The Scottish Open Golf championships return to Castle Stuart on the 7-10th July 2106. This prestigious tournament is one of the richest tournaments on the European tour and also offers a valuable last chance for top European Tour players to earn a spot in The Open Championship. For spectators in the Highlands it offers an amazing opportunity to soak in the atmosphere of a world class sporting event with over 8 major winners scheduled to compete as well as giving them the chance to be part of the extended festival of events that has been organised to entertain visitors. The course itself is located within easy reach of Inverness and with local transport company Stagecoach putting on a free shuttle bus to and from the city centre it is expected to attract upwards of 60,000 spectators. To coincide with this massive event there will be a series of events in Inverness including crazy golf in Falcon Square and the Bunkers festival which will see traditional and contemporary live music performed in different venues every night. The luxurious Quarryfield is located on the Black Isle only a 20 minute drive from Castle Stuart and still has availability the weekend of the tournament. It is the perfect retreat for visiting golfers being close to a number of courses and offering a level of comfort not normally found in self-catering accommodation. A tennis court and full size snooker table offer some evening distractions away from the clubs.
East Cottage is on the other side of Castle Stuart and is handy for all the attractions on the Moray Firth coast including the famous links course at Nairn Golf Club, which has hosted the Walker Cup and the Curtis Cup in recent years.
Royal Dornoch is continually voted one of the best courses in the world and was Golf Digest’s No.1 course in Scotland in 2016. A challenging links course in a stunning location ensures that competition is fierce for a chance to play so there is now an additional course the Struie, which also has an enviable reputation. There are a huge number of other historic, challenging and scenic courses in this area such as Golspie, Brora and Tain. Farthingworth is right in the centre of this regional hive of golfing excellence, a traditional croft house restored to a high standard and a great base for a golfing break.
The Old Course in St Andrews is probably one of the most famous in the world. Part of the attraction for visitors is that despite its reputation and popularity the club has made a commitment to it being open and accessible to all golf lovers. The Old Course still upholds the tradition of a ballot, drawn two days ahead of play thus enabling visiting golfers who are in the area to have the opportunity to play the most revered courses in the game’s history. If you are unlucky with your ballot then fortunately St Andrews has much to offer the visitor with a fabulous beach, historic town centre and a huge variety of dining options. Balfour House is in a historic Georgian building and easy walking distance to all the attractions.
Muirfield is home to one of the oldest clubs in golf. The classic links course here is world famous and is a stern challenge for visiting golfers. The whole area of north Berwick is a golfer’s paradise with over 20 courses within 30 minutes’ drive but it is Muirfield that is the star attraction with its history and layout that has remained almost unchanged since the 1920s. Denfind House has been built with the golfer in mind being just a 7 minute walk away. This exclusive 5 star property has a the facility to land a helicopter, a large hot tub and even external storage for 6 golf carts with their own charging points.
Machrihanish has a twofold reputation as one of the most scenic courses in the UK but also one of the most fiendishly difficult. As a links course, players will be at the mercy of the strong sea winds that can be the undoing of even the most experienced golfer. The infamous first hole, once voted as the best opening hole in golf requires players to Tee off over the Atlantic, an experience not to be missed. Kirkland House on the Kintyre peninsula is well located for this as well as being central enough to explore all the sights of this wonderfully unspoilt, historic and scenic destination.