Scotland is the undoubted home of golf. No matter what standard golfers are, they have to make the pilgrimage to Scotland, where there are almost 500 spectacular and beautiful courses, otherwise they feel they haven’t played the game at all. The most popular and famous, of course, are the links courses that have evolved on sandy coastal strips which, centuries ago, were beneath the sea. Of the 500 or so golf courses in Scotland, more than 150 are on natural seashore links land Here nature is the architect, the course being fashioned out of the natural terrain rather than having design imposed upon it. Then there are the magnificent inland courses, which provide just as challenging a test.
Be it St.Andrews, where you can almost see the ghosts of the past marching down the wide, undulating fairways; or Prestwick, the birthplace of golf’s most prestigious prize, the Open Championship; or the great Open courses of Muirfield, Turnberry, Carnoustie and Royal Troon; or the splendour of Royal Dornoch and Loch Lomond, or some humbler course, there is no finer country in which to play golf.
The oldest course in the world is The Old Links at Musselburgh. Golf, in essentially the form we know it today, has been played on Scotland's Musselburgh Links since 1672, and earlier versions of the game had been played in the British Isles and the low-countries of Northern Europe for several centuries before that.