The Best Golf in Scotland at Half the Price by Mike Buchan
As the main golf season comes to an end, many golfers consider storing their clubs away for the winter, but this is completely unnecessary if you consider the following: At Buchan & Byers Golf Tours we believe some of the best ‘Golfing days’ in Scotland can still be found in September and well into October. The lower sun, lengthening shadows and an array of striking autumnal colours offer winter golfers a different but equally warming experience.
An autumn or winter trip to Scotland can present photo opportunities on a grand scale: snow-capped mountains standing above a fluttering flag at Royal Dornoch; black clouds gathering across the firth of forth from Muirfield; a double rainbow on the Eden Estuary from the 12th tee on the Old Course at St Andrews are all dramatic scenes I’ve had the privilege of encountering over the years.
During the Scottish low season, and particularly in the “shoulder months” of October and March, visiting golfers can play some of the greatest links courses around for a fraction of the summer green fees – albeit with a few more layers of clothes on. Scottish winter golfers are a hardy bunch and there’s still plenty of friendly local players around during the cooler months willing to play a round with a lone golfing visitor.
Cruden Bay, Royal Aberdeen, Moray Golf Club in Lossiemouth, Montrose Golf Club and of course St Andrews, to name just a few, are open year-round. The sand-based links land provides perfect drainage and any harsh winter weather will hardly ever affect the playability of the links courses – except of course when snow lies on the ground.
Low season offers a good alternative for golfers choosing to come to Scotland to play links golf, as they will not only benefit from the lower winter green fee rates but also gain access to low season rates in some of the best hotels around the country, where room rates can often be less than half the price charged during high season. Such significant savings can make planning a low season golfing trip to Scotland with golf tour operators such as BandBGT a tempting alternative.
With hotels, pubs and shops open for business, the golfing visitor will not miss out on a great deal apart from the weather – and who would guarantee the weather in any month?
Many of the best links courses in Scotland also offer limited-time “Winter memberships” to entice potential new members with the offer to join a club for a vastly reduced subscription.
The winter member can use the club’s facilities, meet the other members and play the course between November and March with the view of considering a full membership when subscription time rolls around again in March/April.
Here are some of the best 2019/2020 Winter Golf Deals:
Cruden Bay Golf Club: Membership from November to March - £225
Murcar Links Golf Club: Membership from November to February - £200
Trump International Golf Links
9 holes from 1st November to 1st March at a green fee of £80/ 9 holes.
Membership from November to March £1095 (excluding 24 December - 22nd January)
Around mid-march, many of the world-famous Scottish links courses including Royal Troon, Western Gailes, Gullane, and North Berwick can still be played on competitively priced “winter green-fees” before the official summer season kicks off in April.
When it comes to golf, Scotland is truly a destination for all seasons.