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The best golf courses of Scotland tours

Scotland tours appeal to a wide variety of travelers, but they may be most alluring to avid golfers. Traveling to where the game originated will undoubtedly be a treat for anyone who likes to hit the links, but it can be especially rewarding if you get the chance to play one of Scotland's many famous courses. With the Ryder Cup headed to Scotland in 2014, now's a good time to familiarize yourself with many of the country's most well-known golf courses.

Located in the town of Gullane, Muirfield was established nearly 270 years ago and is considered to be among the best examples of a links course. Aside from its beautiful scenery, Muirfield is a must-see for golf lovers because of its impressive history. The course has hosted The Open Championship 15 times throughout its existence, and as a result has seen some of the biggest names in golf history come through. Ernie Els, Nick Faldo, Tom Watson, Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player and Lee Travino have all captured Open titles at Muirfield.  

?Much like Muirfield, Carnoustie has been a staple in the golf world since it was established in 1850. The course is famous for a number of reasons, but perhaps most significantly is its swirling winds. Even the most skilled golfers can get rattled by the unpredictable gusts that often tear through the course, so it's no wonder the scores when it hosts Open Championships can climb well into the red numbers. There are several iconic holes throughout the course but Hogan's Alley - the nickname given to the sixth hole - stands out for its impressive length and narrow layout.

St. Andrews
Not only is St. Andrews arguably the most well-known course in Scotland, it's among the most iconic venues in the entire sports world. St. Andrews dates back to the 1750s?, and every great player in the game has strolled through its marvelous fairways since. You don't even have to be an avid golfer to appreciate the considerable history contained on this hallowed ground. Given its significance, St. Andrews, offer visitors the ability to walk the course, and if you think you're up to the challenge you can play the famed Old Course. Although, you need proof of a handicap - 24 for men and 36 for women - to be allowed to bring your putter when you visit. 

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