Golf in Scotland began over 550 years ago, although where it actually started is still hotly disputed. It was not the fastest growing sport by any means, as by 1850 there were fewer than 20 Scottish golf courses.
However, by the early 1900s there were 275 and today there are more than 550 golf courses in the country. Figures suggest than 1 in 10 people play golf north of the border and when you are out travelling, Scotland is littered with great layouts at every turn and you can invariably see someone pulling their golf trolley down the pavement, or with clubs across their shoulder.
Scotland is the Home of Golf and as you would expect, the Scottish golf venues are second to none. The royal and ancient game was originally played by the coast where the first links golf courses were born (so called because they were created on the strip of terrain that links land to sea). St Andrews, while not the oldest is easily the most famous golf course in Scotland, host to numerous Open Championships.
Today, Scotland boasts many of the world’s greatest golfing venues, including the most recent arrival on the Open rota, Turnberry, which is often hailed as one of the best golf courses in Scotland.
But although links courses started it all, Scotland is also home to many outstanding inland layouts, such as Gleneagles. Its Kings Course might not appear long by today's standard, but it will test your ability to hit every club in the bag. Newer layouts like Kingsbarns, just along the coast from St Andrews, is simply beautiful and is great fun to play. It’s expensive but worth the effort of foregoing a few meals and even heating during the winter. It really is that good.