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St Andrews Old Course, Muirfield, North Berwick, & Gleneagles (choice of courses). Early Christmas gift or late Valentines

In search of the ultimate Scottish golf gift ? An early Christmas present perhaps? or a slightly late Valentines gift? it might equally be that you’re a frustrated weather bound golfer from the northern states for whom the Scottish climate is relatively mild? You could always be the a golfing thrill seeker who really wants to test their game having perhaps had enough of Floirda? Whoever you are, Faraway Fairways believe you’ll be hard pressed to better the ultimate Scottish golf gift. Don’t just give it, play it.

Make no mistake, the courses on the ultimate Scottish golf gift are world class. This is most definitely not a case of cobbling together some off-season courses that no one wants to play. The three of the four courses we’ve selected are rated by Golf Digest to be inside the world’s top-50, two of which are regularly held to be top-10. Surely this speaks for itself. St Andrews #7, is the ‘home of golf’ and a dream bucket list course for any golfer. Indeed, a round on the Old Course would probably be gift enough in it’s own right.

If there is one course in Scotland capable of matching St Andrews for status and class however, then its Muirfield. Despite being extremely difficult to ‘get on’ for most of the season, Muirfield does become significantly more accessible in the low-season and plays all year round. With a little bit of planning (6-9 months) you would stand a good chance of bagging both, but Faraway Fairways have gone further. Gleneagles is arguably Scotland’s finest inland courses, a mixture of heathland and moorland with stunning views across the Perthshire countryside. Most recently Gleneagles hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup, so why not replay the same course. Finally, North Berwick #50, is all charm and quirky eccentricity. This is a seaside links that is full of character and personality with just about every traditional hazard known needing to be skilfully negotiated

There is an upside for the calculating non golfer too. Faraway Fairways’ the ultimate Scottish golf gift bases you in Edinburgh and St Andrews. This ensures that you get the benefit of a Scottish vacation too (shush!), and we’ve even included two nights in an authentic Scottish castle to help set the romantic atmosphere for you (should it be necessary)



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Friday ST ANDREWS, BALGOVE COURSE East Neuk of Fife St Andrews
Saturday ST ANDREWS (OLD COURSE) St Andrews St Andrews
Sunday GLENEAGLES Stirling Castle & Bannockburn Gleneagles or Stirling
Monday NORTH BERWICK Edinburgh Melville Castle or The Gyle, Edinburgh
Tuesday MUIRFIELD Glasgow Melville Castle or The Gyle, Edinburgh


5 Nights - Self Drive

AVAILABILITY- This tour is ideal for a Christmas present or Valentines Gift. It is exclusively available from mid November to early December, and again from early January to mid March. It can also be taken from the period mid December to the second week in January, but will generate a different price that reflects the festive period. Please enquire accordingly

ST ANDREWS OLD COURSE BALLOT- Anyone intending to play the Old Course through the ballot should make contingency to add £88. 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, they'll still need treating with respect and booking early. Muirfield open their diary in late March for the following year.

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 £180 on the Luxury hotels, and £70 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


The nine-hole Balgove course is the ‘baby’ of the St Andrews family, but being a member of the Links Trust does allow you to legitimately have satisfied the claim to have “played St Andrews”. Ultimately however, it is a practise ground to hone your links skills on and adapt to the demands of the sterner tests that await. Golfers treasure their scoring, particularly at St Andrews, and there is always a strong argument in favour of playing an introductory nine holes and making your mistakes when they don’t count. Built in 1972 and upgraded by Donald Steel in 1993, the Balgove benefits from being relatively modern and is designed to ease you into the challenges of links

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.

The Jubilee course, St Andrews's toughest track

The Jubilee in question was that of Queen Victoria, this course dates to 1897. The course plays on a strip of land wedged between the Old and the New courses. It’s a quite typical links for the area, threading its way through low dunes, and without any double greens. The raised tees afford the golfer stunning views across St Andrews Bay and the town beyond. It was only in 1988 that the Jubilee course came of age when Donald Steel was asked to upgrade it though and added not length, interest, and challenge to the layout. Until then it tended to get overlooked on a St Andrews bucket list, but slowly it’s built up a reputation and loyalty. Today many experienced links doyens regard the Jubilee as St Andrews’s most under rated course.

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.

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


Set between the golfing aristocrats of Muirfield and Gullane, Kilspindie occupies some of the most treasured links real estate in the world. As you might expect for a course that shares the same coastline, the challenges posed are similar with one notable difference. Yardage. Kilspindie is a strategic rather than penal challenge, and appeals to plotters. Plenty of danger lurks however for someone who makes the error of thinking they can overpower her. The wind can be every bit as capricious as well. The par 3, eighth played over a shingle beach is the signature hole. The club enjoys one of the best reputations in Scotland for its welcoming hospitality and with the course being near enough to Edinburgh, a good start to your trip is almost guaranteed


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

More information

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

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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