The best golf courses in Scotland | 2022 ranking


Carnoustie, the meanest of the Open rota courses, earned its nickname “Carnastie."

Getty Images

There are many course rankings out there. What’s the point? For starters, to educate golfers on everything this game can do to challenge your skill and — more important — your spirit. That’s exactly what makes GOLF’s inaugural rank of the Top 100 Courses in the UK and Ireland our most thrilling yet, spotlighting the obvious (i.e., the courses that have played host to the 149 previous Opens ahead of this July’s sesquicentennial), those that routinely pepper our World Top 100 and a few surprises. Golf here is, well, as bloody good as it gets.

It’s no surprise that thirty of the Top 100 Courses in the UK and Ireland reside in Scotland, the home of golf. Between the repealed golf ban by King James IV in 1502 and the 150th Open Championship at St. Andrews this week, Scotland has golf’s deepest history. Old Tom Morris’ made his architectural contribution at Carnoustie and Dornoch, and Jack Nicklaus described Scotland’s countryside as “the finest parcel of land in the world I have ever been given to work with.” Due to amazing landscapes and course design, Scotland is home to five of the ten Open rotation courses–St. Andrews, Muirfield, Turnberry, Carnoustie, and Troon (Prestwick and Musselburgh no longer host competition). Here are the best courses in Scotland.

The Top 100 Courses in the UK and Ireland map.
The Top 100 Courses in the UK and Ireland map. Derik Hobbs


1. St. Andrews (Old)*

3. Royal Dornoch (Championship)

4. Muirfield*

6. Trump Turnberry (Ailsa)*

A view from behind the green on the par-5, 10th hole on the Ailsa Course at the Trump Turnberry Resort. David Cannon

10. North Berwick (West)

12. Carnoustie (Championship)*

19. Prestwick**

20. Cruden Bay (Championship)

21. Royal Troon (Old)*

25. Ardfin

26. Kingsbarns

28. Machrihanish

30. Castle Stuart

35. Royal Aberdeen (Balgownie)

36. Askernish

37. Trump International

44. Gleneagles (King’s)

45. Western Gailes

47. Loch Lomond

49. Gullane (No. 1)

57. Nairn (Championship)

62. St. Andrews (New)

63. Brora

77. Renaissance Club

80. The Golf House Club (Elie)

87. Machrie

90. Macrihanish Dunes

91. Skibo Castle (Carnegie)

93. Dumbarnie Links

97. Fraserburgh

*Open Championship host in active rota
**Open Championship host not in active rota

Tyler Zimmer Contributor

Tyler is a collegiate golfer for Cornell University working as’s summer intern. He was the editor-in-chief for The Haverford School’s Index after serving as the sports section editor. Tyler writes tournament content, product reviews, and instructional pieces from his perspective as an active player.