Scotland has a rich history of golf where it began over 500 years ago. The period between 1890 and 1910 saw the greatest expansion with over 200 courses being laid out by masters such as James Braid, Tom Morris and Willie Fernie. Today, there are over 500 courses for a population of under 6 million.
In South West Scotland, an area somewhat neglected by the tourist industry, there are numerous courses to be enjoyed from championship 18 holes, to quaint 9 hole hidden gems.
Golf in Scotland is not all about Turnberry, Gleneagles, St Andrews and Carnoustie. Those courses give visitors a certain kind of golfing experience, but for the true spirit and essence of golf and how it should be played, here are some recommendations for the true golfer to experience in the South West.
GIRVAN (1900*) Golf Course Rd GIRVAN
18 hole course with mix of links (8 holes beside the River Clyde) and parkland (10 holes beside the River Girvan) 5064 yards SSS 64
TURNBERRY (1906) Trump Turnberry Hotel, TURNBERRY
18 hole championship links course. Ailsa course 6976 yards SSS 72; King Robert The Bruce course 6853 yards SSS 72
STRANRAER (1905* On present site since 1953). Leswalt, STRANRAER
18 hole parkland seaside course with views to Arran and Ailsa Craig. 6308 yards. SSS72
BELLEISLE (1927*) Doonfoot Rd AYR
18 hole challenging parkland course. 6431 yards SSS 72.
CALLY PALACE (1994) GATEHOUSE OF FLEET
18 hole parkland course. 5531 yards. SSS 70
KIRKCUDBRIGHT (1893) Stirling Crescent, KIRKCUDBRIGHT
18 hole parkland course with stunning views over the Dee estuary. 5739 yards SSS 69
NEWTON STEWART (1896) Minnigaff, NEWTON STEWART
18 hole hilly parkland course with fabulous views. 5970 yards. SSS 70
PORTPATRICK (1903) aka Dunskey, PORTPATRICK
18 hole links-style course set on a cliff with views to Ireland and the Mull of Kintyre. 5882 yards. SSS 69
ST. MEADEN (1905*) Monreith. Nr. WHITHORN
9 hole quirky links course mostly set on a cliff with views to the Isle of Man. 4454 yards. SSS 63
WIGTOWN & BLADNOCH (1960) WIGTOWN
9 hole hilly parkland course with views to Wigtown Bay. 5462 yards. SSS 67
WIGTOWNSHIRE COUNTY (1894) GLENLUCE
18 hole seaside/links course on the shores of Luce Bay. 5847 yards. SSS 68.
PRESTWICK St. NICHOLAS (1851) Grangemuir Rd. PRESTWICK
18 hole challenging links course beside the River Clyde. 5952 yards. SSS 69
BRODICK (1897) ISLE OF ARRAN
18 hole course running alongside the Firth of Clyde. 4736 yards SSS 64.
SHISKINE (1896) BLACKWATERFOOT, ISLE OF ARRAN
Unique 12 hole course with wonderful views to the Mull of Kintyre. 2990 yards SSS 42 (64 for 18 holes).
*Denotes a course designed by James Braid
N.B. Full details including current green fees for each course can be found on the club website