To view our map, which highlights the best golf courses in Scotland and where they are, click here

A delightful juxtaposition of old and new in the upper echelons of the list highlights the rich diversity and vibrancy of golf in the country.

A couple of years ago, we sat down for an interview with the renowned American golf course architect Tom Fazio while he was visiting Waterville in Ireland for the club’s popular World Invitational Father & Son Golf Tournament. At one point, during our lengthy conversation over breakfast, we asked Fazio what he thought the legendary designers of the 19th and 20th centuries would make of the expansive nature of some modern golf courses and their extravagant and expensive methods of construction. Fazio pondered the question for a few moments before replying, “You think for one minute somebody like an A W Tillinghast wouldn’t have jumped at the chance of using a D5 if he could?”

For those who don’t eat, live, sleep and breathe golf course design, Tillinghast was a prolific golf course architect from Philadelphia. During his career, he worked on more than 250 courses and crafted many of the most prestigious country clubs that are laced up and down the eastern seaboard of the United States, including Quaker Ridge, Winged Foot and Bethpage State Park (Black) in New York, and the Upper and Lower courses at Baltusrol in New Jersey. A D5 is a nimble Caterpillar bulldozer often used by golf course constructors to move large amounts of earth and shape fairways and greens.

That conversation came to mind as we compiled our biennial ranking of Scotland’s best golf courses. While it’s no surprise to find classics like St Andrews’ Old Course, Turnberry’s Ailsa, Muir eld and Royal Dornoch deservedly sitting atop this list, it’s interesting to note that no fewer than four of the Top 11 courses have been built during the past two decades. Given the outstanding and intense strength in depth of golf in Scotland, it is a huge achievement for the likes of Kingsbarns, Trump International Links, Loch Lomond and Castle Stuart not only to penetrate the upper echelons of this list but to have had their reputations rubber-stamped so quickly. By comparison, the newest course in the Top 10 of our most recently published Top 100 England was Sunningdale New, which opened for play in 1923! With that in mind, I have no doubt that the creators of these modern Scottish masterpieces, Kyle Phillips, Martin Hawtree and Tom Weiskopf, would have been excellent designers had they born a century ago. Artists are artists regardless of their era or generation.

As with last month’s ranking of England’s best golf courses, our new Top 100 Scotland takes its lead from our most recent 2018 Top 100 Courses in Great Britain & Ireland ranking, which was published seven months ago. In the past, these two rankings have operated independently but we felt that made very little sense. Going forward the two lists will align. As always, it has been a true labour of love compiling this latest ranking and, as usual, I’m very interested in hearing how we got it right or wrong. Feel free to contact me with your opinions at: nick.wright@bauermedia.co.uk. I know from experience that you are not a shy readership!