St Andrews Old Course, Muirfield, Trump Turnberry, Carnoustie, North Berwick, & Gleneagles

The Cheapest Top-Quality Golf Vacation in Scotland
– Character of this tour

Duration – 6 nights
Old Course – Very likely to play through the ballot. Walk-Up-Rule close to guaranteed
Logistics – More of a ‘point-to-point’ touring structure
Transport – Self-drive works best
Mileage – Medium. Has a couple of moderately demanding days
Travel Class – Luxury, & Affordable
Non-Golf offer – Strong (Edinburgh, Stirling, St Andrews & Fife)

Naturally Faraway Fairways were reluctant to use the word ‘cheapest’ but sadly Google demands that we try and anticipate how value seekers might interrogate a search engine! We wanted to offer you some outstanding high-class value

As you might have anticipated however, this means playing in the low-season, be it the winter months or the narrower shoulder season at the start of April or end of October. The low-season often throws up more challenging conditions. Some golfer’s welcome this more demanding test and indeed revel in the unfairness of the game. The price of playing these iconic courses falls significantly and no one minds that.

So what does the cheapest top quality golf vacation in Scotland include? Muirfield is an undoubted jewel. This world ranked top-10 is regarded by many as the most complete test of a links golfer. North Berwick is a grand old quirky links of fantastic tradition and ranks in the world’s top-50. They replace Troon and Kingsbarns from the summer itinerary. You might justifiably conclude this is a net gain. The east coast giants of St Andrews, the home of golf, and Carnoustie, the toughest links on the Open roster are still retained. On the west coast, Turnberry, the most aesthetic of the Open venues, adds a third world top-20 course to your list. The final weave in this tapestry lies inland where deep in the Perthshire countryside you’ll find the majestic Gleneagles estate, home of the 2014 Ryder Cup and 2019 Solheim Cup.

In summary, the cheapest top quality golf vacation in Scotland loses nothing on the class side of the ledger. It will allow you to justifiably look at your ‘catch net’ after a week and say that this has indeed been a haul of Scotland’s classic links giants. One thing we do perhaps need to stress however is not to overdo the pursuit of cost savings. There does reach a point where the compromises you’re making begin to impact the quality. Know where to draw the line.

The cheapest top quality golf vacation in Scotland awaits you


NORTH BERWICK Edinburgh Edinburgh
Thursday MUIRFIELD Edinburgh Carnoustie or Dundee
Friday CARNOUSTIE Glamis Castle Carnoustie or Dundee
Saturday ST ANDREWS (OLD COURSE) St Andrews St Andrews or Dundee
Sunday GLENEAGLES Stirling Castle/ Bannockburn Trump Turnberry or Troon
Monday TURNBERRY (AILSA) or PRESTWICK Return to Edinburgh Edinburgh


Click Image to learn more details about the course

Cheapest Top-Quality Golf Vacation in Scotalnd Cheapest Top-Quality Golf Vacation in Scotalnd St Andrews Carnoustie Golf Vacation

6 Nights Duration
  • Luxury
  • Affordable

WINTER/ LOW SEASON- Is framed by Muirfield, the course with the narrowest monthly band (mid November to mid March). A month either side of this window is normally considered the 'Shoulder' season. Many courses are still operating their winter green fees (this is why the lower end of the summer season 'Classic' can still appear as a similar price to the winter). In reality that window only exists for a couple of weeks

ST ANDREWS OLD COURSE BALLOT- Anyone intending to play the Old Course through the ballot should make contingency to add £98. 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 (New or Jubilee Course). Your prospects of success are normally very high this time of year

MUIRFIELD- Please be advised that although our prospects of securing a round at Muirfield are greatly enhanced in the low-season, we still advise that advance planning improves this further (6 months)

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.

ADVERSE WEATHER - We don't normally advise customers to pay cancellation protection premiums on hotel accommodation, but the low season classic tour is definitely one you might like to consider doing so for. The prices quoted DO NOT have this level of protection built in. To do so will incur an additional variable charge levied by the hotel. We would advise you to budget for an additional £210 on the Luxury hotels, and £85 for the affordable catgeory hotels

NON GOLF ACTIVITY - The scope for Non-golfers is reduced this time of year due to daylight restrictions. 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 some activity. 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

North Berwick

The links of North Berwick are a traditional out and back nine. Undulating fairways, blind shots, tricky burns and even stone walls make their presence felt in the landscape. The course really is a throw back to the experiences of the game’s pioneers. They had to interpret the landscape and weave the hazards nature handed them into their own personal tapestries. The courses were handcrafted, and North Berwick has an endearing old-fashioned feel. It also possesses the original ‘Redan’ hole, (15). Found the world over, ‘Redans’ are the most copied hole in golf. With an eerie similarity to Turnberry’s Ailsa Craig, Bass Rock rears out the ocean, and lends North Berwick further personality. It would be wrong to think that it’s a curiousity relic though. It’s a beguiling top-100 course in its own right

More information

Qualification requirements for play

North Berwick operates a handicap threshold of 24 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


Frequently ranked inside the world’s top 10, Muirfield is always immaculately maintained and doesn’t have any weak holes. So impressed was Jack he went back to Ohio and built Muirfield Village in homage to the original. Muirfield embraces all three paradigms of golf design penal, heroic and strategic. It tests all aspects of your game and the prestigious roll call of Muirfield Open winners is perhaps its best testimonial. Player, Nicklaus, Trevino, Watson, Faldo, Els & most recently of course, Mickelson. It offers golfers choices and then requires you to execute. It is a golfers, golf course. Muirfield is notoriously exclusive however, access is limited. Booking early isn’t just advised, it’s pretty well essential

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Qualification requirements for play

Muirfield operates a handicap threshold of 18. Players who are unable to meet this standard are invited to tackle the alternatives we’ve nominated instead

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

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!

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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!


The Gleneagles resort is closer in ambience to an aristocratic hunting estate with deep forest green pine trees, and rounded hills that stop just short of being called mountains. In autumn, the purple heathers and russet bracken blend seamlessly into a patchwork of golfing green, and give this place it’s hues. The yellows of the long rough introduce further colouration into the landscape. It would be categorised as a moorland course. A credible body of opinion regards the Gleneagles Kings course as the finest of its type in the world. In 2014 Gleneagles added the Ryder Cup to its portfolio when the Centenary course’ became only the second Scottish venue to host. The aesthetic Queens course is the shortest and completes the trinity of options.

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]

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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