The Independent Golfer

Travel Scotland holidays
Dream Scotland Golf Trip

Machrihanish Golf Course, ScotlandCarnoustie Golfcourse, ScotlandRoyal Dornoch Golf Course, Scotland

Scotland Golf for You

Golf in Scotland
Everything you need to plan your own dream Scotland golf vacation.
The Book

Answers for Scotland Golf

Questions About Scotland Golf Courses and Their Play
  • What are the Scotland Golf Courses that I should plan to play?
    Most of the Scotland golf courses that Americans have heard about are those on which The Open is played ...

  • What are the different styles of Scotland Golf Courses I could play?
    Everybody wants to have the experience of playing Scottish Links Golf Courses. But that is not all there is to Scotland golf. Of the 122 courses described in this website, many are ... more
  • How much are the green fees on Scotland Golf Courses?
    Just as in the United States, the cost of Scotland golf varies. Scotland golf courses typically offer ... more
  • Do I need to reserve tee times on Scotland Golf Courses? How do I do that?
    he word most Americans hear is that scheduling tee times on Scotland golf courses is difficult. This is only true if ...
  • How can I be sure that I will have a REAL Scotland Golf Experience?
    Just like you, Scots love to play with anybody who is mad about the game. They delight in ...
  • How can I help my score if I'm playing on Scotland Golf Courses that I have never played before?
    In Scotland, golf courses are subtle. Things are not always as they appear. It is common for holes to be designed with ... more

Questions About Planning Your Scotland Golf Trip

  • What is the best strategy for planning my Scotland golf trip?
    You need to have a basic strategy to guide your planning for your Scotland golf trip and I suggest that the use of a Hub Strategy. I highly recommend that ...
  • What are the advantages of planning my own Scotland Golf Vacation?
    A Great Way to enjoy your scotland golf holiday Is to include play with ... more
  • How much extra will it cost if I take a packaged golf tour instead of doing my own planning?
    The tour companies that take you to Scotland golf courses also supply you with hotel rooms, green fees, some meals, and transportation. They DON'T give you any discount ...
Questions About Transportation and Food in Scotland
  • What is the best way to fly to Scotland?
    There are many airlines flying between the U.S. and Scotland but they all ... more
  • What kind of local transportation should i plan to use?
    Most Independent Golfers become really independent when they ... more
  • Is the weather for playing golf in Scotland really as bad as I hear?
    Weather can be a challenge for Scotland golf, but it is not as bad as some would have you think. I have spent countless glorious days ... more
  • What is the food like in Scotland?
    Eating during your Scottish golf vacation can be an enjoyable adventure for the Independent Golfer. Once you have ... more
Other Resources for Planning Your Scotland Golf Trip
  • What other resources are there to help me plan and enjoy my Scotland golf vacation?
    Though Scotland golf generally fills most of my time on in Scotland, I have found ... more
  • What things besides golf could I look forward to enjoying during my vacation in Scotland?
    There are other resources that you can obtain that will add to the ease and enjoyment of your planning and your golf vacation to Scotland, including ... more

To Look At the Book that Has ALL the Answers, CLICK HERE

Author at the Durness Golf course, Scotland

The Author on the first tee at the Durness Golf Course.

This remarkable course offers links golf as it must have been played 150 years ago. It is the most northern course on the Scottish mainland.

Sited on the Faraid Head peninsula within a short boat ride of Cape Wrath, Durness has all the wild, beautiful and natural feeling of the remote north-western Highlands. Great varieties of sea birds are evident everywhere. Golfers are cautioned not to disturb the anglers that might be fishing on Loch Lanlish near the #6 fairway.

If you mention Durness to any golfer in Scotland, whether they have played it or not, they will remark about the picturesque and demanding 9th/18th hole that requires you to hit your tee shot across the Atlantic Ocean, all carry. The first time around, the tee for this hole is only 108 from the green, but, for the “back nine,” you are asked to hit it 155 yards.

Caddienotes for Golf in Scotland


Though English is the national language of Scotland, the Scots are fond of using words from the Old Scots language, from the even older Gaelic and from contemporary slang, all of which may be incomprehensible to Americans.

Here are a few that might be useful to golfers visiting Scotland.

bide – to remain or stay; “Will ye no bide a wee time in the pub wi’ us?”
blowder – a sudden gust of wind; “It wiz a good drive offa tha tee till a blowder took it.”(from Sandy Fraser, Inverness Golf Club, Scotland)
buggy – An electric golf cart for two riders. (see trolley)
canty – pleasant, cheerful; “The folks doon at the course are right canty.”
dorbie – delicate, weak; “Me 7 iron tae the fourth green was a bit dorbie.”(from Bill Mckennan, Thurso Golf Club, Scotland)
dram – a “small” drink of whisky (see peaser)
droogled – completely wet, soaked, drenched; “Fie minutes oot on’a golf course today an’ we’ll be droogled.”
dyke – a rock wall; "Ta carry tha dyke ye'll ha' ta hit it 180 yards."
– to be very angry, in a rage; “If he misses this putt, he’ll be fizzin fer sure.”
foursome – A type of golf competition in which two players in a group of four compete against the other two, each group playing one ball in alternate shots. (see four-ball)
four-ball – A type of golf competition in which each player in a group of four plays his own ball. (see foursome)
gobsmacked – startled, surprised; “When it went inna hole, I was gobsmacked!”
hereaboot – in this area, around here; “Ma ball went inna rough hereaboot.”
lang may yer lum reek – a salutation, literally, "long may your chimney smoke"; may your life be long (from George Dignan, St. Michaels Golf Club, Scotland)
– rendered useless, messed up, botched. “Me putter ha’ gone completely mogert.”
muckle – large, huge; “585 yards? That’s a muckle hole.”
peaser – a glass of whisky (see dram)
scunnered – A feeling of aversion; to be sick of; “Ach, this rain! A’m completely scunnered o’ it.”
smirr – mist or soft rain; “Ach, we can get in 18 holes. It’s jist a smirr o' rain.”
ticht – tight; "Do ye ha a shot 'tween tha two trees, or is i' too ticht?"
trolley – A pull or push golf cart. (see buggy)

For a great website that offers a wealth of Scots-speak translations, see Stooryduster.

If any good Scottish friends would like to contribute other words to this column, especially ones related to golf, e-mail me by clicking here.



Readers Have Said...

"More than travel advice, it's a great read ...wonderful stories!" – Joseph Higgins, Sacramento, CA

"Playing golf in Scotland had always been a dream but I never thought it was possible until I picked up this book. My wife and I will never forget our wonderful two weeks as 'independent golfers' in the Highlands." – Walter Mathews, Philadelphia, PA

"Two weeks, four guys, Scotland golf, It doesn't get any better! We traveled independently, met some local players, and played great courses. Our Scottish friends are going to come to Illinois next summer to renew acquaintances." – Bill Devers, Chicago. IL

"A group of four of us just returned from Scotland and had a great golf trip. We are experienced, independent travelers and found your book to be most helpful. We stayed in Bed and Breakfasts, rented a small van, got on the Old Course at St. Andrews the second day using the lottery, walked on to the New Course, played Royal Dornoch (very similar to our Bandon Dunes Course in Oregon) walked on to Brora and enjoyed the sheep and the electric fences around the greens. So glad we did this on our own and not with a package deal." – Nate and Chris Bales, Eugene, OR

"Wonderful book you have written. Great preparation for my two week scotland golf trip in June. It will be my first (and hope not my last since I am 68) trip to Scotland." Dick Verinder, Chappell Hill, TX

Passages from the Book:

July, 2014 Offering
excerpted from
The Independent Golfer's Guide to the
Highlands and Islands of Scotland

by Willis Copeland

Competition and Par on
Scotland Golf Courses

"Some Scottish friends and I had just completed an exhilarating match under blue sky and white clouds at Kingussie Golf Club, a wonderful inland golf course built over 100 years ago set in sloping hills that edge down into the valley of Scotland's River Spey. As we enjoyed a post-match round of drinks in the comfortable Kingussie clubhouse the subject of competition and par came up. Norman Macwilliam, one of our group, had firmly-held opinions...(more)

June, 2014 Offering
excerpted from
The Independent Golfer's Guide to the
Highlands and Islands of Scotland

by Willis Copeland

Playing Links Golf in Scotland

"For most people, the defining quality of Scotland golf is that it is played on links courses. This is, of course, not completely true. There are many wonderful golf courses across Scotland that are not links courses. But the links, that strip of ground with little agricultural value that stretches between the sea and the land and "links" the...(more)

May, 2014 Offering
excerpted from
The Independent Golfer's Guide to the
Highlands and Islands of Scotland

by Willis Copeland

Weather and Scotland Golf

"Playing golf in Scotland, you are never far from the weather. It can be awe inspiring and magnificent, as it was that late afternoon on Strathpeffer Spa. It can be humbling, as the wind often is, especially at seaside courses. Yes, it can be downright miserable as well. Four hours of near horizontal rain can sap the pleasure from any round on even the most magnificent course, especially if the temperature is, as the Scots say, “baltic.” And it can change ...(more)

April, 2014 Offering
excerpted from
The Independent Golfer's Guide to the
Highlands and Islands of Scotland

by Willis Copeland

Pace of Play on Scotland Golf Courses
"Scots do not dally when they play their golf. From their opening stroke on the first tee to the last putt on 18, they play with an unerring determination to get to the ball, hit it, and move on. I do not mean to imply that there is anything hasty about Scots’ play. They commonly take the time necessary to go though a reasonable pre-shot routine, to line up a putt or to make a short conversational comment on the flight of a ball or the break of the green. But golf is what they are out there to play and play it they will... (more)

March, 2014 Offering
excerpted from
he Independent Golfer's Guide to the
Highlands and Islands of Scotland

by Willis Copeland

The Clubhouse; A Scotland Golf Tradition

"Most Scotland golf courses are owned by local golf clubs that also maintain their clubhouses near the first tee. For Scots, their golf club and its clubhouse are indispensable parts of their golfing experience...(more)

February, 2014 Offering
excerpted from
The Independent Golfer's Guide to the
Highlands and Islands of Scotland

by Willis Copeland

The REAL Scotland Golf Experience:
Playing Golf with Local Scots

"When recounting the highlights of their Scotland golf trips, most Americans enthusiastically include the opportunities they had to play with local Scots. I have had friends tell me, “We met two guys in a local pub and hooked up to play on their course the next morning. What a wonderful experience! They were great hosts!” (more)

January, 2014 Offering
excerpted from
The Independent Golfer's Guide to the
Highlands and Islands of Scotland

by Willis Copeland

Reserving Accommodations for a
Scotland Golf Vacation

"Booking accommodations ahead of time for your Scotland golf trip is a personal thing. Some Independent Golfers enjoy the freedom of waiting until they arrive at a destination before eyeballing available places and making their selection for the night. Others welcome the assurance that they will have a bed secured and waiting for them when they arrive... (more)

December, 2013 Offering
excerpted from
The Independent Golfer's Guide to the
Highlands and Islands of Scotland

by Willis Copeland

Dress on Scotland Golf Courses

"My buddy Orin wears shorts all the time, every place, for all reasons, in all seasons. If they would let him I am sure that he would wear shorts on the flight deck of the jet that he flies for a large American airline. On a golf trip to Scotland a few years ago Orin predictably... (more)

British Open CoursesWorld Class CoursesHidden GemsHome Courses
List of CoursesCourse DescriptionsACourse DescriptionsBCourse DescriptionsCCourse Descriptions –
Entering an OpenTwo ExamplesWhy World-Class Courses are Unknown to Americans
What Are CaddienotesSample Caddienote Obtain Caddienotes
Types of AccommodationsInverness HubDornoch HubOban HubSouthwest Hub
Fife HubAyr HubNortheast HubTips for DrivingCompetition and ParLinks Play
Dress on Scottish CoursesAccommodationsReal Scottish GolfThe CubhousePace of Play
Scottish HistoryOutdoor ScotlandWhiskyScottish Music
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