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North Scotland - Top 50 Golf Courses 2017

28 September, 2017

North Scotland – Top 50 Golf Courses 2017

This is the third and final Top 50 regional listing that we’re producing for Scotland. When we last re-ranked the national chart two years ago, we created an article for each of the fifteen districts that are located north of Hadrian’s Wall. This time around, we’ve simplified the process a little by grouping districts into three regions – West & Southwest, East & Southeast and North – before creating a write-up for each one.

We must thank four knowledgeable panellists from a leading monthly golf magazine who have helped to shape our Scottish rankings over the last couple of months. Alan Ferguson, John Fraser, Alan McPherson and Neal Stewart have all given us their considered opinions on golf courses the length and breadth of the country and we’re very grateful for their much-valued input.

Our North Scotland review covers the four districts of Perth & Kinross, Angus & Dundee, North East Scotland and North Scotland. Around forty of the courses in this geographical area should feature in our new Scottish Top 100 chart which will be published soon. As we’ll write about some of those North Scotland courses when we re-rank nationally, we’re now highlighting a few of the not so well known tracks near the bottom of this new regional listing.

From our North Scotland district, appearing at number 42 in this regional chart, we have the New course at Moray Golf Club, which really deserves greater recognition as a standalone 18-hole course. Unfortunately, because it shares the same location as the more famous Old course, this Henry Cotton-designed little gem gets overlooked somewhat but, make no mistake, this is a seriously good links layout which only just misses out on a place in our national Top 100 chart yet again.

From our Angus & Dundee district, arriving in our North Scotland listing at number 43, the Burnside course at Carnoustie Golf Links also suffers from living in the shadow of a more illustrious sibling, namely the Open venue Championship course. Nevertheless, a recent reviewer described the sequence of holes from the 6th to the 17th as follows: “we now enjoy a run of holes that is of such a high standard it’s impossible not to be impressed. The natural movement of the land is excellent, the bunkering is very good, the green complexes are in a different class and the use of angles is very clever.”

From our Perth & Kinross district, the Murrayshall course at Murrayshall House Hoteloccupies the 44th position in our North Scotland rankings. Situated close to the historical site of Scone Palace near Perth, the course is the larger of two 18-hole tracks which are set out within a glorious 365-acre estate, with tree-lined fairways blending seamlessly into the undulating landscape. Designed by the much under rated architect John Hamilton Stutt, whose father worked for many years with James Braid, the Murrayshall course is a parkland delight in an ideal setting for society events.

From our North East Scotland district, the Haughton course at Deeside Golf Club makes its mark on our North Scotland chart at number 45. It’s the main 18-hole layout at an enterprising 27-hole complex which is largely laid out on the flood plain of the River Dee, to the southwest of Aberdeen city centre. The club was formed in 1903 but its course is a lot younger, having been remodelled by Robin Hiseman to coincide with the club’s centenary at the start of the new millennium. Links layouts garner most of the attention around the Granite City but the Haughton is well known as one of the area’s top inland tracks.

North Scotland – Top 50 Golf Courses 2017


Click the following links to see in detail our latest Best in Region rankings for the four North Scotland districts:

Perth & Kinross Top 10 Golf Courses 2017

Rank/ Course Move
1 Gleneagles (King's) No change
2 Gleneagles (Queen's) No change
3 Blairgowrie (Rosemount) No change
4 Gleneagles (PGA) No change
5 Blairgowrie (Lansdowne) No change
6 Auchterarder No change
7 Alyth Up 1
8 Pitlochry Down 1
9 Murrayshall (Murrayshall) New entry
10 Crieff (Ferntower) Down 1

Angus & Dundee Top 10 Golf Courses 2017

Rank/ Course Move
1 Carnoustie (Championship) No change
2 Panmure No change
3 Monifieth (Medal) Up 1
4 Montrose (Medal) Down 1
5 Downfield No change
6 Letham Grange (Old) No change
7 Forfar No change
8 Edzell (Old) No change
9 Carnoustie (Burnside) No change
10 Arbroath No change

North East Scotland Top 20 Golf Courses 2017

Rank/ Course Move
1 Royal Aberdeen (Balgownie) No change
2 Trump International No change
3 Cruden Bay (Championship) No change
4 Murcar Links No change
5 Fraserburgh (Corbiehill) No change
6 Peterhead (Old) No change
7 Newmachar (Hawkshill) No change
8 Meldrum House No change
9 Duff House Royal Up 1
10 Newburgh-on-Ythan Down 1
11 Deeside (Haughton) No change
12 Ballater No change
13 Banchory No change
14 Spey Bay Up 4
15 Hazelhead (MacKenzie) New entry
16 Aboyne Down 2
17 Kemnay Down 2
18 Peterculter Down 1
19 Turriff No change
20 Buckpool Down 4

North Scotland Top 25 Golf Courses 2017

Rank/ Course Move
1 Royal Dornoch (Championship) No change
2 Castle Stuart No change
3 Nairn (Championship) No change
4 Skibo Castle No change
5 Moray (Old) Up 1
6 Brora Down 1
7 Spey Valley No change
8 Boat of Garten No change
9 Nairn Dunbar No change
10 Golspie No change
11 Fortrose & Rosemarkie No change
12 Tain No change
13 Grantown-on-Spey No change
14 Elgin No change
15 Askernish Up 4
16 Moray (New) No change
17 Forres Up 1
18 Inverness Down 1
19 Kingussie Down 4
20 Royal Dornoch (Struie) Up 2
21 Hopeman Down 1
22 Wick Down 1
23 Durness Up 2
24 Traigh No change
25 Newtonmore New entry

You might be rather disappointed when viewing the changes made to the above four charts to find a lack of real movement (apart from Spey Bay, Askernish, Kingussie and Buckpool) up or down the listings and only three new entries – Murrayshall (Murrayshall), Hazelhead (MacKenzie) and Newtonmore – but we take that as a positive as it indicates we might just have more or less got things in the right order. If you disagree with that assertion then by all means contact us via the “Respond to this article” link at the top or the bottom of this page and let us know what you think.

Jim McCann
Top 100 Golf Courses


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