With the easing of lockdown, you’re able to start planning your next golf vacation and this time we recommend travelling to Perthshire. You may not get to play the notorious 6th hole at Loch Lomond, which is a challenging 625 yards for even the avid golfer. But throughout Perthshire there are golf gems that will offer a unique challenge on some of the most picturesque golf courses.
Safety is the number one priority for Scottish Golf ,who have been in contact with the golf clubs and together they’ve been putting Covid-19 measures in place. This will allow golfers to get in a round of golf safely and still maintain social distancing.
Bring the family with you, as when you’re off the course you can go to Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre, take a boat trip to Loch Tay, or see if you can find your way through the Murray Star Maze.
Take a day to visit The Trossachs National Park to hike, or to get a different view of the park with Aberfoyle Go Ape. Why not explore the 22 lochs and see if you can find the Loch Lomond monster or take a trip on one of Scotland’s first steam boats, the SS Sir Walter Scott?
Why Golf in Perthshire?
Perthshire has a great many first class golf courses that are set in the most picturesque surroundings of Scotland. There are 550 golf courses in Scotland, and Perthshire definitely has some of the most world class golf courses for you to enjoy.
You’ll find courses that will challenge you, as well as follow the footsteps of legends like Arnold Palmer, Ian Woosnam, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus. Depending on how many days you’re on vacation, Perthshire would be a great place to stop off and get in a quick round on one of the best golf courses in the region.
Before You Tee Off
Under the current lockdown rules, you’d have to book your tee-time in advance, as most courses aren’t allowing individuals to turn up and play. You’ll also be able to play in a group of four, as long as physical distancing is adhered to.
If you’re unsure of what the Covid-19 protocol is, you can contact the golf club you want to play at and confirm if they have additional safety measures in place.
Hotels and restaurants that have opened have put strict protocols in place to ensure the safety of their staff and guests. They’ll provide a hearty meal after your day at the golf course, and are also fairly central to many courses in and around Perthshire and Loch Lomond.
Wake Up At:
- Meikleour Arms Hotel & Restaurant: This hotel and restaurant is 19.3 kms outside of Perthshire, and is a short drive to golf courses like Blairgowrie Golf Course and Gleneagles. You’ll find the hospitality to be warm and professional, with gourmet meals and Covid-19 protocols firmly in place.
- Kinloch House: This hotel has 50 golf courses within an hour’s drive of it! They specialise in organising golf outings, accommodation, and holidays in Perthshire for the avid golfer. They can cater to large or small groups, and often have golf specials that are truly amazing. From being able to point you to a golf course that would suit your needs to fine dining, this would be an adventure you won’t forget.
Have Breakfast At:
While you’re waiting for your tee-time to arrive, you can explore Perthshire and have breakfast at one of the following places.
- Campbell’s Bakery: Have breakfast in one of the oldest, award winning bakeries in Scotland. You’ll be able to find something here that will make your mouth water, but don’t get lost in the heavenly aromas and tastes and forget your tee-off.
- Forgans: Touching on some golf history in St Andrews, Forgans has been built on an old golf factor club. Their menu caters for everyone and they only use sustainable produce.
On The Course
Blairgowrie Golf Club
You can play on one of three courses: the famous Rosemount, the Lansdowne Championship course, or if you’re short on time, you can hit the Wee Course and get 9 holes in. If you’re playing on the Lansdowne, you’ll have to bring your A-game as you’ll be playing for accuracy on this course.
The Rosemount course will keep you on your back foot, as every hole is different. There are three Par 4s, with one of them at 473 yards. You’ll need to make strategic shots to keep a good scorecard. This is just one of the many gems in Perthshire.
Standout Feature: You can play on two championship courses that have hosted PGA and SGU events. There’s also the Wee Course, if you only have time for 9 holes.
You’re spoilt for choice at the Gleneagles Golf course, as you can choose from playing the Kings Course, the Queens Course, the PGA Centenary Course, or the 9 holes known as the PGA National Academy Course.
The 4th hole on the Kings course may be one of the most challenging, not because of the 350 yard length, but because of the wind that always seems to be there. There are a number of par 4s that you’ll find to be long and will need plenty of strength to play.
The Queens 68-par course all has its own challenges that are often hidden in the beautiful scenery of the course. If you’re a fan of James Braid’s designs, then you’ll love the 9th hole which is a 90˚ dogleg that will certainly provide a challenge, especially if stray too far down the left side.
Standout Feature: Before teeing off, you can take some time and practice some shots at the practice range.
Aberfoyle Golf Club
This may be a short 66-par golf course, but don’t think it will be a walk in the park! This course will provide challenges on more than one hole. Actually, you’d probably find the 4th, 10th, and in particular the 16th, to be a challenge. You’ll love the wicked angles that this course, which was also designed by James Braid, has to offer.
Standout Feature: Situated on the edge of the stunning Trossachs, this golf course with rolling hills will require imagination to make those shots.
Crieff Hydro Golf
If you’re taking the family with you on this golf vacation, then you’ll find that Crieff Hydro Golf has something for every member of the family to do.
There are two sections to this golf course. If you’re wanting to begin your game off where you can swing and open up, then start on the back 9 holes. The first 9 holes will be challenging, and you’ll find it to be a shorter distance. Just don’t get overly confident, and you won’t find yourself in the bunkers.
When you’re done with your golf game you can take the family horse riding, or even challenge them to a game of footgolf!
Standout Feature: They have over 60 different activities for the whole family to have some fun! From crazy golf to Glen’s Adventure park, you’ll be happy and the family will be happy as everyone will have something to do.
Kinross Golf Courses
You may have heard of the Montgomery Challenge Hall of Fame, or more likely the heartache of all that had come close but just missed it. The challenge is to score below 80 and if your handicap is 10 or greater, you’ll be entered into the Hall of Fame. You’ll also get a free round for you and a friend. Sounds like great fun, but don’t think it will be easy! On the 18th hole is a par 4, with 443 yards between you and the prize.
The Montgomery is a par-72 course but it will require a strategic game to end with a good scorecard. The Bruce Course will lead you into a false sense of security with the 4 early par 5s. If you read the Bruce Course right, you’ll be able to spot the scoring opportunities, but you’ll still have to play smart.
Standout Feature: The 6th hole on the Bruce Course has a pond that is a golf ball magnet. While many try for the elusive hole-in-one, this Par 4 at 272 yards would require a good club selection.
It’s fair to say that Scotland is the home of golf, but Perthshire would have to be the heart of the home of golf. There are so many fantastic courses to choose from! Whether you’re a beginner or you’ve played a course more than once, there’ll always be a surprise.
You can choose to play on some of the oldest courses in Scotland, and follow in the footsteps of legends. Or you can have a vacation where you’re all the competition you need, and achieve your personal best on a gruelling golf course!
“Jordan Fuller is a retired golfer who loves to travel. He is also a writer and owner of a golf publication site, www.golfinfluence.com, where he shares some tips and tricks about the golf game.”