Of course you dream of Scotland; it’s the sod upon which the game was born more than 600 years ago. Every player on golf’s Mt. Rushmore, from Bobby Jones to Ben Hogan to Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods has competed and won here. Whether it’s feeling the rush of crossing the Swilcan Bridge on the Old Course — after posing for the obligatory photo — or teeing off next the lighthouse at Turnberry, where Nicklaus and Watson enjoyed their “Duel in the Sun,” or smacking a drive over the beach at Machrihanish, you haven’t completed your education as a golfer until you’ve made a pilgrimage to Scotland.
Why Scotland? We asked, you answered: “It’s where it all began — say no more! … The whole culture revolves around golf … Great whiskey and even better golf… The courses are dramatically different than those I play at home and would love to have the chance to challenge my game under those conditions … Would just love to feel the history of walking the same courses that have been played by golf’s greats … I hear even the courses you’ve never heard of are great…. Enough sunlight in the summer for 54-hole days … The Old Course, Trump’s course, Kingsbarns, Carnoustie, should I go on? … I have some Scottish (and Irish) heritage that adds to the desire to see, hear, smell and feel the “Old Country” … Before I leave this planet, I have to tee it up at St. Andrews … Why Scotland? Really?”
Inside the Top 5: Travel time and cost weigh into any American’s decision to trek to Australia or New Zealand, but those factors haven’t detered you from dreaming about these two destinations. Australia’s Sandbelt courses, including Royal Melbourne and Kingston Heath, rank among the game’s best, while scenic New Zealand — think “Lord of the Rings” with golf — serves up Cape Kidnappers and Kauri Cliffs, two stunners ranked among the Top 100 in the world.