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5 Great Golf Villages in Scotland

December 15, 2014

One of the great pleasures of playing golf in Scotland is strolling the quaint, bustling streets of a village after playing a round of golf. A wondrous place where you can carry your clubs through town and people stop and ask how you played. A friendly place where you can wander into a pub and moments later someone offers to buy you a pint. A place, too, where you see a crowd in front of a small shop and you fall in line with the locals for some fresh fish and chips.

As we all know, playing golf in this part of world rewards visitors with fantastic memories on and off the course. Everybody has their favorite village where golf is an integral part of everyday life in Scotland. Here are five of our favorites:

   1. St. Andrews, Scotland — While golf dominates its persona, St. Andrews, a village of 18,000 residents, can be thoroughly enjoyed by people who wouldn’t know a golf ball from a tennis ball. Brimming with historical sites, ancient churches and a variety of shops, pubs and restaurants, St. Andrews is also home to St. Andrews University, Scotland’s oldest university founded in 1413, the St. Andrews Aquarium, St. Andrews Botantic Garden and the British Golf Museum. A golfer’s nirvana, the town features the seven courses operated by the St. Andrews Links Trust and nearby layouts like the two courses at the Fairmont St. Andrews Bay and celebrated courses like Kingsbarns and Carnoustie.

2. North Berwick, Scotland — A seaside town in East Lothian about 45 minutes east of Edinburgh, North Berwick has postcard beauty with its harbor dotted with boats, stunning Victorian villas and classic fish and chips shops. It’s remindful of St. Andrews somewhat because its famous course, North Berwick Golf Club, is situated in the village similar to the Old Course. They’ve been teeing it up at the North Berwick Golf Club since the 17th century. Nearby places to play include The Glen and Whitekirk. East Lothian has a plethora of courses high on the Scotland play hit list such as Gullane, Dunbar and Muirfield.

3. Auchterader — Home to 4,000 residents, it’s laid out with a long main street (1.5 mile High Street) giving it the nickname of the Lang Toon (meaning long town). High Street is lined with unique shops, cafes and tearooms. Gleneagles Resort is located just outside the village, the luxury resort with three championship golf courses that will host the 2019 Solheim Cup. Located four miles from town is the Tullibardine Distillery for whisky lovers who want to sample some superb Highland single malt scotch whisky.

4. Prestwick – Located 34 miles north of Glasgow, the coastal town of Prestwick is Scotland’s oldest baronial burgh, dating back over a thousand years. Prestwick is the birthplace of the Open Championship, which was held at Prestwick Golf Course in 1860. Set on the Firth of Clyde, Prestwick is contiguous with the city of Ayr to the south. Surrounded by great golf, Prestwick is located only three miles from Royal Troon Golf Club.

5. Anstruther-Nine miles south-southeast of St Andrews, this village is a must stop for fish and chips lovers. There’s nothing better than enjoying the delicacy at an outdoor table overlooking the beautiful harbor. A fishing village, Anstruther has a special charm you’ll feel as you stroll along the cobble stone streets. During the summer months, you can also take a boat trip from Anstruther to the Isle of May to view the puffins. The best place to get fish and chips in town is the award-winning Anstruther Fish Bar on the harbor front.