Golf Tour

Golf Vacation: Highlights of Scotland

9 days / Golf Vacations
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About This Experience

There’s no room for dispute—Scotland is the golfer’s mecca. Touted as the birthplace of modern golf, the country is home to some of the finest (and oldest) traditional links courses in the world. From famed St Andrews to historic Turnberry, you’ll experience a style of play unlike anything in North America, as well as legendary landscapes that challenge even the most thoughtful golfer.

You Should Know: Motorized carts are unavailable at some of the courses on this itinerary. See course-by-course details in the above Course Details tab.

Alternate Sightseeing Itinerary

Bring family and friends—while you play, they can sightsee on specially priced tours designed for those who are more interested in exploring than golfing. View sightseeing itinerary.

To book a sightseer, call 1.800.590.1170

See Itinerary

Your Tour Includes

  • Round-trip airfare & transfers

  • 7 nights at handpicked hotels

  • Buffet breakfast daily, 3 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Guided sightseeing

  • Expert Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Green fees at 6+ included courses

How's the weather?

  • Edinburgh, Scotland
  • St Andrews, Scotland
  • Glasgow, Scotland
Temperature Precipitation
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Overnight Flight1 night

Day1

Pack up your clubs, pick up your bags and let’s go

Your Golf Vacation begins with a regularly scheduled overnight flight to Edinburgh aboard an internationally recognized airline.

Edinburgh2 nights - hotel info

Day2

Settle into Scotland, home to the game’s founding fathers

Breakfast (in flight), Dinner

Welcome to Edinburgh. A Go Ahead representative greets you at the airport and escorts you to your hotel. This evening, meet your fellow travelers at your welcome dinner.

Day3

Experience golf’s most copied hole at North Berwick

Breakfast

Edinburgh Castle

Get acquainted with Scottish history and heritage from a local’s perspective on a guided tour of Edinburgh, including stops at the iconic Edinburgh Castle and the famed Stone of Scone. Afterward, travel east along the Firth of Forth to North Berwick, site of the 2010 British Amateur Championship. Boasting a traditional seaside links layout, North Berwick holds the title of one of the oldest and most fun courses in the world. The course is also home to some of the most memorable features in all of golf, including the famous 15th “Redan” hole.

St Andrews3 nights - hotel info

Day4

Right here, on St Andrews’ landscapes, golf was born

Breakfast, Dinner

Make your pilgrimage to St Andrews, the birthplace of golf. Upon arriving, you’ll set out on a tour of the surrounding town, paying visits to the local university, cathedral and castle. In the afternoon, you’ll turn your full attention to discovering the legendary courses at St Andrews. Today, you’ll receive a three-day unlimited pass, allowing you to play all of the seven courses at St Andrews as much as you’d like, excluding the coveted Old Course. First on your list of St Andrews courses is the Castle Course, which clings to cliffs just outside town. The David Kidd-designed course is the newest addition to St Andrews and has already earned numerous accolades, including a Golf World “Top 100 Course.”

Day5

See how the New Course ranks in your favorites at St Andrews

Breakfast

This morning, play the more than 100-year-old New Course, which runs adjacent to the Old Course. With such close proximity to the historic Old Course, the New Course shares much of its famous sibling’s topography and characteristics. Afterward, you’re free to use your unlimited pass to play another of St Andrews’ courses or head out and explore.

Day6

Step right up to St Andrews’ toughest test—the Jubilee

Breakfast

Step up to what’s been called St Andrews toughest test of golf: the Jubilee Course. First laid out in 1897, the course underwent an extensive redesign in 1988, which led to the 6,742-yard course you’ll play today. The Jubilee’s tight, gorse-lined fairways and towering dunes make for some of the most fun holes in Fife. While it’s one of the sternest tests of golf at St Andrews, the course isn’t unfair or overly punishing, making it a joy to play.

Glasgow2 nights - hotel info

Day7

Take on Royal Troon’s “pitching surface the size of a postage stamp”

Breakfast

This morning, make your way to Glasgow to golf Royal Troon. An eight-time host to the Open Championship, Royal Troon boasts such famous winners as Tom Watson and Arnold Palmer. Ranked seventh in Scotland, the course is also the site of the Postage Stamp, the Open’s shortest and arguably most difficult hole. (Please note: Some departures will golf at Western Gailes or Prestwick in place of Royal Troon.)

Day8

Play among the remnants of World War II runways at Turnberry

Breakfast, Dinner

During World Wars I and II, the British government built an airbase on the grounds of Turnberry, and today, you can still see the remnants of the runways. As you play, take in the scenery of this four-time host to the Open Championship, known for its trademark 9th hole overlooking the ruins of a 13th-century castle. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for your farewell dinner.

Day9

The day has come—your trip has run its course

Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

A Go Ahead representative escorts you to the airport for your flight home.

Pace of Play in Scotland

The Scots play the game a bit more quickly than most visitors are used to, so be prepared to keep pace with the locals. Match play is the standard in Scotland, so consider playing a hole-by-hole match against your friends rather than counting each shot as in stroke play.

Handicap cards

Your USGA Handicap Card is your passport to the courses on this tour. If you’re unable to provide your card, please bring a letter from your local pro providing your on-course proficiency.

Caddies & carts

Motorized golf carts are referred to as “buggies” in Scotland; “carts” refer to pull-carts. Both caddies and pull-carts are available at all courses for an additional fee. Motorized carts are available at some courses for an additional fee and require a note from your healthcare provider. If you need a motorized cart for medical reasons, please call Go Ahead Golf prior to departure, so we can accommodate your medical needs.

Baggage allowance & club transport

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage, and some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. The cost of checking your golf bag is additional, and is not included in your final invoice. You should expect to pay an additional fee at the airport. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage and golf bag transport policies. Airlines do permit one carry-on bag, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height), as well as one personal item such as a purse. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on baggage. The porterage provided on your tour includes one suitcase and one golf bag per person. Please note, however, that there may be times when you’ll have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight baggage provides a distinct advantage.

Dress Code & etiquette

You should pack:

  • Soft spikes—These will be required at all the courses on your itinerary.
  • Extra balls—Buying these abroad tends to be more expensive.
  • Collared golf shirts
  • Tailored pants or Bermuda shorts
  • Sports jacket—Jackets are required in most clubhouse rooms and in Turnberry’s restaurant.
  • Raincoat—Scotland’s weather is unpredictable and a waterproof jacket, pants and shoes are essential.

You should know:

  • Certain courses don’t allow clothing featuring logos. Hats can feature golf-related logos, but shouldn’t be worn in Royal Troon’s clubhouse.
  • Cargo pants and jeans are not allowed on the courses or in the clubhouses.
  • Cellphone use may be prohibited or discouraged at some courses.
  • Most dress codes require that ladies wear shirts with modest necklines and either collars or sleeves.

Passport

In order to enter Scotland, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the consulate for your specific entry requirements.

Health

There are no major health risks associated with traveling to Scotland. Be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.

Electricity

Scotland operates on 240 volts.

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in Edinburgh and depart from Glasgow. Included transportation is by private motor coach. All of the cities and towns on this itinerary are accessible on foot, but you may want to break up periods of walking by using public transportation.

Time zones

Scotland, as part of Britain, falls on Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is five hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York, it’s 5pm in Edinburgh.

Currency

You’ll use the British pound on tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in Scotland, although it’s worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We advise that you take a combination of bank/debit cards and credit cards to use at ATMs. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it’s customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalency of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalency of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping. Additionally, if you take a caddie, plan to tip at least the equivalent of $25 per round (more if the caddie’s done an outstanding job or saved you strokes).

Great Golf, Just Not Enough Of It

While the golf couse selection was excellent this was not solely a "golfers tour" as too much time was spent on tours of castles and museums for the non-golfers in our group in my opinion. If you are a golfer who is looking for a trip that requires activities for your non-golfing spouse this is a perfect trip for you. If all you want is great golf and a lot of it, this tour leaves you a bit unfullfilled. There were great golf courses on the trip and a great Tour Director in David but we should have spent more time golfing or at the courses. All too often we were rushing back to the hotel after golf to meet up with non-golfers or arriving later than I would have liked at the course due to scheduled activities. If you want to play great courses and see as much of Scotland as can be expected with a full schedule of golf this is the tour for you. If all you want is to play and soak in the historic golf course atmospher as much as possible you may find another tour more to your liking. All-in-all it was a very positive experience, thanks in large part to the extremely knowledgeable golfing tour directors, David (and Paddy). Some of the hotels were substandard but I don't like my money spent on non-golfing facilities so it was tolerable. I really don't know how the "spouses" viewed some of the accommodations. I know my spouse would not have approved; especially the hotel in Glasgow.

4 / 5

Traveled On: 7/12/2013

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

NORTH BERWICK

North Berwick, East Lothian www.northberwickgolfclub.com

Open for continuous play since 1832, North Berwick holds the title of one of the oldest courses in the world. After leading you along the sandy beach of North Berwick Bay, the course doubles back to return you to civilization at the 18th hole, aptly named “Home.”

    Course Details:
  • Max. Handicap: 24 men, 36 women
  • Club Rental: £30
  • Caddie Cost: £35, pre-booked
  • Pull Carts: Available
  • Motorized Carts: Available
    Course Highlights:
  • 13th oldest golf club in the world
  • Hosted the Open Qualifying, Senior Open, Ladies Amateur & Amateur
  • Site of the original Redan hole

ST ANDREWS–OLD COURSE

St Andrews, Fife www.standrews.org.uk

With a 600-year legacy in the making, the Old Course has become synonymous with golf itself. Known worldwide as the “Home of Golf,” no other course can compare in terms of history or critical acclaim, making it the most difficult course to get onto in the world. We’ll make every effort to help you play the Old Course if you’d like—here’s how: Go Ahead Golf can assist you with the Annual Advanced Reservation Ballot filed every September, the 48-Hour Ballot and the daily singles line. If you choose to go for the 48-Hour Ballot, your Tour Director will take care of entering you into the lottery; ballot entries must be submitted before 2pm, two days prior to the day of play. Also, please call and ask about the possibility of guaranteed tee times.

    Course Details:
  • Max Handicap: 24 men, 36 women
  • Club Rental: £30-40
  • Caddie Cost: £45
  • Pull Carts: Available
  • Motorized Carts: Available
    Course Highlights:
  • Ranked the No. 4 course in the world by Golf Magazine in 2012
  • Hosted the British Open 28 times
  • Created today’s 18-hole standard
  • Home of the "Road Hole,” Swilcan Bridge & "Hell Bunker"

ST ANDREWS–NEW COURSE

St Andrews, Fife www.standrews.org.uk

Although it may seem like a bit of a misnomer to call a more than 100-year-old course "new,” the St Andrews’ New Course is the Old Course’s younger sibling. Directly adjacent to each other, the two courses share much of the same topography. However, the New Course is a masterpiece in its own right, and would undoubtedly gain even more attention if it weren’t (literally) in the shadow of the Old Course.

    Course Details:
  • Max Handicap: 24 men, 36 women
  • Club Rental: £30-40
  • Caddie Cost: £45
  • Pull Carts: Available
  • Motorized Carts: Available only with a medical certificate
    Course Highlights:
  • Designed by Old Tom Morris
  • Built by the R&A in 1895
  • The preferred course of many R&A members for daily play

ST ANDREWS–JUBILEE COURSE

St Andrews, Fife www.standrews.org.uk

Perfectly situated between the New Course and the sea, the Jubilee Course developed along the land’s high dunes as a shorter 12-hole course catering to beginners and women. But over the past century, with a dramatic redesign by Donald Steele, the course has matured and expanded into what many consider the toughest test of golf at St Andrews.

    Course Details:
  • Max Handicap: 24 men, 36 women
  • Club Rental: £30-40
  • Caddie Cost: £45
  • Pull Carts: Available
  • Motorized Carts: Available only with a medical certificate
    Course Highlights:
  • Named in honor of Queen Victoria & her Diamond Jubilee in 1897
  • Extended to 18 holes in 1905 for a cost of £150
  • Qualifying course for 2004 Amateur

ST ANDREWS–CASTLE COURSE

St Andrews, Fife www.standrews.org.uk

The Castle Course, which opened in 2008, is the newest course at St Andrews. The course was designed by David Kidd, the creator of Bandon Dunes, and has already earned many accolades, including being named a Golf World “Top 100 Course.” With dramatic bunkering and a rugged cliff line, this newest addition offers an experience unlike any other at St Andrews.

    Course Details:
  • Max Handicap: 24 men, 36 women
  • Club Rental: £30-40
  • Caddie Cost: £45
  • Pull Carts: Available
  • Motorized Carts: Available only with a medical certificate
    Course Highlights:
  • The 7th course built at St Andrews
  • Named after Kinkell Castle, which once stood on the land
  • You’ll tee off over seaside cliffs on the par-3 17th hole, among others

ROYAL TROON

Troon, South Ayrshire www.royaltroon.co.uk

Home to the shortest hole on the Open Championship circuit, Troon lives up to the motto engraved on its crest—”As much by skill as by strength.” At just 126 yards, you might find yourself on the tee at hole eight— the famed Postage Stamp—with a wedge in your hand. But don’t be fooled, the Postage Stamp is the most famous short hole in the world for a reason.

    Course Details:
  • Max. Handicap: 20 men, 30 women
  • Club Rental: £35
  • Caddie Cost: £40
  • Pull Carts: Available
  • Motorized Carts: Unavailable
    Course Highlights:
  • Scheduled to host the 2016 Open Championship; has hosted 8 previous Opens
  • Hosted the 2012 British Amateur
  • Home of both the shortest & longest holes in British Open history

TURNBERRY–AILSA COURSE

Turnberry, South Ayrshire www.turnberry.co.uk

The Ailsa Course at Turnberry has been home to some of the most memorable Open Championships and boasts some of the country’s most picturesque views. The lighthouse at the 9th hole is the course’s calling card, along with the impressive Ailsa Craig, the uninhabited island just off the coast.

    Course Details:
  • Max. Handicap: 24 men, 36 women
  • Club Rental: £35
  • Caddie Cost: £40
  • Pull Carts: Available
  • Motorized Carts: Unavailable
    Course Highlights:
  • Hosted 4 Open Championships
  • Served as military airbase during WWI & WWII
  • Ranked No. 18 course in the world by Golf Magazine
  • Ranked No. 4 course in Scotland by Golf Digest
Q&A