The pleasure of playing 9 hole golf courses in Scotland

We'd like to give some love to relatively unsung venues of the game in Scotland – 9 hole golf courses.

Scotland has almost 170 9 hole courses, covering every type of course. From beginners' tracks, to inland settings with scenic panoramas, island gems and challenging links, you can find a course to suit any golfer. All of them can be searched right here on our website.

The high profile, high green fee, courses get a lot of the attention when discussing golf in Scotland with golfers based outside Scotland, but there's good reason to look beyond the standard names that feature most regularly in the "Scotland's best" lists in the big magazines, or tour operator itineraries.

9 hole courses are budget friendly. Over 75% of Scotland's 9 hole courses have green fees of less than £30 for 18 holes midweek, based on 2021 rates. In many cases that same green fee will cover as many holes as you want to play in a day.

In no particular order, we'd like to highlight just a few of the courses that are worthy of your time. Take note, 9 holes doesn't necessarily mean an easy option.


Anstruther Golf Club, 10 miles from St Andrews, is a testing coastal course with a hole voted the toughest par 3 in the UK by Today's Golfer. After enjoying the beautiful views from the course head for a seat by the harbour to enjoy award-winning fish and chips from the Anstruther Fish Bar.


For fantastic scenery you can't go far wrong with golf on one of Hebridean island courses. Tobermory golf course on the Isle of Mull is a hilly course, set along cliff tops, which makes it challenging but rewards golfers with panoramic views across Ardnamurchan and Loch Sunart.

Isle of Skye

A bit to the north of Mull the Isle of Skye golf course has stunning views of the Red Cuillin mountains in one direction and the Isle of Raasay in the other. Small and sloping greens add to the challenge of the course, which offers several different tee positions on an 18 hole round.


Looking out from the mainland towards Skye is the delightful Gairloch golf course, described by the club themselves as "possibly the best wee golf course in the Highlands". There are impressive views in every direction from this attractively situated course above a sandy beach.


East Lothian, to the east of Edinburgh, has many well-known links along the coast but just a short distance inland is Gifford Golf Club, a parkland course with views to the Lammermuir Hills. Mature pine trees provide a backdrop to well-maintained fairways and challenging greens while a burn comes into play on several holes.


Rothes Golf Club, by Aberlour, is in the heart of Speyside whisky country with both famed distilleries and the Speyside Cooperage Centre nearby. The parkland course has tree-lined fairways offering panoramic views over the scenic Spey Valley.


Located in Perthshire, central Scotland, Killin golf course, close to the foot of Loch Tay, is known for its picturesque setting. Killin has a daunting opening tee-shot on a hole that runs alongside the River Lochay. Throughout the round there are wonderful views with the hills as a constant backdrop.


A 9 hole course can also bring a touch of golf history. The parkland Cupar Golf Club is believed to be the oldest 9 hole golf club in the world, founded in 1855. Just 10 miles from St Andrews this enjoyable and mature course has small greens set into the hillside over which the course stretches.

Reasons to play 9 hole courses

There are lots of good reasons to play 9 hole courses on a golf trip to Scotland, not just the very reasonable green fees. Perhaps a 9 hole round fits around a day with some sightseeing, maybe there's a course close to the distillery you're visiting, or maybe a 9 hole round will be a nice warm up for 18 holes later.

Or, play 18 holes over a 9 hole course. Many touring golfers squeeze as many different venues into a trip as they can, only ever playing each hole once. Consider how much more interesting a second circuit can be at the same venue - once you've got a feel for the lay of the land and can spot the hazards that got you on the first go.

With the views on the courses we've highlighted above you'll want to enjoy them a second time around.

Further Information:

Published: 21 February 2022