers for 2021 who have continually reviewed courses and rated them based on our 10 criteria. They also filed a single overall grade for each course. These overall grades on each course are averaged to produce a final grade for each course.
For more lists of Golfweek’s top courses, check out the most recent selection of course rankings:
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Location: St. Andrews, Scotland
Course founded: Unknown
Great memorable moment: The snap of the tiger. Tiger Woods won the second of four consecutive Majors featuring his Tiger Slam by dominating the court, winning the tournament by eight strokes. Could we get another Tiger magic spot at the upcoming Open Championship 2022?
Location: Dornoch, Scotland
Course based: 1877
What do you want to know: Golf has been played in Dornoch since the beginning of the 17th century. Ranked No. 3 on Golfweek’s list of the 50 best classic courses in Britain and Ireland, Royal Dornoch is often considered one of the best courses in the world and was the course of architect Donald Ross, known as of the “keeper of the greens” while growing up in Dornoch.
Location: Gulane, Scotland
Course founded: 1892
Great memorable moment: The furious return of Phil Mickelson. Just before his 50th birthday, Miguel Angel Jimenez led the tournament after 36 holes. However, Mickelson shot a final round 66 to overcome a five-shot deficit entering Sunday and defeat Henrik Stenson to claim his fifth major and only open championship.
Location: Turnberry, Scotland
Course founded: 1901
Great memorable moment: The duel in the sun. The 1977 finish fight between Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus is still considered one of the best final rounds in major history. Watson held off Nicklaus by birdieing the 72nd hole and winning the 106th Open Championship by a stroke. Watson and Nicklaus were paired for the final two rounds and finished 11 and 10 shots out of the field, respectively.
Location: North Berwick, Scotland
Course based: 1832
What do you want to know: While the Genesis Scottish Open takes place at the Renaissance Club in North Berwick, the West Links at North Berwick Golf Club is actually the highest rated golf course in the village. The course is located on the Firth of Forth, and the sea is in play on six different holes.
Location: Carnoustie, Scotland
Course founded: 1830s
Great memorable moment: Van de Velde’s Collapse. Known to be one of the toughest courses in the world, Carnoustie gave us many memorable moments. Francesco Molinari held off Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in 2018, Padraig Harrington beat Sergio Garcia in a four-hole playoff in 2007, but we must particularly mention Jean van de Velde’s infamous collapse on the 18th hole of the 1999 Open Championship. As painful to watch today as it was then, van de Velde came in 18 needing a double bogey or better to win the Claret Jug. You know the rest, he carded a triple bogey and lost in the playoff against Paul Lawrie.
Location: Dunbartonshire, Scotland
What do you want to know: Tom Weiskopf’s “enduring memorial to golf”, Loch Lomond hosted the Scottish Open on the European Tour from 2001 to 2010 and produced winners such as Retief Goosen, Ernie Els, Graeme McDowell and Martin Kaymer.
Location: Inverness, Scotland
Course founded: 2009
What do you want to know: Castle Stuart will soon be renamed Cabot Highlands. “Castle Stuart has been regarded as a benchmark of exceptional Scottish golf since its opening thirteen years ago,” said Ben Cowan-Dewar, CEO and co-founder of Cabot. “We are honored to be a steward of the land and to carry forward the original vision for the property. Our goal is to create lasting memories in magical places, and there are few places in the world more awe-inspiring than the Scottish Highlands.