Help... Scotland or Ireland for a golfing trip?


Head Pro
Sep 18, 2006
Your Top 120 Course supplement has left me in a real help! A few mates and I were all set on travelling to Scotland for our biennial golfing trip but a flick through the top 120 courses in the list has left me wondering if Ireland wouldn't be a better bet.
I know CSotland is the home of golf and we definitely want to do the likes of St Andrews, Turnberry and Troon at some point but the Irish courses really caught my eye in the magazine and I have a real craving to got there now!
I knew about the likes of Waterville and Ballybunion, which look and sound amazing but Lahinch, Old Head and Doonbeg have really set my pulse racing.
What do you reckon?


GM Staff
Oct 17, 2006
I’ve always gone for Scotland as I was brought up with Scottish golf from an early age, but that’s not to say that Ireland doesn’t have as much to offer. I don’t think there are any doubts that the courses you mention are incredible but it’s worth considering that the majority of holiday makers will not be able to afford the sort of green fees required to play them all. For example you might make a visit Old Head the highlight of your trip but you wouldn’t want to be paying many £200+ green fees in a holiday. I would look at the golf near by these top courses, the hidden gems that do not cost so much and make your decision based on this.

Some one else may be able to offer some advice on the hidden gems in Ireland, but there are certainly many in Scotland, particularly in the St. Andrews area, many of which you can play at very reasonable rates.

If you and your mates are going on any UK golf holiday in November- I would take your thermals!!


GM Editor
Staff member
Jul 22, 2006
GM Towers
I agree there are a lot of great courses in both Ireland and Scotland. Ireland has the better new courses (European, Rosapenna, Doonbeg etc) but if I had to get on one side fo the fence I'd opt for Scotland as there really is soemthing to suit all tastes and importantly all budgets.


Oct 27, 2006
for a great golfing holiday i can recommend the isle of arran!
u wont find the courses in the magazine and (and if i remember correctly there is only 1 18 hole course on the isle) but there are several 9's a 14 a 12 all weird shapes and
why go?
the courses are immaculate the isle has great hospitality/food/drink.
its very popular with golfers and under rated and under used from what i experienced!
sure its busy in the holiday season but show me a course that isnt?
give it a try i promise you wont be disappointed!


Assistant Pro
Nov 1, 2006
Ah, you've stirred distant golfing memories for me there! What other island of its size has quite so many courses given its modest population - six or seven I think (courses not population obviously!).
Played my first ever game at Lochranza on a school geography field trip in 1981 and returned for a fantastic holiday with an old golfing mate of mine a couple of year's later, Queen's "I want to break free" blaring out on the radio all week.
Seem to remember Corrie, a short nine-holer with spectacular mountain backdrops, Machrie Bay where we put a pittance in an honesty box and played 54 holes in a day (six laps!), Shiskine with its quirky 12-hole layout and virtually vertical par-3, plus Whiting Bay and Lamlash. Those were the days. Must go now, I'm getting all emotional as I reflect on great golfing trips of the past....!


Assistant Pro
Nov 1, 2006
i've always preferred Scotland cos its easier to get to and the courses are tops but i went to SW ireland this summer and loved it and wanna go back. Stayed at the new Fota Island hotelo and got agreat deal because it had just opened and the course is amazing. The irish love to get bevied up so lots of guiness drinking and pukka food but only downside was some courses were crazy prices but the yanks were paying it. we couldn't afford the wallet mugging green fee at old head, so we drove down for a nose and they had a bouncer on the door who wouldn't let us past. later one of the locals in the pub told us they couldn't do that as it's a public right of way - does anyone know any different? :p