Having been in the golf travel business for over 12 years, I have often been asked: “what is your favorite area to visit and play golf.” Well, that is like asking me who my favorite child is, so it is a bit tough to answer. However, there is no shortage of possible answers to that question, and one that comes to mind quickly is the west coast of Scotland.
For many folks, when they think of Scotland for golf, St. Andrews immediately comes to mind, and rightfully so. But even though it is a relatively small country, Scotland offers the visiting golfers a multitude of options, and for me, the west coast is a must-visit.
Royal Troon and Turnberry headline this area, and for many golfers, these are not unfamiliar names. But most golfers have not heard or considered the long list of other links courses that dot the coastline, all within short drives of each other. Western Gailes, for my money, is about as fun and tough a links course as you will find anywhere and situated directly across the train tracks is Dundonald Links — previous host course for the Men’s and Women’s Scottish Open. Both Troon and Turnberry have second courses on property — Portland and Robert the Bruce, respectively — and offer great value when booked together.
The Open Championship was born here just down the road from Troon at Prestwick GC. The club offers a tremendous “members experience” while giving a detailed history of The Open, how it came to be, and of course, details of the Red Belt, which was the original prize for The Open before the Claret Jug came to be. Prestwick St. Nicholas and Kilmarnock Brasserie are two other links courses in the area that offer a great value and warm welcome from members who are eager to show off their courses to visiting golfers.
This area offers a wide variety of lodging options from the 5 star Turnberry Resort which has been restored to its former glory or for those on more of a budget, the award-winning Old Loans Inn and Gailes Hotels deliver a great stay without breaking the bank. The Piersland House Hotel is a property about 500 yards from Royal Troon, which caters to golfers and there is the Marine Hotel which directly overlooks the 18th fairway at Royal Troon. The owners have recently approved an extensive refurbishment of this classic hotel, and I am eager to see the results! Lastly, for those looking for something a bit elegant, but a bit local, the Lochgreen House Hotel is one to consider. Beautiful grounds and a whiskey closet that must be seen to be believed.
Troon and Prestwick also have a great variety of gastronomy for visiting golfers having pretty much everything for any taste or budget. It is all tied together with the fact that for just about any trip to the golf course while staying in the area is going to take 5-10 mins and in some instances, you can walk! Lastly, Glasgow International Airport is just a 45-minute ride providing easy access to the area.
For my money, the west coast of Scotland is a golfer’s paradise and one that should be on all golfer’s wish list. Give me a ring today at 888-272-3179 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to begin planning your visit to the west coast of Scotland.