Top tips for planning a Scottish golf tour

Here's a few tips you might find useful when planning your Scottish golf trip.

We have lots more helpful information on our website from travel to taking caddies, to booking golf at Open Championship venues.

1. If you want to play big name Scottish links courses, plan well ahead

Muirfield take bookings over a year ahead of play, opening their diary around March each year for the *following* year.

St Andrews take applications for advance bookings in August the year before play, and most of the big courses start taking bookings the summer before play.

Get more information on visiting Scotland's Open Championship Venues as part of your golf trip.

2. Ride-on buggies are not the norm in Scotland

Most of the big courses don't have ride-on buggies/carts, or only permit them for golfers with medical or mobility issues with very limited numbers available. If you're going to need a buggy, tell the course *when you book*.

We include buggy information under each course listing. You can even search all golf courses on our website by those which offer buggy hire.

3. Be realistic about how many courses you are going to play

Do you normally walk the course? If not, consider the toll of walking 4 Championship courses in a row and if you'll still be up for playing a 5th or 6th. Don't try to fit *everything* in by loading up on 36 hole days, for the same reason. Don't spoil your golf trip by being too ambitious.

Hiring caddies can help with the strain as you can walk unencumbered by your clubs. We offer some thoughts on the question of hiring caddies or not.

4. Limit your travel when in Scotland

Try and limit yourself to no more than 2 bases for a week stay to keep hotel moves and driving times to a minimum. Scotland is bigger, and journey times longer, than you might think and you don't want to waste good golfing time in a car.

5. Work out transfer and travelling times when planning your days

When planning your golf trip don't count in nights, it can be misleading to how much time you actually have. Count in days and include realistic travelling times when scheduling your golf.

6. Build up to a grand finale!

Give some thought to the order of your courses and save the best for last. If you are playing links golf for the first time then perhaps a bit of ‘practice' on the less prestigious courses might be helpful.

But as we advise above don't overdo the number of courses or you might approach your dream round too tired to drag yourself on to the first tee.

7. Be ready to make payments in advance

Most courses will require full prepayment in advance and often this payment is non-refundable. And in the UK when we say non-refundable we mean it.

This means every member of the group has to be fully committed to the trip, sometimes many months in advance.

8. Insurance, insurance, insurance

Linked to non-refundable payments we'd stress that comprehensive travel insurance, including cancellation cover for all aspects of the trip, is essential.

If you're planning, and making payments for, a golf trip a year ahead you never know what life might throw up in that time - and that couldn't be better illustrated than right now. Medical cover for during the trip is equally important.

More thoughts and ideas on planning a golf tour to Scotland here.

Planning is half the fun of a big trip, hopefully we've helped you approach your Scottish golf trip with some of the basics in hand.