There’s nothing better than playing golf in Scotland, being way way way over par, then enjoying a “wee dram” after 9 holes to make yourself feel better.
The Scots are known for two things: Golf and Scotch whiskey. In all fairness – kilts, bagpipes, castles, universities and rebelling against England are interesting traits as well.
By the way, in America and Ireland we spell whiskey with an ‘e’. In Scotland and Canada they spell it whisky. Just want to keep the liquor snobs of my back!
Golf and whiskey go very well together. When traveling to Scotland to play golf, you will want to visit the best distilleries and golf courses. This can be a challenge when you don’t know the geography!
Below are the most delectable golf whiskey regions you should visit on your next trip:
It’s certainly not rocket science, but Scotch whiskey and golf can confuse travelers. The reason for this is that the Speyside whiskey region sits in the middle of the highlands. Each trip can be combined into a full week of distilleries and golf!
With that being said, the below recommendations are based on the proximity of the golf and whiskey. These golf courses and distilleries would make for an incredible Highlands golf trip. Stay at the Kingsmills property in Inverness or the Dornoch House in Dornoch for the 5 Star experience. Royal Dornoch is quite possibly the best golf course in the world…
Flavor Profile: Oak, Dried Fruit, Heather, Fruit Cake, Smoke (some spicy notes at times)
Recommended Distilleries: Glenmorangie, Tomatin, Balblair, Glen Ord, Glenturret,
Recommended Golf Courses: Royal Dornoch, Castle Stuart, Brora Golf Club, Skibo Castle
Speyside is arguably the best whiskey region any where in the world. With 50 distilleries, all within driving distance, it’s a whiskey lovers dream. The recommended trip is to stay in Aberdeen a few nights. Play loads of golf and dedicate a day (with a luxury driver) to visit the top distilleries in Speyside. Of course, you can hit the golf and whiskey up in the highlands, north of Inverness, all on the same trip!
Flavor Profile: Pear, Apple, Nutmeg, Vanilla, Oak, Dried Fruit
Recommended Distilleries: Macallan, Glenlivet, Glenfiddich, Balvenie Cardhu, Aberlour, Glenfarclas, Benromach
Recommended Golf Courses: Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay, Trump International Aberdeen, Murcar, Nairn Golf Club, Moray Old Course
The great irony of the Lowlands region is that it is the weakest in terms of whiskey notoriety, but strongest in terms of golf popularity. Not to worry, you can still enjoy great whiskey and phenomenal golf! You will want to pair your trip with the St Andrews and East Lothian area’s of Scotland. Stay in the Old Course Hotel St. Andrews or in Edinburgh.
Flavor Profile: Grass, Toffee, Toast, cinnamon (light and smooth)
Recommended Distilleries: Glenkinchie, Kingsbarns Distillery, Aberargie, Lindores Abbey
Recommended Golf Courses: Kingsbarns, St. Andrews Old Course, St. Andrews Links Courses, Dumbarnie Golf Links, Crail Golfing Society, Carnoustie, Muirfield, North Berwick, Gullane
Geography is not your friend when it comes to the Campbeltown region. However, it is possible to play all the amazing golf courses in the southwest (Turnberry, Royal Troon ect) and take a beautiful drive to the Campbeltown whiskey region (4 hours) or hop on a ferry. The golf courses near Campbeltown are incredible as well (Machrihanish GC, Machrihanish Dunes ect). Turnberry Resort and the Machrihanish Ugadale Hotel/Cottages are fantastic options for accommodations.
Flavor Profile: Dried Fruit, Vanilla, Toffee Brine (Dry)
Recommended Distilleries: Glen Scotia, Glengyle, Springbank
Recommended Golf Courses: Turnberry Ailsa Course, Prestwick, Royal Troon, Western Gailes, Machrihanish Golf Club, Machrihanish Dunes, Dunaverty Golf Club, Ferry to Shiskine Golf Club
Unfortunately, there are no notable golf courses in the Islay region but the whiskey is so good they must be mentioned! If you’re wealthy enough to charter a helicopter to this region, good for you! Otherwise a ferry, small plane ride or rental car should get you to this region.
Flavor Profile: Smoke, Seaweed, Brine, Apple
Recommended Distilleries: Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Bowmore, Lagavulin, Caol IIa (to name a few)
Recommended Golf Courses: All Scotland Courses are fair game. Half the trip could be golf and the other half in the Islay whiskey region.