Crail Golfing Society, Crail, Fife
Founded 1786. Links Course
The seventh oldest golf club in the world, Crail Golfing Society as it is known, was founded in 1786. Today Crail offers two excellent links courses, the Balcomie Links, where the original nine holes were laid out by Old Tom Morris in 1895, and the newer Craighead Links, which come into being in 1998. Located about 25 minutes east of St Andrews, the Balcomie Links is not long but offers spectacular sea views from almost every hole. Balcomie offers all that is good about links golf without being overly difficult and in this respect is an ideal course on which to commence your trip. The Craighead serves as the ideal second round for play on the same day.
Great golf is only part of the story when considering what makes the perfect golf trip. Thankfully the other essential components are all found in abundance in Scotland, not least in the sights to see department. Whether scheduling a day off from golf or filling an afternoon after your morning round, there are many options regardless of which region you are visiting. The below is intended as a very general guide to sightseeing in the St Andrews and Perthshire area.
As part of a golf trip to this region, it is likely that you will stay in or close to St Andrews. It’s also likely that you will be too busy playing golf to include much sightseeing but there are always options. Recommendations in St Andrews include the British Golf Museum, St Andrews Castle (pictured above), St Andrews Cathedral and St Andrews Botanic Gardens. Venturing further afield, the likes of Kingsbarns Distillery, Inchcolm Abbey and Aberdour Castle are also worth a visit.
Also within range from St Andrews are the many attractions in Perthshire and Stirling. Like the Highlands, Perthshire boasts its fair share of distilleries with two excellent options being the Famous Grouse Experience at Glenturret Distillery in Crieff (pictured above) and Blair Atholl Distillery in Pitlochry, one of the oldest working distilleries in Scotland. Other locations of interest in Perthshire include Blair Castle, Drummond Castle Gardens near Crieff, Scone Palace in Perth and Loch Leven Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned for a time.
Connecting Perthshire with Greater Glasgow, Stirling offers many attractions, particularly from an historical perspective. The Bannockburn Heritage Centre and impressive Stirling Castle (pictured above) are both must-sees in Stirling, while the National Wallace Monument, through a variety of exhibits and displays tells the story of the legendary William Wallace, Guardian of Scotland.