Travel Talk: Scotland

by Susan Johnson of PlanIt Travel Designs for The Aha! Connection

Scotland is known for many things…magnificent castles, wild natural beauty, distinct whisky, Highland bagpipes and some of the best golf in the world.  This stunning country is the birthplace of golf, where the sport dates back to the Middle Ages.  

My empty nester years have opened up many travel opportunities and allowed my husband and I to focus on our dream destinations.  Visiting Scotland, my ancestry homeland, was at the top of our list.  As for so many golfers, playing the Old Course at St. Andrews is the ultimate bucket list experience.  

Scotland is steeped in history and culture, while the countryside is breathtaking with its dramatic landscapes.  Golfers and non-golfers can happily co-exist.  On our trip, my husband played 5 courses including St. Andrews but we were also able to enjoy stunning scenery and towns, see many historical sites, shop and relax!  One of my favorite stops was the Isle of Skye, on the NW coast.  The Isle is home to some incredibly photographic sites from the towering rocks of the Old Man of Storr to ancient castles to the shimmering Fairy Pools.

While Scotland is known for many championship-caliber golf courses, there are over 550 golf courses in a country with only 5 million people. The links-style golf courses will provide every visitor with a wide variety of golf course experiences, and many golf courses in the small towns of Scotland are open to the public golfer at very reasonable rates.  In addition to the St. Andrews Old Course, some of the more famous courses include Royal Dornoch, Muirfield, Carnoustie, and Castle Stuart, along with many other hidden gem courses.

Planning a golf trip to Scotland is not like planning for other trips.  Tee times can be hard to obtain, particularly on the Old Course at St. Andrews.  It is recommended to start planning 18 MONTHS IN ADVANCE if hoping to play the Old Course at St. Andrews. Whether you are planning a golf focused vacation or visiting with some or no golf, PlanIt Travel Designs would be pleased to assist you in planning an unforgettable trip!

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