The Scottish Highlands are home to spectacular scenery along with golf courses to match.
5 of The Best Highland Beauties
Boat of Garten
James Braid designed this idyllic, rural and utterly natural journey through the Cairngorms countryside 90 years ago. He expanded the course into a gently-undulating full 18 holes, and although it is less than 5,900 yards from the back tees, it plays so much longer and is full of subtle challenge.
The scenery and surrounding mountains are a constant delight, the air is clean and fresh, the turf is crisp, and there is plenty of fun and interest all the way.
Having hosted four Scottish Opens since opening in 2009, this modern and yet somehow timeless classic seems to generate universal acclaim.
Running over two levels on the southern shores of the Moray Firth, there are generous fairways, awkward humps and hollows, swaying fescue, jagged bunkers, infinity greens and fabulous views over water and distant mountains.
Designed with enjoyment in mind, it has very much succeeded and the more recent addition of onsite accommodation only makes it more difficult to leave.
This is a first-rate course with a fame that rightly entices enthusiasts from all over the world. Such visits are often described as a pilgrimage; entirely appropriate as this is something of a golfing holy grail.
Running over a narrow strip of linksland bordered by a glorious beach, the traditional, out-and-back design is a superb test of golf that will reward accuracy and punish mistakes.
Tough but fair, this is quite simply one of the world’s finest links.
Fortrose & Rosemarkie
This is one of the oldest clubs in the world with roots dating back to 1793 when its course ran along the southern side of Chanonry Peninsula on the Black Isle, north of Inverness.
In 1932, James Braid redesigned and extended the holes out to the lighthouse, from where you can often see dolphins leaping.
With the wind its greatest defence, the front nine hugs the shoreline – don’t go left – before the back nine loops round inside.
For those who love links golf but also relish a little more variety with a smattering of heathland, this ticks the boxes. As so often, it was James Braid who remodelled an earlier design, this time in 1926.
Strategy rather than length is again to the fore, with the correct positioning for the approach being the key to a good score. Most holes are pure links while 8 to 11 run in and through heather and pine, and 12 to 14 skirt the road.
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