ScotlandScotland – Highlands/Aberdeen

Mountains, lochs, whisky and great golf – often undeservingly overlooked on first-time golf trips to Scotland due to a focus by many on St. Andrews, the Highlands is well worth the scenic drive north (3 hours from Edinburgh). Royal Dornoch is arguably the best course in Scotland and one of the best in the world. It’s not an Open venue due to the lack of infrastructure up North for all the spectators, but many of those who have played it consider it better than any Open venue. Golf Digest even ranks it above the St. Andrews Old Course! Only a 2 hour drive east of the Highlands (Royal Dornoch, Castle Stuart, and Nairn) are a few other top courses near Aberdeen (Cruden Bay, Trump International, and Royal Aberdeen). If you’re not stuck on only playing Open venues, this is one of the best clusters of courses anywhere in the world!

Royal Dornoch

IrelandNorthwest Ireland

Up for an adventure?! The northwest of Ireland offers wonderful golf and incredible scenery. With the opening of the highly anticipated St Patrick’s Links at The Rosapenna Hotel and Golf Resort, the northwest is the best value in Ireland with top courses costing about half that of the rest of the island. Ballyliffin, Carne and Enniscrone are three more great courses that should be considered “must plays”. Ballyliffin is one of the best 36 hole golf experiences anywhere in Europe. Selecting six or seven of any of the following courses would make for a wonderful adventure!

Rosapenna – St. Patrick’s Links


Southern Spain – Costa del Sol

Home to many of the top-ranked courses in Spain, including the 1997 Ryder Cup venue Valderrama, the southern Spanish Costa del Sol is the perfect place to spend a week playing terrific golf courses, eating delicious food and soaking up some sun.  

Finca Cortesin



Known as the golden triangle for its high concentration of luxury golf resorts and Michelin star restaurants, the Vilamoura-Almancil-Quinta do Lago/Vale do Lobo area of the south of Portugal boasts more high quality golf courses within a 20 mile radius than any golfer can pack into a single itinerary. 

Quinta do Lago


Lisbon and Algarve

Spend a few days in the Portuguese capital playing the top-ranked courses in the center of the country before heading South to round off the week playing the top courses in the Algarve region. 

Lisbon area: 

West Cliffs

  • West Cliffs – Named World’s Best New Course at 2017 World Golf Awards
  • Oitavos Dunes – Ranked #2 in Portugal by Golf Digest 
  • Troia – Host site of the Open de Portugal and European Amateur Championship
  • Praia Del Rei – Ranked #6 in Portugal by Golf Digest