For most people, Scotland is a country shrouded in rebellious mystery. It wasn’t until the movie Braveheart (1995), that people began to understand this wonderful country.

It may have some amazing quotes that would make anyone run through a brick wall for “freedom”, but sadly, according experts, Braveheart is not that historically accurate.

Let’s be real, the only way to really understand Scotland, is to travel there. The highlands offers the most incredible links golf experience anywhere in the world. You must play these six golf courses next time you travel to Scotland.

Beautiful photo of Royal Dornoch Golf Club
Royal Dornoch

Royal Dornoch (1877)

Royal Dornoch is arguably the greatest links golf course in the world. In some ways it’s a “hidden gem” caused by the tremendous popularity of the Old Course in St. Andrews. Simply put, many people don’t want to travel all the way up North to play a course that’s not on the Open Championship circuit. This is a detrimental mistake. Royal Dornoch is without a doubt the perfect golf experience.

Beautiful photo of Cabot Highlands.
Cabot Highlands

Cabot Highlands (Castle Stuart)

Formerly known as Castle Stuart, this golf links is a mere baby in comparison to most courses in the area. Only thirteen years old, it has recently been acquired by The Cabot Collection. The new golf course at Castle Stuart, soon to be Cabot Highlands, is set to be completed in 2024 and will play around the castle where the old Castle Stuart name was derived from. “It’s golf as it should be.”

Beautiful photo of Cruden Bay.
Cruden Bay

Cruden Bay Golf Club (1894)

Cruden Bay is classic links course designed by the one and only Old Tom Morris from St. Andrews. It’s nestled just north of Aberdeen and is situated perfectly for golfers looking to play Royal Aberdeen, head up North to Cruden Bay and then continue on to play Royal Dornoch. Everything from the charming medieval club logo to the haunting ruins of Slains Castle create an unforgettable round of golf.

Beautiful photo of Royal Aberdeen.
Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Aberdeen, Scotland. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club (1780)

The Balgownie Course at Royal Aberdeen is a true test of golf. Host to multiple Scottish Opens and the Walker Cup, it has been known to be the favorite of many golf travelers that have ventured up to the Highlands of Scotland. Each hole has an individual layout and is the only course on this list that may compete with Royal Dornoch as one of the best links courses in the world.

Beautiful photo of Trump International Scotland.
Trump International Scotland

Trump International Scotland (2012)

Regardless of politics, this incredible creation by Martin Hawtree is a pure example of perfect beauty. The only complaint one could have about Trump International Scotland is that it’s a manufactured course off the Aberdeen coastline. However, once you experience this links course, you will believe it has laid here for 1,000 years.

Beautiful photo of Nairn Golf Club.
Nairn Golf Club

Nairn Golf Club (1887)

Often forgotten, the championship links at Nairn Golf Club could be the number #1 hidden gem on this list. It’s the only course that’s a cross between a links and heathland course. You begin playing along the coast then all of the sudden you are navigating through trees at the turn. It’s a unique golf experience that is a must play on your next golf trip to the Highlands of Scotland.

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