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.
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.
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.
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.