Scotland is blessed with some fantastic golf courses but if you’re a new player you may be wondering where to start. Or maybe you just haven’t taken your clubs out of the shed for a while and want to ease your way back into the game – it happens!
Luckily there are courses all over Scotland that offer golf on a budget with good valueScottish golf breaks. Here we’ve listed a selection of municipal courses, 9-holers and hidden gems to help you find your swing.
Whether you’re an experienced player or you’re trying to learn a new hobby, playing golf is a great way to get outside in the fresh air and exercise – and where better to start than The Home of Golf?
1. Polkemmet Golf Course
Looking to play 18 holes for less than £20? You’re in luck. Polkemmet is a parkland course surrounded by mature woodland, with the River Almond weaving through a number of holes. It is designed to welcome all from beginners and juniors, as well as providing a challenge for the experienced golfer. The 15 Bay Floodlit Driving Range is ideal for practicing.
2. Bathgate Golf Club
With an illustrious history of producing Ryder Cup captains, it’s a wonder that Bathgate Golf Club isn’t more well known. Designed by the renowned James Braid, this is an inland, tree-lined course. The majority of the holes are flat and easy walking but definitely present a challenge. This is an excellent low cost alternative to Carnoustie or Gleneagles, also designed by Braid.
3. Troon Lochgreen
Looking for an alternative to the championship course at Royal Troon? Troon Lochgreen runs parallel to this famous course with several holes that will remind you of its royal neighbour. Predominantly a links course, you’ll be tested here – but green fees are modest, particularly in the winter when you can play a round for just over £20.
4. Troon Fullarton
This is a fantastic short course with eight par 3s, perfect for those looking to hone their short game. Part of Troon Links, along with Lochgreen and Darley, Troon Fullarton is one of a collection of six courses that encircle the golfing town of Troon. Rounds here should take less than three hours to complete.
5. The Braids
Edinburgh has lots of places to play golf, but none quite match the views that you’ll get at The Braids. A steep and hilly course that will be tricky for beginners but will reward you with panoramic views of Edinburgh’s skyline. The nearby Braid Hills Driving Range is a good place to practice your game. As with all of the city’s municipal courses, tee times can be booked through the Edinburgh Leisure website.
From the hills to the sea, Silverknowes is a forgiving course with wide fairways and a welcoming atmosphere. This popular council run course is great value for money and a good place to graduate from 9-hole courses to 18 holes. Enjoy the sea air and see if you can make a few pars!
7. Bruntsfield Links
For the complete novice, the short-hole course at Bruntsfield Links (which dates back to 1695) is an exciting way to try a spot of golf. In a fashionable city centre location, all you’ll need is a pitching wedge and a putter to play – and a ball of course! This is golf at its most informal and sure to be a fun day out with family and friends.
Aberdeenshire is home to some stunning golf courses but you can’t beat Hazlehead 9-hole course for value. This is a lovely place to learn the game or pick up where you left off. The course offers golfers wide fairways with very little rough, however, watch out for a number of large bunkers and tree-lined holes.
9. North Inch Course
This historic and affordable golf course is a Perthshire classic. Golf has been played on the North Inch for over 500 years, making it one of the world’s oldest golfing venues. Lying within the North Inch parkland on the banks of the River Tay, you’ll find an enjoyable challenge for players of all abilities. Open to visiting golfers 7 days a week, the current layout of the course was designed by ‘Old’ Tom Morris. Juniors play for free with a paying adult!
10. Musselburgh Old Links
History beckons once again as we head to Musselburgh in East Lothian. The Old Links is steeped in golfing folklore – hosting the Open Championship on six occasions between 1874 and 1889. Further back in time, Mary Queen of Scots reputedly played here as early as 1567. Nowadays this 9-hole course provides a good test of golf for under £20.
11. The Wee Course, North Berwick
An ideal place for youngsters to learn the game, The Wee Course is managed by North Berwick Golf Club and maintained by the club’s greenkeeping staff. Green fees are kept to a minimum to encourage children to take up golf, and to develop their game. Adults may play the course too, but only if accompanied by a child!
12. Leven Links
Fife is of course home to St Andrews, the hallowed Home of Golf – but there are some other great value alternatives to this famous course. One of these is Leven Links, a traditional links with rolling fairways, many of which are lined by ancient sand dunes. If you’re looking for a challenge then this is the place. One of the oldest courses in Scotland, Leven Links has stood the test of time, hosting many leading amateur competitions as well as final qualifying for The Open.
13. Golf House Club Elie
Another alternative to St Andrews, golf has been played in Elie since the 15th century. Spectacular coastal views mean you won’t forget this one in a hurry. The course is not too long, but its network of bunkers is designed to catch you out if you misjudge your distances. Patience is key around this highly regarded course.
14. Kinghorn Golf Course
This hidden gem has magnificent views over the Firth of Forth and will test your iron play. You’ll find the golf here is very reasonably priced and will suit beginners and high handicappers. Almost all of the 18 holes at Kinghorn offer views out over the sea, so even if you’re game is a bit rusty you’ll be glad you made the trip.
15. Montrose Broomfield
Looking for traditional links golf in the Angus region? Montrose Broomfield is a good place to start for juniors, high handicappers and lapsed golfers. But don’t be lulled into a false sense of security – this course is still a test. Your short game will have to be on song to shoot low here.
16. Eyemouth Golf Club
Eyemouth Golf Club is a superb 18-hole layout situated on the rugged East coast of Berwickshire. Get set for an enjoyable challenge featuring some of the most scenic and interesting clifftop holes in Scottish golf. In particular the dramatic sixth hole, a formidable par three across a vast gully with waves crashing below, will have you reaching for your camera – and maybe a provisional ball!
17. Woll Golf Course
Set in the grounds of the New Woll Estate this parkland course follows the gentle contours of the Ale valley and is surrounded by mature trees. The Woll burn comes into play on a number of holes in this area of outstanding natural beauty. Situated just off the A7 between Selkirk and Hawick, the course is very accessible and Edinburgh, Newcastle and Carlisle are all just over an hour away by car. Free golf when you stay in the onsite accommodation.
If you want to learn more about golf in Scotland here are some great resources:
15 Stunning Golf Hotels in Scotland
The Official Guide to Golf in Scotland
A Beginner’s Guide to Golf in Scotland