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Scotland is famous as the birthplace of golf and for its golf courses, but some are still waiting to be discovered.
Great dunes stretch along Aberdeenshire’s 165 miles of coast – some of them said to tower 100 feet high. In this extraordinary sandscape are some of the world’s most challenging links courses, designed by top names in golf architecture such as Old Tom Morris, James Braid and Dr Martin Hawtree. Here, along Scotland’s North-east coast, the skies are vast, the light clear, and the air fresh. The panoramic views and elemental power can take a golfer’s breath away. This is stirring stuff. Historic, too. Aberdeenshire has two of the top 10 oldest courses in the world.
Inland are dozens of parkland courses in majestic settings –in city among forests and glens, on great estates and rugged heaths, in castle grounds and tree-filled parks, alongside fast-flowing rivers. The UK’s highest golf course is at Braemar in the upper reaches of Royal Deeside, where Aberdeenshire meets the Cairngorms National Park. Nearby there’s a 9-hole course in the grounds of the Queen’s summer retreat at Balmoral Castle – usually reserved for the royals and staff, but now open to fortunate bookers during the months when days are longest.
Indeed, summer days this far north are almost endless: fortunate for golfers, who find they can play to their hearts’ content from early morning through to late evening.
No matter where you choose to stay during your visit, you will never be far from a rolling green fairway.