Golfing in Scotland: Best Kept Secrets

Golf: Scotland’s Best Kept Secrets

Green fields and castle in Scotland These courses are not as famous as St. Andrews, but they retain their Scottish charm and appeal. Highly recommended if for the golfing connoisseur in Scotland.

Royal Dornoch: One of the best golf courses in the world, you don’t get the feeling that you are there to play golf – it is more like being in a quaint, seaside town. Sadly, it has never hosted an Open championship, although it hosted the British Amateur Championship 1985 and the Scottish Amateur Championship in 1993.

 

Kingsbarns: This is another 18-hole golf course with a great view of the sea. The course doesn’t look natural, because it isn’t – it was specially laid out as a links course in 2000, and the very next year, it was a co-host on the European Tour.

Loch Lomond: The world ‘loch’ in Scottish translates to lake in English, and you can indeed see the picturesque lake here. This course makes use of natural hazards like marshy areas and streams, and they are aplenty. It hosted the Scottish Open from 2001-10, and was a co-host on the European Tour for five years before that.

Machrihanish: The first hole here has been voted the best in the world, and the club’s tagline for it is ‘Tee off across the Atlantic’. There is a commanding view of the sea, and like with all seaside golf courses, golfers must deal with the sea breeze.

Western Gailes: It is sandwiched between the sea and railway line, but that is also what makes it all the more exciting. The challenge is exacerbated by a course that doesn’t look welcoming, to say the least. Apart from the winds, there can also be rain to deal with at times (the course was once almost washed away in 1926), but the biggest threat is that of a solitary train whistle breaking your concentration when you are least prepared. A true example of Scottish golf traditions at their finest, including not teeing on Sundays.

Prestwick: This course was the original host of The Open Championship, one of golf’s four major championships. Spectators turned up in large numbers for the championship, and with only a limited number of marshals to control them, the audience was so frequently hit with balls that the tournament was subsequently moved over to St. Andrews.

Nairn: The views of the sea are spectacular from every hole here. This is a must-visit for any golf enthusiast touring because of the distinct un-international feel to the course – it actually gives you the feeling that you are indeed teeing off in Scotland. It is not just the sea – you could bring a camera along with your golf accessories and random clicks alone will generate some awesome pictures. Voted one of the Top 100 Golf Courses in the British Isles.

If you would like to tee off at these courses, contact us. We can customize a golf tour to Scotland just for you. You will be chauffeured around in luxury vehicles, so that you can enjoy your trip to the fullest!

Top Golf Courses in Ireland

 

Golfers at Royal County Down Ireland is without doubt one of the top ten destinations in the world for golf, and the reasons are there for everyone to see – the landscape is stunning, the courses are challenge, the weather unpredictable – a very appealing combination for the serious golfer.

These are some of the best courses in the country:

Royal County Down: This is unarguably the best in Ireland, and has been ranked #1 in the country for several years. Golf Digest’s 2016 ranking even puts it at #1 in the world. There are two 18-hole courses here and it has hosted several major tournaments, including the Senior British Open, the Irish Open, the Palmer Cup and the Walker Cup. This is also reputedly Rory McIlroy’s favorite.

Portmarnock: Located 15 minutes away from Dublin airport, this is another contender for the top spot. It even displaced Royal County Down as the top Irish course in the 2014 rankings. The scenery is simply beautiful. There are 27 holes here and it has hosted the European Tour’s Irish Open a record 19 times.

Royal Portrush: It has 36 holes spread over two links courses. It boasts of great views. The Dunluce championship links course is widely acclaimed as one the best in the world, and it is scheduled to host The Open in 2019.

Lahinch: This is a course where you know immediately that you are teeing in Ireland – no other course has the unmistakable allure of the Irish landscape. It is also located by the sea, so the constant winds provide enough of a challenge.

Waterville: This is a true links course, which less than 1% of the golf courses in the world can lay claim to. Because of that, you will find the challenge to be just right here, no matter what your handicap is.

Ballybunion: The US President Bill Clinton played here in 1998 during his second term, and he found it so irresistible that he returned in 2001 after leaving office. One of the finest courses in the world, you are sure to find it amazing. The only reason why it hasn’t hosted major tournaments is because of its remote location on the southwest coast of Ireland. But that can also be a good thing – it not being too crowded allows you to enjoy your game (and Ireland too) in peace and serenity.

Tralee: The new course at Tralee is not very old, having been designed by Arnold Palmer himself (his first-ever European venture, actually) and opened in 1984. He said that the location was perfect. Apart from the winds (it is an ocean course and ships have run aground on the beach near the 17th hole), it is hard not to be distracted by the views as you play here.

If you would like to tee off at these courses and take in some fresh Irish air, contact us! We can provide you with more information regarding these and other courses, so that you can enjoy a customized golf tour to Ireland. When not on the course, you will be chauffeured around in luxury vehicles so that you can indeed enjoy your trip to Ireland in comfort and style!

6 Reasons to Travel to Europe in Winter

Considering traveling to Europe but on the fence during these colder months? Well, wonder no more. Here are 7 Reasons to Travel to Europe in the Winter.

1. IT’S LESS EXPENSIVE

Hotels and attractions often have low-season prices in winter. For example, staying in a hotel in Venice during winter will have double the room rates in the summer! Enjoy these rates in the low season while you can!

2. IT’S MUCH LESS CROWDED

People tend to travel less in the winter, so you can enjoy seeing the Mona Lisa without all the crowds and headaches. Enjoy frolicking among ancient architecture like it's your own personal playground!

3. MANY OF THE ATTRACTIONS ARE INDOORS, ANYWAY

Art galleries, wine tastings, culinary classes, architecture tours, and more... all of which are indoors, will still be open in the off-season-- with lower fees to boot!

4. ENJOY WINTER SPORTS

Embrace the winter months skiing, snowboarding, snow shoeing. There is nothing more exhilarating than being in the elements in some of the most historic places in the world!

 

5. CHRISTMAS MARKETS AND LOCAL FOOD

Europe is the home of some of the world’s most amazing Christmas markets. Enjoy locally crafted cuisine and beverages, artisan made gifts, and feel that holiday nostalgia in its truest form!

6. IT’S EASIER TO BE SPONTANEOUS

During the off-season, you don't need to book accommodations far in advance. Many events that happen in the winter are open to random guests at any given time!