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Best Hidden Gem Golf Course's in Scotland

Hidden Gem Golf Courses are such a reward once found. They offer excellent value for money as well as unforgettable golfing experiences should you choose to venture on a Scottish golf break for the golfing trip of a lifetime. The best-hidden gem courses are found in Scotland and can offer breathtaking scenery, links golf, and designs by top golf course designers. 

What makes a course a hidden gem?

For us, a hidden gem is a great value for money. We have searched for golf courses under a hundred pounds in peak season. Hidden Gems courses also need to have history designed by golf course architects with a pedigree to their name.

In Scotland, there is an incredible wealth of hidden gems that go under the radar. With so many Open Championship, Ryder Cup and European Tour venues located in Scotland, many of which are covered by our best golf courses in Scotland blog, it is easy to see how some of our selections go undetected. 

Well we would like to share some of our favourites with you.

Fraserburgh Golf Club

Best Hidden Gem Golf Course's in Scotland

Fraserburgh Golf

Course Design | James Braid

Founded | 1777

Course Type | Links

Par | 70 

Fraserburgh golf club is proud to be the world’s 7th oldest golf course and Scotland's 5th oldest. The club was founded in 1777 and was originally a nine-hole course that was later redesigned and played over a full 18 holes in 1922 by James Braid. 

The Course has since seen lots of improvements and today is one of the very best hidden gems in the whole of Scotland. 

Played out over traditional linksland with the majority of the golf holes played hidden in between the sand dunes, where the north sea and Moray Firth meet.

Fraserburgh enjoys stunning views and 18 excellent holes in golf of real variety. Although only two Par 5’s both are of sublime quality and played in opposite directions and usually wind conditions too. The Par 3’s are of outstanding quality and similar to what you would expect to find at Royal Dornoch. The Par 4’s are all different in layout and approach and you will have to bring every golf shot in the arsenal to score well. 

Panmure Golf Club

Best Hidden Gem Golf Course's in Scotland
Panmure Golf Club

Course Design | R Duff of Edinburgh 

Founded | 1845

Course Type | Links

Par | 70 

Panmure golf club is rich in history and has been used for Open qualifying on many occasions when the Open Championship has been held at Carnoustie. The Open venue is just a short drive away.

In 1953 Ben Hogan made Panmure his base for preparations prior to the Open Championship. This was the only one that Hogan competed in and consequently also won. 

A Links course that will be adored by anyone golfing in Scotland. Each hole plays from the tight, seaside fairways that give you a wonderful crisp and pure feeling. Equally as good as any Championship Links course. The abundance of heather enumerates a wonderful texture to the golf course and the thick gorse and rough add to the drama and theatre of this wonderful links course. 

Panmure is discrete and does not shout from the rooftops. It is modest in its beauty, handsome, and a completely distinguished links course that offers the golfer so much.

Shiskine Golf & Tennis Club

Best Hidden Gem Golf Course's in Scotland
Shiskine GC

Course Design | Willie Fernie

Founded | 1896

Course Type | Links

Par | 42 (12 Holes) 

Shiskine is a unique golf course that is played over 12-hole’s. The Links course lies hard by the sea in the village of Blackwaterfoot on the Isle of Arran. And I doubt you could find better views from this quirky layout anywhere in the world.  The course was first built with 9 holes back in 1896 by Willie Fernie, and then it went to 18 holes by the design of Willie Park Jnr. 

During the war 6 holes were destroyed due to agriculture and the course was left with just the 12 holes and it has remained that way ever since.

Shiskine has no two holes the same and most of the holes play towards a unique rock formation that dates back to the prehistoric era. 

The Course only takes around two hours to complete. Stopping off for a lunch in the Clubhouse Grill and Tee Room is a must before heading out to play again. 

Shiskine is a course that really has to be played more than once to fully appreciate just how good it is. If venturing over to Arran is something you intend on doing during a golf tour, This is a must-play golf course.

Cragielaw Golf Course

Best Hidden Gem Golf Course's in Scotland
craigielaw golf

Course Design | Donald Steel & Co 

Founded | 2001

Course Type | Links

Par | 71

Craigielaw golf course is the new links on the block for easily accessible courses in the East Lothian region. Craigielaw is laid out on relatively flat land and is very traditional in its design. Driving the ball well is essential to score well as the bunker placement is impeccable. Ancient stone banks are prevalent all over the course and make for exciting golf holes. The greens here are incredibly tough and considered the hardest and fastest amongst anything on offer in East Lothian. Despite the golf courses relatively young statue, Cragielaw is already a host to the Scottish Seniors Open. The course is highly regarded as one of the best-hidden gems in The East Region.

This course is well worth a visit when playing on a tour of the South East.

Balcombe Links at Crail Golfing Society

Best Hidden Gem Golf Course's in Scotland
Crail Balcomie Links

Course Design | Old Tom Morris 

Founded | 1894

Course Type | Links

Par | 71

The Balcombe Links is part of the Crail Golfing Society and the Tom Morris design. The Design serves as a textbook for utilizing and understanding the natural topography and shape of the land. The course is relatively short with a par of 69, but with all classic links designs, the natural defence is the prevailing winds and the bunker placement lined with thick railway sleepers will ensure that this is a perfect golf test. 

Mr. Morris was very fond of his creation at Crail. Considering his St. Andreian roots, his statement made of Balcombe Links is noteworthy.

“There is no better in Scotland”

The first four holes are all played out on the coastline, and you will often find golfers with a slice playing second shots from the beach which is not considered out of bounds. Balcombe Links is a picture-perfect, cost-effective round of golf just 12 miles from the “Auld Grey Toon” of St.Andrews.

Murcar Links

Best Hidden Gem Golf Course's in Scotland
Murcar GC

Course Design | Archie Simpson

Founded | 1909

Course Type | Links

Par | 71

Murcar Links golf course may be less of a hidden gem than an overshadowed golf course in its close proximity just north of Royal Aberdeen. Murcar has hosted the Saltire Energy Paul Lawrie Match Play in 2015. The Links has also been used for numerous tour events and qualifying. The course sits comfortably year on year in the golf monthly top 100, yet we feel that it needs more credit than it gets.

Murcar is unquestionably one of Scotland’s finest links golf courses and processes a character all of its own. The course is nestled below the huge sand dunes that align the fairways and is like playing golf on a piece of heaven. The Greens are absolutely top-notch and the pot bunkers, wispy rough and clever routing of the holes makes for one of the most enjoyable rounds of golf you could ever encounter. 

Read about some of the great golf courses you can play on your next golf tour in Scotland here.

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