The game of golf can be traced back over 500 years to its origins in Scotland. The Scottish Borders covering some 1800 square miles of rolling hills, lush valleys and rugged coastline is a golfer’s paradise boasting no less than 21 courses from parkland to moorland to spectacular cliff top links courses.
Each course in the Scottish Borders varies in character with features to stretch even the best golfers amongst us. They all however have a few common elements, stunning backdrops, an amazing welcome and great value for money.
The Freedom of the Fairways Pass is Scotland’s most popular golf pass and allows you to experience these stunning courses at a relaxed pace. As the area is not overpopulated it may not be necessary to book the courses well in advance.
How the pass works
The Freedom of the Fairways Pass is valid from 1st April until 31st October. Adult and senior passes are available for 3 and 5 days and really do offer amazing value for money. The 3 day pass allows for up to six rounds of golf over three consecutive weekdays or four rounds at the weekend and costs £95 per person. The 5 day pass allows for up to ten rounds of golf over 5 consecutive weekdays or eight rounds over the weekend and costs £130 per person. So if you played 36 holes per day over 5 days that works out at only £13 per round. There are discounts available for senior golfers aged over 55. Some courses do charge a supplement though. Passes can be purchased from Visitscotland.com or by ringing 01835 863170.
Courses at a glance
The Freedom of the Fairways Pass allows you access to all 21 courses in The Scottish Borders.
9 Hole Courses
Galashiels – Situated in the central Borders its notorious 10th known as Cardiac Hill has now been removed!
Innerleithen – designed by 3 times Open Champion Willie Park Jnr this flat parkland course is set in delightful surroundings.
Lauder – A gently sloping parkland course with stunning views.
Lilliardsedge – A challenging course with a 18 hole putting green to improve your game.
Melrose – A favourite of mine, nestled at the foot of the Eildon Hills.
Newcastleton – renowned for its small greens, accuracy is required here.
Selkirk – designed by Willie Park and set amid the most stunning scenery, its 8th or ‘Long hole’ is well known throughout the Borders.
St Boswells – a scenic course set along the banks of the River Tweed.
18 Hole Courses
Cardrona- a recent addition opened in 2001 set in magnificent country setting.
Duns – a hidden gem.
Eyemouth – a spectacular cliff top links course, its 6th hole recently being voted ‘Britain’s most extraordinary golf hole’
Hawick – the oldest golf club in the Borders with Nick Faldo (who holds the professional course record of 64), Colin Montgomerie and Tony Jacklin all honorary members.
Jedburgh – another personal favourite, another design by Willie Park this course was extended to 18 holes in 2006.
Kelso – originally designed by Ben Sayers this parkland course is renowned for its quality of fairways and greens.
Minto – its feature hole is the 12th ‘Everest ‘hole.
Peebles- a relatively short picturesque course demanding accuracy.
The Hirsel Coldstream- known as the Augusta of the North, another hidden gem.
The Roxburgh Kelso – a championship course home to several Senior Open Championships opened by Colin Montgomerie and Nick Faldo in 1997. Its signature hole is the 14th ‘Viaduct’ hole described by Sam Torrence as his favourite 14th tee in Scotland.
Torwoodlee Galashiels – known as one of the most challenging courses in the Scottish Borders.
West Linton – an outstanding moorland course with stunning views.
The Woll Ashkirk – set in a beautiful valley and has an award winning restaurant.
So whether you want to follow in the footsteps of golfing legends such as Nick Faldo, Colin Montgomerie or Sam Torrance or just find your own hidden gem then The Scottish Borders is the place for you. The area, the people, the scenery and the golf will remain with you forever.
Whilst I can’t guarantee you will play the best golf of your life I can guarantee breath taking scenery, the warmest of welcomes and great value for money. Your only stress will be which courses to choose. Haste ye back!
*Post Update* Visit Scotland have withdrawn the Freedom of the Fairways Pass as of 2015. Please contact each course individually if you wish to play in the beautiful Scottish Borders – they will be delighted to help you.
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