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Hidden Gem Golf Courses to Play in Scotland

By: Golfshake Editor | Wed 01 Sep 2021 | Comments


Are hidden gems a thing of the past? That was the subject covered in a recent Golfshake article that posed the question of whether - in the age of the internet and social media - outstanding golf courses can truly be considered hidden.

While there is truth to that premise, there are many venues that don't receive the wider publicity that they deserve, with a large number of them being found in Scotland, the spiritual home of the ancient game.

Studying the engaging 'Top 100' lists that are featured each year in popular magazines, we started wondering about those layouts that aren't showcased in glossy print. 

Looking at the Golfshake Course Section and its countless independent reviews, here is an opportunity to present acclaimed designs that aren't regularly seen in the marquee rankings, but that nonetheless deliver a great experience for everyday golfers, something reflected in their high Golfshake Rating.

From Glasgow and Edinburgh to Fife, Perthshire, and the Isle of Arran, there is an-Almost Hidden Gem for everyone!

Inverness Golf Club

Inverness Golf Club

Location: Highlands

Golfshake Rating: 4.76

Review Comment: "Excellent course, well maintained, real friendly staff, excellent food and great service. Well worth a visit if you are in the Highlands."

Kelso Golf Club

Location: Borders

Golfshake Rating: 4.76

Review Comment: "Fantastic wee golf course and town."

McDonald Golf Club

Location: Aberdeenshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.76

Review Comment: "The holes are interesting and can be tricky but very enjoyable.The greens are excellent and play brilliantly. The variety of holes keeps the pace of play enjoyable."

Dunfermline Golf Club

Dunfermline Golf Club

Location: Fife

Golfshake Rating: 4.75

Review Comment: "Great course in excellent condition. Food and facilities all top class. Would play again."

Milnathort Golf Club

Location: Perth & Kinross

Golfshake Rating: 4.75

Review Comment: "First time playing the course, very impressed with the fairways and greens, will be playing again in the coming months."

Carradale Golf Club

Location: Argyll & Bute

Golfshake Rating: 4.75

Review Comment: "A real gem. Definitely worth a detour on the way to Machrihanish. Plenty of interest and few blind holes. Loved the pudding bowl 6th hole. Good condition and spectacular views of Arran."

Crieff Golf Club

Crieff Golf Club

Location: Perth & Kinross

Golfshake Rating: 4.75

Review Comment: "This is our second group outing to Crieff Golf Club and the experience is excellent. Scott, at the pro shop made us feel very welcome and sorted out all our arrangements, even when two of our number had to drop out at short notice, it was no problem. The course is superb, set amongst mature trees which line the fairways in a classic design, and the course is prepared to a very high standard and in immaculate condition. We were also given a very warm welcome in the clubhouse and enjoyed our food both before and after the round. I cannot wait to re-book for next year, God willing!"

Kemnay Golf Club

Location: Aberdeenshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.75

Review Comment: "Great course to challenge all levels, A must if you are visiting Aberdeenshire."

Muir of Ord Golf Club

Location: Highlands

Golfshake Rating: 4.74

Review Comment: "Fine example of a James Braid course. Great condition, some very tricky greens with tight approach. Some lovely vantage points from top of course enhanced the whole experience."

Stirling Golf Club

Location: Central Scotland

Golfshake Rating: 4.74

Review Comment: "Great course and would recommend getting there early to take advantage of the great practice facilities on offer."

Aboyne Golf Club

Aboyne Golf Club

Location: Aberdeenshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.71

Review Comment: "The course was excellent, greens were in very good condition. The staff was very helpful and food was really good. Had lovely weather, had a great day at Aboyne and looking forward in playing there again."

Prestonfield Golf Club

Prestonfield Golf Club

Location: Edinburgh

Golfshake Rating: 4.71

Review Comment: "This really is a stunning parkland course, beautifully laid out and some stunning views of Arthur's Seat and the surrounding landscape. The holes are well laid out with just a couple of pinch points, and the course was in fabulous condition. Definitely worth visiting if you're in Edinburgh."

Paisley Golf Club

Location: Renfrewshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.66

Review Comment: "Probably one of, if not, the best course in Renfrewshire bar none. Great staff, facilities, food, pro shop and exceptionally friendly members who are always willing to help and play if you're on your own."

Easter Moffat Golf Club

Location: Lanarkshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.65

Review Comment: "Best course in North Lanarkshire by far."

King James VI Golf Club

King James VI Golf

Location: Perth & Kinross

Golfshake Rating: 4.65

Review Comment: "Great little course, people really friendly, course in good condition for this time of year. Difficult to find. You need to walk over the railway bridge to get onto the island."

Ballochmyle Golf Club

Location: Ayrshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.64

Review Comment: "Shame the weather was rubbish, other than that a great day. This course is well worth every penny. The staff couldn't do anything else for us. Put this on your tour."

Strathtay Golf Club

Location: Perth & Kinross

Golfshake Rating: 4.63

Review Comment: "Superb location. Testing course. Course condition is excellent and kept in top condition by the greenkeeper Alastair MacNab."

St Medans Golf Club

Location: Dumfries & Galloway

Golfshake Rating: 4.60

Review Comment: "A warm and friendly reception on a lovely course, with the added novelty of nine greens and 18 tees. The views are incomparable."

Lamlash Golf Club

Lamlash Golf Club

Location: Isle of Arran

Golfshake Rating: 4.59

Review Comment: "Not a long course, but in those 4,000 yards are some of the prettiest holes you're likely to play anywhere. This is especially true of the holes heading back towards the town and the backdrop of Holy Isle."

Carrbridge Golf Club

Location: Highlands

Golfshake Rating: 4.58

Review Comment: "Beautiful 9 hole course with immaculate greens. Lovely views and well-tended fairways. All the holes are short but most with tricky approaches to greens ensuring it is a real test. Very friendly welcome at the small clubhouse well stocked with homebaked cakes."

Dunkeld & Birnam Golf Club

Dunkeld & Birnam

Location: Perth & Kinross

Golfshake Rating: 4.58

Review Comment: "I enjoyed playing this course so much I joined the club despite it being an hour and a half drive from my home. Worth every mile and always in great condition!"

Banchory Golf Club

Location: Aberdeenshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.55

Review Comment: "Just had an outing here, we couldn't fault anything with the course at all, the staff were very friendly and helpful, the food was really nice and well worth the money, we will be returning next year."

Peterculter Golf Club

Peterculter Golf Club

Location: Aberdeenshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.55

Review Comment: "Everything from the pro shop to the catering and the course was fantastic. Couldn't fault anything. A great day out for an outing and not far to travel from Aberdeen. Will definitely recommend."

Ballater Golf Club

Ballater Golf Club

Location: Aberdeenshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.55

Review Comment: "Cracking course although my golf could've been better. Will definitely be playing again."

Erskine Golf Club

Erskine Golf Club

Location: Renfrewshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.54

Review Comment: "Amazing course. Fantastic condition again. Gets better every time I play here."

Cathkin Braes Golf Club

Location: Glasgow

Golfshake Rating: 4.53

Review Comment: "This is a beautiful moorland, tree-lined course worth playing. Tees fairways and greens all in very good condition. Some great feature holes. The professional was welcoming and friendly, and recommended the best times to play during my visit to this area. I will definitely go back."

Braemar Golf Club

Braemar Golf Club

Location: Aberdeenshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.52

Review Comment: "The setting for this course is amazing - the highest in the UK. I play it on holiday every year and enjoy it more each time."

Haddington Golf Club

Location: East Lothian

Golfshake Rating: 4.51

Review Comment: "Nice course, fairly forgiving. Interesting start and finish to round."

Glasgow Golf Club

Location: Glasgow

Golfshake Rating: 4.49

Review Comment: "Spotless course, quite reserved atmosphere but course is in excellent condition."

Pitreavie Golf Club

Location: Fife

Golfshake Rating: 4.43

Review Comment: "Great course that is interesting to play regardless of your level. Would most definitely play again."


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