Play the Scottish Open venues

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Scotland is famed the world over for the quality of its golf courses
Posted on
July 6, 2023
The Editorial Team in
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Scotland is famed the world over for the quality of its golf courses and never is this more on show than at the Scottish Open. Recent years have seen the event moved to precede The Open, meaning that more of the sport’s most high-profile talents can be found each year on the fairways of the courses below. So, why not join them by taking on some of the best Scottish Open venues!



With three courses to choose from, and even more in the wider East Lothian area, Gullane Golf Club really is a golfer’s paradise. The oldest course, Gullane No.1, was opened in 1884 and has continued to be the showcase layout within the destination’s portfolio.

Most recently, Gullane No.1 hosted the Scottish Open in 2018, with South African Brandon Stone shooting an incredible final round 60 to take the title. The No.2 course opened some 15 years after the initial offering and has been a frequent Open Championship Qualifying course. Course No.3 is a slightly different offering, despite also opening more than a century ago. It’s somewhat shorter than its elder brothers – but asks equally demanding questions from the golfer throughout the round.

Play the Scottish Open venues - Gullane Golf Club

Castle Stuart

Laid out in the Scottish Highlands alongside the Moray Firth, Castle Stuart Golf Links has been a more recent addition to the golfing landscape in the country. However, the quality presented by the golf course rivals any of its neighbours, with this attention to detail also matched off the course; creating an exquisite golfing experience.

Unlike the traditional out-and-back routings which can be found at many of the traditional links courses, Castle Stuart’s 9th and 18th holes both loop back towards the clubhouse, with the majority of the drama found on the holes that run away from the clubhouse. 2022 saw international development company, Cabot, purchase Castle Stuart, bringing it into its portfolio of five-star venues – as well as enlisting Tom Doak to begin work on designing an entirely new course on the property.

Play the Scottish Open venues - Castle Stuart 9th



Flying across to Ayrshire on Scotland’s Western Coast and another newer addition to the Scottish Open rota, Dundonald Links is ideally located, situated close to Royal Troon, Prestwick, Western Gailes, and Glasgow Gailes. What’s more, the venue boasts some of the best golfing accommodations in the UK, with its newly-opened Lodges making it the ideal base for a trip to the area.

The modern routing was designed by Kyle Phillips, and winds through the dunes, as well as alongside the railway that has long brought golfers to this coastline. Opened to members in 2005, Dundonald has already packed in plenty of accolades in its short history; hosting the Scottish Open, European Tour Qualifying School, Boys Amateur Championship, and the Ladies Scottish Open – and continues to improve year after year thanks to investment from new owners, Darwin Escapes.

Dundonald Links


The toughest test on The Open rota, Carnoustie Golf Links has also played host to the Scottish Open, being key to its return to prominence in the mid-1990s. It’s a layout littered with hazards, from dastardly pot bunkers to the famous burns that carve through the fairways – notably in front of the 18th hole where Jean van de Velde’s Open chances came to a watery end.

Sky Sports’ Wayne ‘Radar’ Riley won the Scottish Open here in 1995, a year before Ian Woosnam claimed his third Scottish Open title. Keep it in the fairway and pray for calm conditions, and you might just be able to steer your golf ball safely around ‘CarNasty’.

Play the Scottish Open venues - Carnoustie

Gleneagles (Kings Course)

Gleneagles has played a major part in the history of the Scottish Open, hosting the tournament between 1987 and 1994. The King’s Course was designed by James Braid and opened in 1919 – however, much work was done through the last century which made the layout somewhat unrecognisable from Braid’s initial design. Work was undertaken in recent years to restore this initial design, which was done to universal accolade.

All three courses at Gleneagles offer stunning views of the Scottish mountains, and are, unsurprisingly, parkland designs – showcasing something different to the more links-type layouts elsewhere on this list. The on-site hotel boasts true five-star luxury, making the destination one of the best golfing resorts in Europe. It’d be remiss not to mention that the first-ever Scottish Open was held at Gleneagles, and was won by Percy Alliss, father of popular commentator and professional golfer, Peter Alliss.

Gleneagles (Kings Course)

St Andrews – The Old Course

What can we say about St Andrews that hasn’t already been said? Well, for starters, it’s not often thought of as a Scottish Open host venue! The most famous course in golf was drafted in to help revive the Scottish Open, hosting the 1973 event.

Unfortunately, a lack of TV sponsorship meant that no tournaments were held between 1974-1986, with The Old Course having to settle for hosting the 1978 and 1984 Open Championships instead during this period. The Grand Auld Lady is simply a must-play for every golfer, and is enjoyable by all, thanks to its fast-running fairways and innumerable strategic options!

St Andrews

Royal Aberdeen

Another one-time host of the Scottish Open, the event at Royal Aberdeen was won in 2014 by Justin Rose, with a superb 16-under par total. However, it was a young Rory McIlroy who stole the headlines in Round 1, firing a 7-under 64 to set the new course record.

The week evidently sparked something within the Northern Irishman, with him going on to claim The Open at Royal Liverpool just a week later. The golf club itself was founded in 1780 and is amongst the oldest golf courses in the world. Fittingly, the club still is seen as one of the more traditional venues – however, its Balgownie Course is still more than a match for even the most skilled golfer in the 21st century.

Royal Aberdeen

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About The Editorial Team

The editorial team at Golf Today strives to provide readers with captivating content that celebrates the rich heritage and exciting developments in the world of golf. Their collective expertise and dedication ensure that Golf Today remains a premier destination for golf enthusiasts seeking the latest news, insightful analysis, and engaging stories from the world of golf.

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