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Scotland golf travelers find relaxation at multi-course classics

Brandon TuckerBy Brandon Tucker,
Managing Editor
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Turnberry's 45 holes, five-star hotel, spa and Colin Montgomerie Links Academy makes it easy to stay a few extra days. (GolfPublisher.com)

ST. ANDREWS, Scotland - The ultimate Scotland golf trip can be hectic, filled with long drives and daily hotel check-ins as you strive to leave no "must-play" behind.

But sometimes all you want to do is kick your feet up and relax a few days. Hand your rental-car keys to the concierge and walk from your hotel to the course, like they did a century ago.

When that urge strikes, try these multi-course spots in Scotland, where you don't have to play the same track twice in order to sleep in the same bed.


Westin Turnberry: Everyone who comes to Turnberry shoots first for the Ailsa course, Open Championship venue and host to a century of legends. But the recently renovated Kintyre shares the same links land and lighthouse and Ailsa Craig views, just from another angle.

The Colin Montgomerie Academy practice facilities, the nine-hole Arran course, the pitch 'n putt course and a world-class spa can also fill out a day if you're looking to take a break from playing 18.

St. Andrews: There is no official St. Andrews resort or hotel, but with six courses on one property in the heart of downtown, there's plenty of lodging within walking distance of world-renowned links golf.

At the Macdonald Rusacks Hotel and the Old Course Hotel, you're steps from the Old Course and a brief stroll from the New and Jubilee. A short drive will get you to Fairmont St. Andrews' two links courses, Kingsbarns and the Duke's course.

Gleneagles: James Braid's classic King's and Queen's courses have been around since 1919. They were recently joined by Jack Nicklaus' PGA Centenary course, host for the 2014 Ryder Cup.

Add the five-star Gleneagles Hotel, a 1920s chateau-style hotel overlooking the courses, and you've got the premier parkland golf resort in Scotland.

Carnoustie Golf Resort Hotel & Spa: The Championship Course, set to host the 2007 Open Championship, is head and shoulders above anything else in Carnoustie, but the hotel has two less-difficult tracks that can be a warm-up or break from the top dog. The hotel's stay-and-play three-course package justifies an extra day or two in this famous golf town.

Solid seconds

Royal Dornoch Golf Club: One of the UK's legendary links, Royal Dornoch is well worth the drive up to the Highlands. The Royal Golf Hotel is just steps from the first tee.

For day two, cross to the other side of the clubhouse to the Struie course. Once known as Dornoch's "ugly ducking," the course was largely taken over the government during World War II for use as an airfield. Reduced to nine holes afterward, it was patiently extended over the ensuing decades, opening in its present 6,276-yard configuration in 2003.

Green Hotel and Kinross Golf Courses: The Montgomery and Bruce links courses in Kinross, about 30 miles from St. Andrews, are a value option, with green fees of ₤25-₤30 for Green Hotel guests in peak season.

Formerly known as the Red and the Blue, the courses won't blow your socks off, but they offer solid play if you want a break from the daunting links legends (and their wallet damage). The hotel/course complex, while sporting a new look in many corners, remains a traditional Scottish favorite.

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Brandon Tucker is the Managing Editor for Golf Advisor. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and over 500 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at BrandonTuckerGC.

Reader Comments / Reviews Leave a comment
  • Stay and Play

    Bob Lowden wrote on: Dec 13, 2006

    Don't forget that Old Prestwick and Royal Troon are easy drives from Turnberry. Also, Tain and Brora are close to Royal Dornoch. So staying at Turnberry you can add two well known coursea and staying at Dornoch you can play two unknown gems in addition to Royal Dornoch.
    Other "stay and play" are stay in Aberdeen area hotel and play Royal Aberdeen, Murcar, and Cruden Bay. Stay at Graywalls Hotel and play Muirfield, Gullane #1 and North Berwick.
    All great venues.