Golf courses

10 Best Golf Courses in Scotland

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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The Old Course at St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland. Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images

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?

Book your St. Andrews tour

Hole n°10 at Royal Dornoch in Scotland.

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.

Book your tour at the Royal Dornoch

GULLANE, SCOTLAND – JULY 20: Tiger Woods of the United States plays into a bunker on the fourth hole during the third round of the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield on July 20, 2013 in Gullane, Scotland. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

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.

Book your tour to Muirfield

An aerial view of the Trump Hotel and golf course on June 14, 2020 in Turnberry, Scotland. Photo by Jeff J. Mitchell/Getty Images

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.

Book your tour at Trump Turnberry Resort

The final match ends on the 18th green on day two of the AAM Scottish Open Qualifier at North Berwick Golf Club on July 5, 2015 in North Berwick, Scotland. (Mark Runnacles – Getty Images)

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.

Book your round at North Berwick Golf Club

Jean Van De Velde In The 18th

French golfer Jean Van de Velde (bottom centre) takes his fifth shot on the 18th green during the final round of the 1999 British Open Championship at Carnoustie. (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

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.

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England’s Tyrrell Hatton tees off on the 7th during day three of the 2017 Alfred Dunhill Championship at Kingsbarns on October 7, 2017. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Location: St. Andrews, Scotland

Course founded: 2000

Great memorable moment: A first for Kim. Still the bridesmaid, In-Kyung Kim had her moment when Kingsbarns hosted the 2017 British Open Women. back en route to his first and only major title.

Book your tour at Kingsbarns

The 17th green of Loch Lomond during the 2010 Barclays Scottish Open.

Location: Dunbartonshire, Scotland

Course based:1993

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.

Castle Stuart Cabot Highlands

Castle Stuart Golf Links in Scotland will be renamed Cabot Highlands. (Courtesy of Cabot)

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.

Book your tour at Stuart Castle