Reader asks: Best golf courses in Scotland under $100?

The best value links in Scotland you can play for under $100, from St. Andrews to the Highlands

Matt Ginella is taking your golf and travel questions on Twitter and answering them each week on Golf Channel's Morning Drive, 7 AM ET.

A Golf Channel Morning Drive viewer recently wrote to Matt Ginella on Twitter about playing golf in Scotland on a budget:

To jump ahead of Ginella, Matt, the answer is a definitive "yes." That's especially true if you're open to going during the "shoulder season," which in Scotland is in April and October. Green fees are normally 20-30 percent less (and lodging is cheaper, too). As those who have been to the U.K. know, you're as likely to catch a warm, dry spell in the spring or fall as you're likely to suffer a wet July.

Here's another money-saving tip that could help your per-round cost stay under $100: While few Scottish golf clubs have "twilight" rates like in the U.S., many offer "day passes" for only £10 or £20 more than a green fee, so you can essentially get two rounds for a little more than the price of one.

Additionally, golf clubs in Scotland have been getting more and more into golf packages and last-minute, online tee times, so don't be afraid to leave for your trip with a few unbooked tee times in your itinerary.

Here are some of my favorite options to consider that hover around $100 or less. Keep in mind that exchange rates right now are about $1.65 to £1.

Crail Golfing Society

Exposed overlooking the sea on the eastern edge of Fife, Crail's Balcomie & Craighead (£40-60 April & October, £65-80 high season) are starkly different courses from the low-lying St. Andrews Link Trust courses down the road. The Balcomie is historic and a little more scenic with a few holes along the water, while the Craighead is a little more modern in design and length and designed by Gil Hanse, Brazil's Olympic golf course architect.

Value golf in the Scottish Highlands

The remote Highlands have a collection of fine courses under $100, including Tain Golf Club (£50), Royal Dornoch's well known neighbor that is the home of Glenmorangie Scotch. North of Dornoch, you can seek out remote Brora Golf Club (£49-55) for links golf played among sheep. And if you're not adverse to a heathland course (and you shouldn't be), head to Boat of Garten, a James Braid design in Cairngorns National Park that's wonderfully pleasant. Lastly, Nairn Dunbar Golf Club (£40-55) near Inverness is a historic course in the shadow of Nairn Golf Club.

Golf under $100 in East Lothian

Near Edinburgh, East Lothian has numerous picks under $100: Gullane No. 2 (£49-54), short and sweet Kilspindie (£47-58) and it's modern, next door neighbor, Craigielaw Golf Club (£59 weekday). You can also play former Open Championship venue, nine-hole Old Course at Musselburgh for about $25.

Golf under $100 in St. Andrews

Golf in St. Andrews for under $100? Absolutely! You can play both the New Course and Jubilee Course, both excellent links that border the Old, in the shoulder season for £50 (£75 high season). In the high season, the Eden and Strathtyrum, while certainly a step or two below, can be played for £30-45. Nearby Scotscraig is pretty good too.

8 Min Read
July 13, 2018
St. Andrews is one of the most coveted golf destinations in the world, but it can be enjoyed on a budget, too. Brandon Tucker offers value tips to the Home of Golf.

Golf under $100 on the Mull of Kintyre

Lastly, if you're willing to make the long but spectacular drive, the top one-two punch for bargains can be found on the tip of the Mull of Kintyre at Machrihanish and Machrihanish Dunes. While their green fees, at £65-75 high season, are slightly above $100, but they often offer aggressive stay-and-play deals and day passes to attract golfers to this most remote point of Scotland.

Golf under $100 in Carnoustie Country

I found some really great values on a 2018 trip to Carnoustie Country during The Open. Montrose may be the best under-$100 links in Scotland, and Downfield is a fabulous parkland that can be played for about £45-60. Arbroath and Monifieth are also great bargains on either side of Carnoustie's 54-hole facility.

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Courses to play near Carnoustie, Scotland

Updated 11/10/19, 09:07 AM: Updated with added region in Carnoustie, Montrose
Brandon Tucker is the Sr. Managing Editor for GolfPass and was the founding editor of Golf Advisor in 2014, he was the managing editor for Golf Channel Digital's Courses & Travel. To date, his golf travels have taken him to over two dozen countries and nearly 600 golf courses worldwide. While he's played some of the most prestigious courses in the world, Tucker's favorite way to play the game is on a great muni in under three hours. Follow Brandon on Twitter at @BrandonTucker and on Instagram at @btuck34.
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Great list Brandon. Don't forget the golf passes like "Links With History" I'm playing five courses Ladybank, Lundin Links, Crail (both), and Scotscraig for about 60 pounds each in high season.

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Reader asks: Best golf courses in Scotland under $100?