International golf travel is one of the hottest vacation ideas in the upcoming seasons. If you’re planning on traveling overseas to play golf, can you imagine a better place to visit than the birthplace of the royal game? Scotland golf courses are among the most beautiful and undoubtedly the most historic in the entire world. if you’re planning golf travel in the coming year, these tips can help you get the most out of a Scotland golf vacation.
Do Your Research
Scotland proves the old saying that good things come in small packages. The tiny country manages to fit more golf greens, courses and links into its borders than any other country, at least if you count by size. There are several different ways to create an itinerary for golf travel to Scotland. You could create a list of historic and famous courses you want to play and build your travel plans around them. Conversely, you choose an area of the country and research links and greens within that region. Whatever you do, be sure to check the booking requirements to book a tee time. Some of the better courses are booked months in advance while others are open to members only.
Insider Tip: A travel agent experienced in putting together Scotland golf vacations can be invaluable in helping you build the best itinerary for your personal style.
Speaking of Golf Travel Agents
While there are certainly modern golf courses in Scotland, many of the most challenging, most beautiful or most enjoyable courses were established 200 or more years ago. No one then considered the logistics of access and parking for golf fans, so a lot of them are local secrets known only to those who happen to stumble upon them – or know where to look. A lot of these gems are high on the recommendation list for golf travel agents and tour operators who maintain their own lists of the “best courses” to play in Scotland.
Insider Tip: Book tee time at Western Gailles if you can do it. It’s one of the top 100 courses in Scotland, but the play is only part of the appeal. Western Gailles has a reputation for giving golfers the royal treatment that’s hard to beat.
Learn Local Etiquette – And Observe It
Bottom line – you’ll get better service and enjoy your golf trips to Scotland far more. Some things to keep in mind when golfing in Scotland:
Never wear your hat indoors. Dress appropriately for the course, and bring a jacket and tie for the club. Always call ahead to book your tee time. Walking in unannounced is considered bad form and will get you branded as a boor.
Finally, if this is your first golf trip to Scotland and you suspect your opportunities for golf travel will be limited, splurge and pay for guaranteed tee time at the Old Course at St. Andrews. If it’s too late to book a tee time, try at least for a tour of the course. It’s an experience not be missed.