St Andrews Old Course, Carnoustie Championship & Burnside Courses, Turnberry Ailsa Course, Royal Troon Championship Course, Kingsbarns, Gleneagles Kings or Queens, and Royal Burgess

The Best Golf Vacation in Scotland
-The Character of this tour

Old Course – 50/50 through the ballot.
Walk-Up-Rule likely to succeed
Duration – 7 nights
Logistics – ‘point-to-point’ touring structure
Transport – Either Self-drive or Managed driver works fine.
Mileage – Medium, involves a coast to coast transit
Travel Class – Luxury & Affordable
Non-Golf offer – Strong (Edinburgh, Stirling, St Andrews & Fife)

At Faraway Fairways we wanted to build a ‘classic’ experience for the Scottish Summer. The Classic is designed for golfer’s who are prepared to push the mileage out a bit in pursuit of the most iconic courses. Naturally the best golf vacation in Scotland would need to thread the pearls together in a single string of Open Championship venues and world top-50 rated courses. The east coast giants of St Andrews, the home of golf, and Carnoustie, the toughest links on the Open roster were obvious choices. The top-75 course of Kingsbarns is fast establishing a reputation as a firm favourite amongst visitors too and it’s inclusion enhances our chances of playing the Old Course. The next weave in this tapestry lies inland where deep in the Perthshire countryside we’ll find the majestic Gleneagles estate, home of the 2014 Ryder Cup, and 2019 Solheim Cup. Gleneagles is the stepping-stone onto the west coast where we embrace Turnberry, the most aesthetic of the Open Championship venues, along with Royal Troon venue for the great shoot-out in 2016 between Stenson and Mickelson. Finally we head back east for Edinburgh and mix up the country’s capital with a round at the distinguished Royal Burgess, the world’s oldest golf club, and a convenient location for a timely departure the next day.

Now we should perhaps qualify a bit of our hype. Claiming to have built the best golf vacation in Scotland is questionable given that there are two names missing. If you wanted to add Muirfield we would need to do so on an 18 month planning horizon. Your key date is the March before the year of play to get it booked. Muirfield could replace Burgess. It needn’t add a day to the classic. The world top-10 ranked links of Royal Dornoch will require that we add a day however. Dornoch is in the northern Highlands. It would require a ‘big day’ to push there and back, but it is doable from a Gleneagles base. Now if you added these to your Summer classic, you really do have the very best golf vacation in Scotland. There really would be nothing missing now. You’d have the entire cream of the possible. At the end of the week you will be able to justifiably look at your ‘catch net’ and say that this has indeed been an exploration of some of Scotland’s finest.

The Best Golf Vacation in Scotland awaits you, with the Summer warmth on your back!

Old Course estimate based on the ‘super-peak’ season



Thursday KINGSBARNS Falkland Palace, & Fife Carnoustie or Dundee
CARNOUSTIE Glamis Castle Carnoustie or Dundee
Saturday ST ANDREWS (OLD COURSE) St Andrews St Andrews or Dundee
Sunday GLENEAGLES Stirling Castle/ Bannockburn Gleneagles or Stirling
Monday ROYAL TROON Tam ‘O’ Shanter Trail or Glasgow Troon
Tuesday TURNBERRY (AILSA) or PRESTWICK Culzean Castle / Ailsa Craig Turnberry or Girvan
Wednesday ROYAL BURGESS Edinburgh Dalmahoy or Edinburgh


Click Image to learn more details about the course

Classic Scottish Summer Golf Vacation Classic Scottish Summer Golf Vacation

7 Nights Duration
  • Luxury
  • Affordable

ST ANDREWS OLD COURSE BALLOT- Anyone intending to play the Old Course through the ballot should make contingency to add £195. This is paid locally once the result of the draw is known 48 hours before play. It will likely mean forfeiting the provisional reservation to a cancellation (Jubilee Course), albeit the club will make every effort to reschedule you should you wish to play on the Saturday.

COURSE CLOSURES -In 2020 St Andrews, Carnoustie & Kingsbarns host the Dunhill LInks challenge during the first week of October

ROYAL TROON 2020 - The course will be unavailable in August due to hosting the Women's Open. The loss of these dates has also had a knock-on effect through out May, June and July with every Tuesday subject to a potential 'patrons day'

CHAUFFEUR GUIDE - The tour described is self-drive. Should you prefer to engage a chauffeur driver instead, this option is available. Please notify us accordingly.

EDINBURGH - Visits to Edinburgh during the festival (August) see hotel shortages and a notable price spike. We might find it's necessary to switch into Glasgow or Gleneagles in order to avoid staying in the city during this period. We would certainly encourage you to visit during the day or evening however, as it's easily accessible from Fife (Kingbarns, St Andrews)

NON GOLF ACTIVITY - Non-golfers get more time for non-golf activity than golfers. An asterisk (*) is used on the ‘Non-Golf’ button in the itineraries to indicate where a golfer could reasonably expect to be able to undertake an activity. Anything left unmarked is only practical for non-golfers to undertake. Check the button called ‘What’s Included’ that appears on the final named day ‘tab’ to see if it’s included in a price.

DISCLAIMER - The content of all tours are sold subject to availability and final confirmation of price. We do not speculatively book hotels in advance. Late bookings might be subject to a market led price increment. The prices displayed are strong indicators of what you would expect to pay but can also fluctuate in line with choices people wish to add or omit. Please check what's included. Prices are per person based on two sharing


Records of golf being played at Kingsbarns date to 1793. The modern course itself opened in 2000, and is set on three-tiered levels, sloping towards the coast. Nearly every hole has stunning views of the North Sea. The 12th and 15th require you to play a tee shot over the ocean! Kingsbarns is often compared with Pebble Beach. Its noticeable just how many people familiar with both accept this. Perhaps of greater significance is the number of times it beats more illustrious neighbours in surveys. It did so again in 2013 when it topped the poll for Scotland’s favourite course amongst visiting Americans, as its always immacuately presented. It completes the trio of East Coast giants that host the Dunhill links challenge each year alongside Carnoustie and the Old Course

Image by Iain Lowe
with permission from, and supplied by Kingsbarns Golf Course

Carnoustie Championship Course

American media commentators wasted no time dubbing the Tayside course ‘Car-Nasty’. Few would deny the claims of Carnoustie to the crown of toughest Open venue of them all. Carnoustie is long, dark, and menacing. It has a number of challenging holes, particularly the par fives. The Spectacles’ (14) and ‘Hogan’s Alley’ (6) are the two toughest assignments on the stroke index. The par 3 sixteenth is another shocker. It’s the enduring image from the 1999 Open of Jean van de Velde paddling about in the Barry Burn however, that cemented Carnoustie’s legend. Sports Illusrated described the course as being “a nasty old antique brought down from the attic by the R&A after 24 years” as scoring soared. Carnoustie revels in such notoriety. If the wind gets up (and surprisingly a lot of people hope it does) you’re unlikely to ever play a tougher assignment

More information

Qualification requirements for play

Carnoustie operates a handicap threshold of 28 for gentlemnen, and 36 for ladies respectively. Players who are unable to meet this standard are invited to tackle the alternatives we’ve nominated instead

Carnoustie Burnside

It lacks the length of its monsterous neighbour, but otherwise the course is similar in style to the Championship course, playing inside of it as it does. Mercilessly though, it is shorter. Sensible driving will let you test your mid to short game as the key is working out where you think you can most effectively play your second shot from given the heather whins and rough that come into play. The closing two holes are normally cited as the round wreckers and better suited to the neighbouring championship course. The fifth is worth noting. A natural meander in the Barry Burn has created an island green similar to the 17th at Sawgrass. The Burnside proved to be a decent overture for Ben Hogan in 1953. He qualified on the Burnside before going onto lift the claret jug.


St Andrews Old Course

St Andrews, the home of golf, needs little introduction nor hype from us. The first surviving record of the game being played here dates to 1522. The town oozes atmosphere and the course is soaked in heritage. The view from the iconic Swilcan Bridge on eighteen, looking back up the final fairway to the magnificent R&A headquarters, flanked by the red bricked Hamilton Hall is one of the most instantly recognisable in world sport, never mind golf. The Road Hole 17th, is another signature assignment, as are the unique and massive double greens. The secret? don’t be over-awed. Keep out the 112 bunkers, especially so ‘Hell Bunker’ at the 14th. Then attack the course! St Andrews is actually one of the more obliging links, so don’t leave wondering what might have been. It can be tamed!

More information

Qualification requirements for play

“A current official handicap card (Golf Club affiliated to a Golf Union/Association) record or certificate must be presented to the starter prior to play. Maximum handicaps – 24 Men, 36 Ladies. St Andrews will not accept letters of introduction from a local Club Professional”. Players who are unable to meet this standard are invited to tackle the alternatives we’ve nominated instead

The Ballot

One of the most remarkable things about St Andrews is that it’s actually a public course. Luckily the Scot’s also have a tradition of egalitarianism and although golf has often taken on an exclusive aura in many countries, the Scot’s have guarded a sense of open access quite preciously.This means that the Old Course is subject to a public ballot drawn 48 hours before play. It’s important that we stress that we rely on this method. The ballot does NOT guarantee you a tee-time.

We’re often asked ‘what are the chances of success on the ballot’?. The time of year is an important factor. Applications that avoid July, August & September are more likely to succeed. We also make more than one application using the different days available to us. Thursdays and Saturdays have the most ballot times available. It also depends on how flexible you’re prepared to be, regarding days of the week, times of the day, and group size. We’re normally confident for April, May, June, October & November. We’re more cautious regarding the summer months, but more people who set out to play the Old Course succeed than fail. This guidance stops short of being a guarantee though.

Guaranteed tee-times

There is a price premium to guarantee a tee-time. This involves a minimum hotel stay in St Andrews of three nights, and playing additional St Andrews courses. If you’re playing the Old Course as part of a wider ranging tour across Scotland or Ireland however, then you won’t always have the luxury of being able to spend three days here. In this case you either have to extend your stay, or take your chance through the ballot or the ‘walk up’ rule.

St Andrews New Course

“New” in the context of St Andrews means 1895! The course is often said to be the town’s favourite. It’s a tighter and more defined course than its regal neighbour, and aided by the yellow peril of gorse bushes, it tends to be more aesthetic too. The ‘New’ runs adjacent to the Old course and as a consequence has similar characteristics. The fairways are undulating but not as dipped as the Old course, leading to fewer hanging lies. A traditional out and back nine, only the 3rd and 15th share a green. The burn wends its way through a low dune system and features some particularly charismatic holes. The 464yd tenth is often cited as the pick. Think about it logically. It’s likely that the newer course that was designed for purpose, would be the better golf course than the ancient artefact. The good folk of St Andrews know!

Gleneagles, Kings Course

The King’s Course, is a masterpiece of golf course design, which has tested the aristocracy of game, both professional and amateur, and caused Lee Trevino to remark whilst standing on the first, “that if this is heaven I sure hope they have some tee times available”. Selecting the right club for each approach shot is the secret on the King’s. It is certainly one of the most beautiful and exhilarating places to play golf in the world, with the springy moorland turf underfoot, the sweeping views from the tees all around, the rock-faced mountains to the north, the green hills to the south, and the peaks of the Trossachs and Ben Vorlich on the western horizon.

Gleneagles, Queens Course

Threading through high ridges on the north and west sides of the estate, the Queen’s course is the most aesthetic of the Gleneagles trinity and presents you with lovely woodland settings, lochans and ditches as water hazards, as well as many moorland characteristics.At 3,192 yards long, the challenge of the first nine can be deceptive, with even some of the best players finding it a test to make par into a fresh south westerly breeze.

Royal Troon

The Old course has hosted the Open a total of eight times. Troon is a true links challenge in the finest traditions. The omni-present and spiteful wind is only part of the trial. In addition there is hideously deep rough interspersed with thick gorse and broom. Precision shot making is essential. Make your score out, the return nine into the wind is always a trial. The par 3, eighth, described by Willie Park as “a pitching surface skimmed down to the size of a Postage Stamp” is the signature hole, the name stuck. It’s the par 4, eleventh, ‘the Railway Hole’ is more feared though. Ask Tiger Woods. In 1997 golf’s hottest property carded an eight here. The experience of a young Jack Nicklaus was even more chastening. He returned a ten in 1962. More recently Troon staged the memorable 2016 Championship that saw Henrik Stenson edge Phil Mickelson in one of the most stunning displays of head-to-head Major Championship golf in history. They pulled a remarkable 11 shots clear, both shooting record equalling 63’s en-route

More information

Qualification requirements for play

Royal Troon applies a handicap threshold of 20 for gentlemnen, and 30 for ladies to both the Championship and Portland courses respectively. Players who are unable to meet this standard are invited to tackle the alternative courses nominated instead

Trump Turnberry

With the iconic Stevenson lighthouse sitting on its craggy headland amongst the ruins of Turnberry castle, recognisable views of Ailsa Craig and the Isle of Arran out to sea, plus a tendancy to put on spectacular sunsets, Turnberry is the most aesthetic of all the Open venues. In modern golfing legend though Turnberry is forever etched in the pages of history as the location for the most absorbing head-to-head in recent Open history; the renowned ‘duel in the sun’ from 1977 when Tom Watson narrowly prevailed over Jack Nicklaus with the rest, nowhere. Myths are made in moments, but legends last a lifetime. In 2016 the course finished it’s stunning redevelopment. Be amongst the first to tackle the new holes 9-11, which look set to become the signature stretch. Not so mmuch Amen Corner, as perhaps a Rocky Horror! The fifth is the hardest on the course and been toughened up further, and 14, an infinity hole out to sea might become the most awe inspiring


The answer is Prestwick 1860, but what is the question? Prestwick is the home of the first ever Open Championship of Golf, and therefore the genesis of all such modern variants played since. This is your chance to tackle the original ‘Open’ undulations, the narrowest fairway in Europe, and the continents ‘biggest bunker’. Today’s course remains surprisingly faithful. Unreasonable undulations with all the associated ricohets, and a plethora of ‘blind shots’ abound. Six of the original greens played from 1860 are still in use. A number of holes, including the famous par 5, ‘Cardinal’ have only received the absolute minimal alteration over the decades. The opening ‘Railway hole’ is another timeless links classic. Prestwick’s quirky and charismatic. To play here, really is to step back in time. No where is quite like it, nor can it be either.

More information

Qualification requirements for play

Prestwick applies a handicap threshold of 24 for gentlemnen, and 28 for ladies respectively. Players who are unable to meet this standard are invited to tackle the shorter, but strategically stimulating old course of Prestwick, St Nicholas, instead

Image by Mark Alexander, permission of Prestwick GC.
To view some of Mark’s work [CLICK]

Royal Burgess

The exclusive west Edinburgh course of Royal Burgess is the oldest golf club in the world with a continuous verifiable history (1735). The course is a parkland layout and makes for an ideal opening afternoons assignment. The 4th and the 11th holes are normally singled out as the most chalenging, the latter even having its very own ‘Swilcan’ bridge. The elegant clubhouse is a joy to the eye as ‘the Burgess’ is soaked in tradition and heritage, and enjoys the advantage of being smack in the heart of Scotland’s capital and so allows you to spend the evening like many traveller before you has

Time to say goodbye

Time, as they say, waits for no man, and sadly we’re no exception. Today it’s time to bid you farewell, hope you enjoyed your stay, and will consider returning soon. Better still, the return match awaits. We’ll ensure you get to your airport for a safe, and comfortable return across the Atlantic, where the benefits of flying east to west will now become apparent, as you land a mere two hours after you took off! Don’t forget to stay in touch through our blog, email, or the social networks, as we update information. Once again, thank you

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