The vast majority of Scotland’s approximately 500 golf courses are fashioned in the traditional links or upland style. Regarded as the birthplace of golf, Scotland is home to some of the world's most iconic golf courses, including the Old Course at St. Andrew’s, Muirfield, Carnoustie, Royal Troon and Balcomie.
Traditional links golf courses in Scotland are situated along the coast. These courses consist of large pot bunkers, sandy soil and limited vegetation, with the exception of tall sea grass. Due to their coastal location, these courses are typically played under damp and windy conditions. These golf courses also follow the “out and back” structure, in which the front nine moves away from the course’s clubhouse and the back nine moves back towards the clubhouse.
There is a significant distinction between upland and links golf courses in Scotland. As opposed to coastal links courses, upland courses are located inland and feature hilly terrain. They are substantially drier and generally played under more favorable weather conditions than links courses. Renowned upland courses in Scotland include Loch Lomon, Pitlochry and Gleneagles.
The vast majority of golf courses in Scotland are municipalities, meaning they are open to the public. The highest concentrations of golf courses in Scotland are located near Edinburg and Glasgow.