SCENIC WALKS

Golf Digest (South Africa) - - Jack -

Many of the cour­ses in Scot­land are in such scenic lo­ca­tions that they dou­ble up as won­der­ful walks.The un­du­lat­ing to­pog­ra­phy of the cour­ses, and the mag­nif­i­cent views, would sat­isfy most hikers. It’s quite com­mon in fact to see walk­ers on cour­ses, al­though they are usu­ally cross­ing through as a right of way, or nav­i­gat­ing the bound­ary lines, rather than walk­ing the course from one to 18.

The Old Course at St An­drews is closed on a Sun­day and is filled with lo­cals and vis­i­tors walk­ing the fair­ways.To pre­vent peo­ple pos­ing for photos while hold­ing the flag on the 18th green, the flag is re­moved on a Sun­day, and put in a hole be­tween the 18th green and first tee, for photo op­por­tu­ni­ties. Dur­ing the week run­ners and walk­ers use the grav­elled paths be­tween the St An­drews cour­ses as a con­ve­nient trail.

If you like scenic hill walks in Scot­land, or coastal walks, these cour­ses will do the job for you while get­ting to play 18 at the same time.

cru­den bay, north-east

This walk pro­vides end­less va­ri­ety. You’re in big sea­side dunes, on top of a head­land, tee­ing up be­side a lonely beach, and play­ing a par 3 over­look­ing the quaint homes of Port Er­roll.

edzell, angus

Gate­way town to the Grampian Moun­tains, old build­ings pro­vide it with a smart and so­phis­ti­cated look.A James Braid heath­land lay­out up­graded by Martin Ebert in 2015, and an en­joy­able walk in na­ture, the rough filled with wild­flow­ers at cer­tain times of the year.

fortrose & rose­markie, high­lands

Flat links on a nar­row Black Isle penin­sula lead­ing to the light­house at Chanonry Point, the best place to view the fa­mous bot­tlenose dol­phins of the Moray Firth. It can get crowded in sea­son.The back nine has eight con­sec­u­tive par 4s be­fore con­clud­ing with a fear­some long par 3. mil­ngavie and hil­ton park, north of glas­gow These three ad­join­ing James Braid cour­ses feel like the most re­mote area of Scot­land, rather than close to Glas­gow.A lonely road takes you to the pic­turesque club­house at Mil­ngavie, whose course climbs to the sum­mit of a hill. Hil­ton Park has 36 holes of much the same in forested ter­rain.

mof­fat, bor­ders

A pop­u­lar spa town in­Vic­to­rian days, south of Ed­in­burgh, it still at­tracts tourists, mostly walk­ers.The golf club is set in the hills look­ing down on the town, and you will strug­gle to find a more ec­cen­tric de­sign or in­ter­est­ing golf­ing walk. Ends with a dra­matic 250-me­tre par 4 which plunges down­hill to the club­house.

ran­furly cas­tle, south of glas­gow

A su­perb coun­try walk ad­join­ing the at­trac­tive town of Bridge of Weir, the course ex­poses you to splen­did vis­tas. From the im­pos­ing 3-storey club­house on lower ground, you climb two steep up­hill holes be­fore emerg­ing on top of the world. It’s up and down from there on.

stone­haven, north-east

North Sea town with an 18-holer squeezed dra­mat­i­cally on to a head­land. It might not be one of Scot­land’s best cour­ses, but has ex­cit­ing shots to play, and the walk is ex­hil­a­rat­ing. And it’s all closely mown, so you won’t be look­ing for balls.A large crater be­tween the first and sec­ond fair­ways is from a Ger­man bomb.

the glen (east links), east loth­ian

For­mer Euro­pean Tour player An­drew Coltart calls this course Scot­land’s an­swer to Peb­ble Beach, and spec­tac­u­lar views from a head­land to­wards Bass Rock catch vis­i­tors by sur­prise. Most tour­ing golfers go no fur­ther than North Ber­wick GC and miss out on this fab­u­lous linksy lay­out.

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