The ultimate list for the discerning golfer

Favorite Scottish Inland Courses

by James Finegan
James Finegan has made over 35 trips to Great Britain and Ireland, always with his golf clubs and notebook in tow. His latest book is "All Courses Great and Small:
A Golfer’s Pilgrimage to England and Wales."

Loch Lomond:

Thirty minutes from Glasgow, smack on "the bonnie, bonnie banks of..." lies one of Morrish and Weiskopf’s best courses and the best American design in Europe. Also the only course in Scotland a visitor cannot play unless accompanied by a member.

Gleneagles (King’s):
A James Braid masterpiece, an hour from St. Andrews in a heather-tinged setting of flabbergasting beauty. Every single hole is a jewel in the crown.

Gleneagles (Queen’s):

More Braid magic, so much so that golfers may actually forget the holes next door. Half a dozen of the finest—and most diverse—par-4s one will ever play on a single 18 hole course.

St. Andrews (Duke’s):
On hilly terrain two miles outside town, the great Peter Thomson—possessor of five British Open crowns and perhaps the most cultivated sensibility in golf—fashioned a course that is long, hard, fair and beautiful.

An overlooked treasure in Strathclyde, midway between Edinburgh and Turnberry, that owes most of its considerable distinction to Braid. Sand-based turf (a links feel) in a moorland setting that ravishes the eye.

The quintessential Highland course, a short drive from Inverness and carved out of a forest of silver birch. The nearby mountains are snowcapped much of the year. Less than 5,900 yards and studded with hanging lies.

Braids No. 1:

A 115-year-old "muni" to cherish, on the heights in Edinburgh itself, where James Braid—no, it is not named after him—and Tommy Armour honed their games. A few pedestrian holes, 12 or 13 good to great ones.

The pride of Dundee, 70 years old. It boasts a rolling parkland setting and burns on half the holes—e.g. the great 11th, 434 yards, with two streams just short of the green.

Blairgowrie (Rosemount):
The pride of Perth, a little over an hour from St. Andrews. Each hole isolated in its own alley of pine, birch and heather. It boasts an impressive pedigree: first designed by Old Tom Morris, then updated by Alister MacKenzie and finally the ubiquitous Braid.

Letham Grange:
Twenty minutes north of Carnoustie and less than 20 years old, the first course at the resort can be stretched to 7,000 yards. Contemporary—and rather American—in look and feel, with ponds on four holes and burns on six others. Plenty of Bernard Darwin’s "pleasurable excitement."

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