Scotland's greatest golf holes revealed

The 18th at the Old Course in St Andrews has been named the nation's favourite golf hole.
The 18th at the Old Course in St Andrews has been named the nation's favourite golf hole.
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It provides one of the world's most famous sporting backdrops and has played host to some of the historic game's most thrilling encounters.


Now the 18th at the Old Course in St Andrews has been named Scotland’s great golf hole.

The Battery at Machrihanish was named the best opening hole in the poll.

The Battery at Machrihanish was named the best opening hole in the poll.

It won more than a quarter of the votes in a poll of around 3000 players.

Conducted by national tourism agency VisitScotland, the survey also found the famous “road hole” 17th at St Andrews was the best par four hole.

The Old Course, which is promoted worldwide as “the home of golf,” attracts thousands of international visitors every week due to its regular hosting of the Open Championship and its 600 years of golfing heritage.

It also recognised iconic courses such as Royal Troon, which was voted to have the best par three hole, and Old Course neighbour Kingsbarns, in Fife, which was said to have the best par five.

Golfers say the 9th at Cruden Bay offers the best view on a course anywhere in the country.

Golfers say the 9th at Cruden Bay offers the best view on a course anywhere in the country.

However the survey also highlighted lesser-known courses, such as Cruden Bay Golf Club, in Aberdeenshire, which was said to boast the best view in the country, from the ninth.

Machrihanish Golf Club, which was said to have the best opening hole, notched up almost a third of the votes.

The findings of the survey have been revealed just days after new research was published revealing that golf tourism and events were now worth a record £286 million to Scotland’s economy.

The most popular holes around the country are all now highlighted on VisitScotland’s dedicated golf website.

It states: “St Andrews is often regarded as ‘the home of golf’ and performed strongly across the poll. “The 18th hole is named after the former open champion Tom Morris, who lived in St Andrews.

“It is easy to see why this iconic golf hole was voted the best - it’s the most photographed golf hole in the world.

“As well as winning the title of best hole in Scotland, the 18th at the Old Course was also voted the best closing hole with almost a quarter of the votes cast.

"A tricky closing hole, home to the iconic ‘valley of sin’ at the Old Course, it narrowly pipped Moray Golf Club and Carnoustie to the post for best closing hole.”

Malcolm Roughead, chief executive of VisitScotland, said: “We’re thrilled that the golfing public have taken the time to put their support behind their favourite courses in Scotland, from local favourites to the home of golf itself, St Andrews.

“Every club plays it part in making Scotland the essential golfing destination, so we’re proud to honour such a diverse range of our spectacular courses.”

According to the golf tourism research published last week by VisitScotland, the value of the sector has soared by around 30 per cent in the space of just seven years.

Almost half of golfers making an overnight stay in Scotland travelled from overseas, with America responsible for 30 per cent of the market and a further 14 per cent coming from across Europe.

On overage, an overnight visitor will spend £245 a night during their stay in Scotland.