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The 18 Best Courses in Scotland

Dream 18, Turnberry
David Cannon/Getty Images
Turnberry will host the 2009 British Open.
1. St. Andrews (Old Course)
Fife, Scotland (Public)
Course finder profile | Official Site
Nowhere else in the world can you walk in the spike marks of every legendary figure to have played the game. Augusta National is rightfully hallowed, but Bobby Jones himself said that if he had to play only one course for the rest of his days he'd grow old on the Old Course.
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2. Muirfield
Muirfield, Gullane, East Lothian, Scotland (Private)
Course finder profile | Official Site
Muirfield is the home of The Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, which dates back to 1744. The course has hosted 15 British Opens, most recently in 2002, when Ernie Els was champion. Although it's private, tee times are available with advance planning.

3. Royal Dornoch
Dornoch, Sutherland, Scotland (Semi-Private)
Course finder profile | Official Site
Dornoch was formed in 1877 and has been a Royal club for more than 100 years. The course is not close to major population centers and has never hosted a major tournament, but it has been the site of the Northern Open, the Scottish Ladies and the Scottish Professional Championships.

4. Turnberry (Ailsa)
Turnberry, Scotland (Resort)
Course finder profile | Official Site
If Turnberry's Ailsa course lacks the natural ripples and chaotic contours of other British Open rotation links, it's easy to understand why: During World War II, 18-inch-thick concrete was poured over parts of the layout for use as runways.

5. Carnoustie (Championship)
Angus, Carnoustie, Scotland (Public)
Course finder profile | Official Site
The course's primary defense -- the wind -- is wildly unpredictable. From one day to the next, the gales can turn, morphing an eminently playable hole into a nightmare. 'Tis nae wind, nae golf, the Scots like to say. That's seldom a concern at Carnoustie, where 'tis always wind.
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6. Royal Troon (Old)
Troon, Scotland (Public)
Course finder profile | Official Site
Host of eight British Opens, Troon plays through brambles, gorse and broken sand hills. The most famous hole on the links is the "Postage Stamp," so named because the 123-yard par 3's green is so small. The front nine plays along the beach and then the course turns inland on the back nine.

7. Kingsbarns
Kingsbarns, St. Andrews, Scotland (Public)
Course finder profile | Official Site
Kingsbarns was built by American developers and an American architect about six miles from St. Andrews. Although a considerable amount of dirt was moved to create this links-style course, it looks as if it has always been there.

8. Loch Lomond
Luss by Alexandria, Dunbartonshire, Scotland (Private)
Course finder profile | Official Site
Loch Lomond is host of the Scottish Open, held a week before the Open Championship. The 7,100 yard 18-hole golf course was designed by Tom Weiskopf and Jay Morrish.

9. Cruden Bay
Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire, Scotland (Semi-private)
Course finder profile | Official Site
Drenched in quirky charm, this cult classic offers one wild seaside hole after another, including the head-scratching par-4 14th with its amazing funnel-shaped green.

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