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Scottish Links Golf Courses You Can Play For Under £100

By: | Wed 24 Jan 2024

Despite the vast majority of layouts in the country being anything but a quintessential seaside test, Scotland is synonymous with links golf

Golfers from around the world travel in their droves to venture along the coastlines of East Lothian and Ayrshire, while others focus on the historic marvel of St Andrews and walk in the footsteps of the game's true greats.

The Old Course, Carnoustie, Muirfield, Royal Dornoch, Royal Troon, Turnberry, Kingsbarns, Prestwick - these are names that resonate in the minds of any keen student of the sport. They're all undeniably incredible, but they are also increasingly eye-wateringly expensive to play during the peak season.

What was once a premium charge for a special experience has now become prohibitive to those of us who simply don't have a spare £300 that we can throw at a round of golf. 

There is a growing sense that these venues - taking full advantage of the tourist market - now charge what they feel they can get away with, no matter how exorbitant, rather than what is realistic and appropriate. That is a deeply unsatisfying situation and is far removed from what some of these institutions should really be about.

However, there are gratefully some exceptions to this current landscape. 

If you want to play Scottish links golf this season, then you have many considerably more affordable options available to you. Each of the places we have featured below offer green fees during the peak months of summer for less than £100. What's even better is that you'll discover a number of the nation's most memorable experiences among them.

Naturally, if you research further into spring, autumn and winter, the cost is even more appealing.

These are courses that still ensure that links golf is a genuine possibility for the masses - and we celebrate them for it.

Machrihanish Golf Club

Machrihanish Golf Club

Location: Argyll & Bute

Golfshake Rating: 4.91

Summer Green Fee: £90 (Twilight)

Review Comment: "Fantastic golfing challenge on a very natural and fair golf course. Hard and fast running, always presents options for how to play shots - along the ground or in the air. True but complex and hard to read greens, Beautiful coastal location completes a great course."

Gullane No. 2

Gullane No 2

Location: East Lothian

Golfshake Rating: 4.92

Summer Green Fee: £90 (Weekday)

Review Comment: "Such an amazing course in fantastic condition. Weather was very polite and led to a fantastic round of golf."

Brora Golf Club

Brora Golf Club

Location: Highlands

Golfshake Rating: 4.93

Summer Green Fee: £65 (Twilight)

Review Comment: "Terrific links course with great holes and great views. I was lucky with the weather, but can imagine how tough it must be when the wind really blows. The staff were very welcoming too."

Southerness Golf Club

Location: Dumfries & Galloway

Golfshake Rating: 4.75

Summer Green Fee: £80 (Weekdays)

Review Comment: "I played Southerness in early December having wanted to play the course for years but just not having the chance. It didn't disappoint with excellent routing and outstanding condition for the time of year. Some fabulous holes (13th was a particular favourite). Will definitely return in the summer."

Nairn Dunbar Golf Club

Location: Highlands

Golfshake Rating: 4.25

Summer Green Fee: £70 (Twilight)

Review Comment: "Lovely links/parkland type course inland from the sea played in very windy conditions, nevertheless very enjoyable course. It’s in transition at the moment to reduce trees and make it more like a true links."

Irvine Golf Club

Location: Ayrshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.46

Summer Green Fee: £90

Review Comment: "Excellent course and facilities. Very challenging links course, will definitely be back and possibly looking to become a member."

Prestwick St Nicholas Golf Club

Location: Ayrshire

Golfshake Rating: 3.91

Summer Green Fee: £70

Review Comment: "Fantastic course, has to be added to any coastal challenge. Greens in excellent condition, and very true all the way through."

Kilspindie Golf Club

Kilspindie Golf Club

Location: East Lothian

Golfshake Rating: 4.55

Summer Green Fee: £90 (Weekdays)

Review Comment: "A short course among the big clubs on Scotland's golf coast. Always in great condition. Greens are always fabulous. Fabulous views. Great food. Extremely friendly, staff pro and members."

Golspie Golf Club

Golspie Golf Club

Location: Highlands

Golfshake Rating: 4.09

Summer Green Fee: £55 (Twilight)

Review Comment: "A great mix of links and heathland course that plays along the Highland shore. A very friendly welcome awaits you from both the pro shop and the clubhouse. The course was in good condition considering the winter and the greens were rolling superbly."

Peterhead Golf Club

Location: Aberdeenshire

Golfshake Rating: 3.55

Summer Green Fee: £80 (UK Visitors)

Review Comment: "One of the best value links courses in the north east. It is always in top condition, it does not get the hype of some of its more expensive counterparts, but us locals know better, you will not be disappointed."

Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Club

Fortrose & Rosemarkie

Location: Highlands

Golfshake Rating: 4.79

Summer Green Fee: £80 (Twilight)

Review Comment: "If ever in the area, this is a great golf course to visit. Not the longest, but a fun 18 holes to play. Great conditioned course, greens running true, lovely layout, everything you need for a great day out."

St Andrews Links Eden Course

Location: Fife

Golfshake Rating: 4.93

Summer Green Fee: £70

Review Comment: "Anyone concerned that if you don't play the Old you don't get the St Andrews experience should play the Eden. From check in to finish it just feels special and the course runs immediately alongside the Old for some of its length so you are effectively on the same ground."

Tain Golf Club

Location: Highlands

Golfshake Rating: 3.92

Summer Green Fee: £90

Review Comment: Tain is a truly exceptional golf course. It has some very unique holes and must be one of the hardest courses ever played by myself. This Tom Morris chappy knew his stuff. It is a true test of natural beauty."

Askernish Golf Club

Location: Isle of South Uist

Golfshake Rating: 4.37

Summer Green Fee: £60

Review Comment: "Took up golf 14 years ago and have since had a passion for playing different courses. I am now up to nearly 300. My dream has been to find a course that combines a challenge within a perfect setting. I found it in Askernish. The course attracted me with its history of being designed by old Tom Morris and then reopened by Kenny Dalglish."

Moray Golf Club (New Course)

Location: Moray

Golfshake Rating: 4.89

Summer Green Fee: £50

Review Comment: "Thoroughly enjoyed a challenging but fair golf course. Have played the Old Course on a couple of occasions but this was my first time on the New Course. What a great second course to have."

Reay Golf Club

Location: Highlands

Golfshake Rating: 4.20

Summer Green Fee: £50 (Per Day)

Review Comment: "£50 each and we effectively had this beautiful links to ourselves for the afternoon in sub tropical temperatures. Lovely welcome and a stunning golf course."

Craigielaw Golf Club

Craigielaw Golf Club

Location: East Lothian

Golfshake Rating: 4.13

Summer Green Fee: £88 (Weekday)

Review Comment: "Surrounded by amazing courses, Craigielaw shouldn't be overlooked. Great practice facilities beforehand, and a throughly enjoyable mix of holes await."

Wigtownshire County Golf Club

Location: Dumfries & Galloway

Golfshake Rating: 3.17

Summer Green Fee: £45

Review Comment: "Great links course, good condition and very playable layout. Members and staff were very friendly and helpful."

Troon Darley

Location: Ayrshire

Golfshake Rating: 3.96

Summer Green Fee: £37

Review Comment: "A great course. Third time playing it and for the money it's epic. Very forgiving and suits all abilities. Mega."

Troon Lochgreen

Location: Ayrshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.44

Summer Green Fee: £37

Review Comment: "A fantastic golf course with lots of variety of holes to suit any level of golfer and have always found it challenging but fair. The greens and fairways are always in great condition any time of the year. If you have a chance of playing this course do not miss it."

Troon Fullarton

Location: Ayrshire

Golfshake Rating: 3.52

Summer Green Fee: £30

Review Comment: "Great course, short but good to learn more about how you use your clubs. Great shop and coffee shop. Will be back again."

Dunaverty Golf Club

Location: Argyll & Bute

Golfshake Rating: 4.61

Summer Green Fee: £50

Review Comment: "I have played this golf course occasionally since I was a child, a long time ago. Every time I come back I appreciate the place more and more. Playing Dunaverty is a truly enriching experience, the course is not long but there are some very tricky par 3s. Some of the views are world class. The first two or three holes, and the last, are average but from hole 4 to 17, Dunaverty is a very special place to play golf."

Shiskine Golf Club

Location: Isle of Arran

Golfshake Rating: 4.76

Summer Green Fee: £37

Review Comment: "Simply 12 holes of unadulterated joy. How links golf should be. Not a dull hole on the course. Fabulous blind shots, great mix of holes, just get to Arran and play this place. Great little pro shop and clubhouse. All positives."

Arbroath Golf Links

Location: Angus

Golfshake Rating: 4.24

Summer Green Fee: £80 (Midweek)

Review Comment: "This is a really nice challenging course. The professional is very friendly and helpful and the catering staff are very friendly too. It is a course that is well maintained and in great condition."

Newburgh-On-Ythan Golf Club

Newburgh On Ythan

Location: Aberdeenshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.55

Summer Green Fee: £65

Review Comment: "Have played this course many times, however the condition of the course at the moment is as good as I've ever seen it. The green are fantastic and they have shaped the fairways to give them more definition. I would recommend course this to anyone and the price is very good value!"

Inverallochy Golf Club

Location: Aberdeenshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.13

Summer Green Fee: £50

Review Comment: "Like all the links courses in this area the wind plays a major part in the difficulty of the course. This is a nice course to play and is kept in good condition. Greens always in good condition when I've played here."

Balnagask Golf Course

Location: Aberdeenshire

Golfshake Rating: 4.48

Summer Green Fee: £15

Review Comment: "Balnagask is a great course, which provides a different challenge every day, depending on the weather. Always in good condition, with greens in good condition. Love playing the course."

Carnoustie Golf Links Burnside Course

Carnoustie Burnside

Location: Angus

Golfshake Rating: 4.91

Summer Green Fee: £90

Review Comment: "Played the Burnside twice. Good test of golf, not overly long but still a good test in 25 mile/hr winds. The links was in great condition well prepared and a very good test of golf. Received a warm welcome by all the course personnel and being announced on the 1st tee was a nice touch. Course guide was very comprehensive with yardages from every tee to all hazards, etc. A great test of golf and a must for the golf connoisseur. Cannot wait to play the course again."

Isle of Colonsay Golf Course

Location: Isle of Colonsay

Golfshake Rating: Not Yet Rated

Summer Green Fee: £10

Review Comment: N/A

Durness Golf Club

Location: Highlands

Golfshake Rating: 3.72

Summer Green Fee: £50 (18 Holes)

Review Comment: "Played here in late April on a kind day (14C, mostly sunny and a breeze rather than a gale). 9 greens and 18 tees - some of which make a big difference. Still had sheep on the course but electric fences keep them off what are good fast greens. Generally course in good condition. It is pretty hilly with the first, tricky if the ground is dry (and it was)."

Hopeman Golf Club

Location: Moray

Golfshake Rating: 4.40

Summer Green Fee:  £60

Review Comment: "The course is always well presented with nice greens. A bit of a challenge when you get to the gorse lined fairways but if you can keep the ball reasonably straight, it's not an issue (if you can't mind and take plenty balls!). The 12th is an amazing hole as well as being a challenge, from memory there is a 116 feet drop from the tee to the green 130 yards away with a sea of gorse in between. Quite daunting when you first see it but the view is breathtaking."

Kings Links Golf Course

Location: Aberdeenshire

Golfshake Rating: 3.37

Summer Green Fee: £20

Review Comment: "Extremely good value for money. The course is challenging but not so much that it is unenjoyable. Would recommend!"

Strathlene Golf Club

Location: Moray

Golfshake Rating: 4.06

Summer Green Fee: £40

Review Comment: "Great course which was in very good condition. Weather very wet but course still played very well. The few people in the clubhouse were very friendly and facilities looked very good."

Winterfield Golf Club

Location: East Lothian

Golfshake Rating: 3.94

Summer Green Fee: £33

Review Comment: "Winterfield is a delightful links course. Good value."

Musselburgh Links, The Old Golf Course

Location: East Lothian

Golfshake Rating: 3.52

Summer Green Fee: £17.50

Review Comment: "Delightful 9 hole links with a genuine sense of history about it as I played it on a summer's evening with showers sweeping down the Forth and a double rainbow overhead. Long, tough par 3s, bunkers that are true, steep-faced links tests and greens that demand pace control on your putts. Yes, the racecourse does kind of get in the way a bit, but this is ideal for satisfying an itch to play links golf if you don't have the time, inclination or budget to play one of the bigger East Lothian courses."

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