Suggested Scotland Itinerary: St. Andrews and Turnberry
Are you seeking the ultimate Scotland golf trip? For first-time Scotland visitors, bucket listers and all others enamored with golf, arguably, the most popular itinerary is one that includes St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf, and Turnberry, one of the country’s most storied destinations. Typically, the trip is seven nights with flights into Glasgow, Scotland. Guests start their excursion by driving a rental car or riding in a chaufffeured van or coach to Turnberry, about a one hour drive.
Here’s a suggested itinerary that encompasses the the best Scotland has to offer in and near St. Andrews and Turnberry:
Once in Turnberry on the day of arrival, guests have the option of playing the Kintrye Course at Trump Turnberry.
Kintrye Course — With its beautiful ocean holes and lush fairways, this 6,921-yard layout, originally built in 1909, was revised by English architect Donald Steel.
The following day, guests play Turnberry’s famous Ailsa Course. For post-round libations, guests can enjoy the Ailsa Bar & Lounge at the resort, which has panoramic views and is a great place to watch a sunset.
Ailsa Course — Site of four Open Championships, this spectacular course with its awesome coastal scenery and landmark lighthouse is on everyones must play list. It features stunning views of Ailsa Craig and the Isle of Arran. Many Americans know it as the site of the “Duel in the Sun”, when Jack Nicklaus and Tom Watson competed brilliantly in the 1977 Open Championship.
Dinner, then overnight at the 5-Star Trump Turnberry.
Trump Turnberry — A Trump Luxury Collection Resort, this world class property has an award-winning spa, excellent dining and outdoor activities like golf, fishing archery, falconry, clay shooting and horse riding.
The next day, guests leave Turnberry to play Royal Troon Old Course in the morning. With that round of golf at Royal Troon, guests receive a complimentary round on the Royal Troon Portland Course. Guests can decide if they want to play that round and play a combined 36 holes that day. Guests also have the option of playing Prestwick or Western Gailes instead of Royal Troon.
Royal Troon Old Course — One of the world’s greatest links courses, this magnificent layout incorporates deep rough, gorse, wind and and seaside views as part of a fabulous golf experience.
Royal Troon Portland Course — Opened in 1895, this course was re-designed in the early 1920s by Dr. Alister MacKenzie. Measuring 6,287 yards, it’s shorter than the Royal Troon Old Course.
Prestwick — Founded in 1851, Prestwick, oozing with history, is one of the oldest golf clubs in the world. It was the site of the first Open Championship in 1860.
Western Gailes — Encompassing the beach to the west of the course, the railway line to the east, three burns and the wind off the Firth of Clyde, this highly rated layout is a superb test of skills.
After a full day of golf, guests proceed to St. Andrews from the Royal Troon area (approximately a two hour drive)
Accommodations options include:
Old Course Hotel St. Andrews Golf Resort & Spa (5-Star) — An exceptional luxury experience, this property features rooms and suites designed by French designer Jacques Garcia, the Kohler Waters Spa, Jigger Inn pub, and views of the Old Course and the town of St. Andrews.
Fairmont St. Andrews (5-Star) — An amenity-laden property set on 520-acre estate with two on-site golf courses and a luxurious spa.
Hotel du Vin St. Andrews (4-Star) — An elegantly appointed 36-room hotel with custom-made beds and a bar with an extensive wine list and sommelier.
Macdonald Russacks Hotel (4-Star) — An historic property overlooking the Old Course with views of the 18th hole and St. Andrews’ West Sands in the distance.
Ardgowan Hotel (3-Star) — A small (29 rooms) family-run hotel situated about 200 yards from the Old Course clubhouse
Greyfriars Hotel (3-Star) — Located in the heart of historic St. Andrews, this 20-room hotel is about a five-minute walk from the Old Course.
DAYS 4, 5 & 6
The next morning, guests take a 35-minute drive to Carnoustie to play golf. For a post-round celebration, many guests opt for the Dunvegan Hotel Golfer’s Corner Lounge, a hugely popular pub/bar with golfers and caddies that’s located only 112 yards from the Old Course’s 18th green.
Over the next three days, guests play the Old Course and New Course at St. Andrews Links and Kingsbarns. (For those participating in the Old Course ballot, the play schedule will be adjusted accordingly). For those with guaranteed times on the Old Course, the play arrangements will be scheduled around that tee time.
Old Course — This iconic course with the Swilcan Bridge, Road Hole and Hell Bunker is on every golfer’s Bucket List.
New Course — Built by Tom Morris in 1895, this 6,625-yard, par 71 course is a classic test of links golf.
Kingsbarns — A modern course opened in 2000, it’s a phenomenal seaside golf experience. Designed by Kyle Phillips, it’s set on land that gently slopes down toward the coastline with almost every hole offering a great view of the sea.
After each day of golf, there’s much to see and do in St. Andrews with choices such as:
- Dunvegan Hotel Golfer’s Corner Lounge
- Jigger Inn Pub
- The Seafood Restaurant
- Little Italy Restaurant
- Rocca Bar & Grill
- Vine Leaf Restaurant
- British Golf Museum
- St. Andrews Cathedral
- St. Andrews University
- St. Andrews Botanical Gardens
Guests can fly home from Edinburgh or Glasgow. Flying home from Edinburgh Airport is about 30 minutes closer to St. Andrews than Glasgow.