Galloway & Dumfries – these are some of the most beautiful proper nouns in the entire English language for die-hard golfers. For the true connoisseur however, this article deals specifically with the former, Galloway, which is a golfer’s paradise in its own right and a major golfing destination for people in the know. So for those looking to venture to Scottish lands for their pursuit of the best golf courses in the whole of the UK, this is a handy page for you to bookmark. This is where you’ll find our top pick of Galloway Golf Courses to suit a broad range of experience and golfing skill, and each guaranteed to be situated in some of the most scenic natural environments in the whole of the Kingdom.
Stranraer Golf Club
Our top pick of Galloway Golf Courses comes in the form of Stranraer, a fantastic club with a supremely scenic course situated on the brisk shores of Loch Ryan. This 6308 yard course offers not only supreme views of Ailsa Craig, the Isle of Arran, and the loch itself but also the opportunity to play on a course designed by a golfing legend. 5-time Open champion James Braid (read a bit more about him and his courses Visit Scotland) is the designer of this course, and he made sure that the undulating land it sits on as well as the layout of the course are conducive to a truly memorable golfing experience.
Seasoned golfers rarely have a negative word to say about the course, with many praising the fine condition of the greens in particular. It can be a bit pricey to hire out a buggy, but the overall experience more than makes up for such a small negative. Visitors should make a point of dining in the two-storey clubhouse where a simple menu of high-quality food can be enjoyed before or after a game.
The only real drawback for visitors coming from afar is the location. Stranraer Golf Club is situated at the extreme South West of Scotland, making it a substantial journey if you’re visiting from the South of England. However, access is ample by road as well as rail, air, and sea.
Portpartick Golf Club
It isn’t a long journey from the wonderful village of Portpartick to get to this golf club. Though the club is technically comprised of two courses, the Dunskey course is the 18-hole spectacular that sits in a deserved 2nd place here. Views of the Isle of Man and Mourne Mountains can be expected on clear days.
Originally a 9-hole course, it was extended in 1913 to the 18 holes you will find on its grounds (and also on the individual-hole breakdown on its website). Even in the last few years, the course has undergone some improvements, particularly with the introduction of bunkers to add a more substantial challenge for seasoned golfers.
As far as the facilities go, Porpatrick Dunskey has lots to offer. Equipment hire is available and includes a nice selection of rental clubs, and if you really want to take your game to the next level, you can take advantage of a session with the PGA Professional that’s kept on staff there.
Access to this course is similar to that of Stranraer in the sense that you can use the A77 from Glasgow if you’re travelling from the North of Scotland, while the M6 and A75 provides the ground route for anyone travelling from England.
Newton Stewart is a course which undoubtedly offers some breath-taking views. It is situated in the heart of the Galloway hills, and its proximity to the Gulf Stream results in a milder climate than stereotypes of Scotland would usually indicate. This means that Newton Stewart is a course that can be enjoyed on all but a few days of the year.
The recently refurbished clubhouse offers the usual amenities including showers, changing rooms, and a restaurant with a licensed bar. The clubhouse overlooks the 1st and 18th fairways, and visitors will be happy to know that trolley and buggy hire is available. Visitors can enjoy the all-day packages the course offers, and the relatively relaxed dress code ensures an enjoyable, stress-free experience whilst maintaining a respectful atmosphere throughout the course.
Travelling to Newton Stewart is as easy as enduring a 3 hour drive from Manchester, Newcastle, or Edinburgh, 2 hours from Glasgow, or a mere 25 minutes from Stranraer. A wealth of information is to be found at http://www.newtonstewartgolfclub.com/.
Wigtownshire County Golf Club
In contrast to the others on the list, the course at Wigtownshire County Golf Club is comparatively flat. This makes it a great walking course for those that enjoy remaining on their feet throughout the day. The course at Wigtownshire is also one of the finer examples of a Links course in this area of Scotland.
You’ll find the par-70 course situated in the stunning surroundings of Luce Bay with its temperate climate and ideal layout for golfers of all handicap ranges. Visitors have often praised not only the views but also the forgiving layout of the course with its subtle rises and falls and comparatively low price per round (weekends are £32 per round or £42 per day).
The facilities aren’t quite as comprehensive as the other Galloway courses on this list and there’s no pro shop to speak of, yet the clubhouse offers a nice restaurant to enjoy before or after a long day. Location wise, this is slightly more accessible than Stranraer, being situated a little east of said location. Access if you’re travelling west is via the A75 while ferries from Nothern Ireland provide access to this classic links course for those coming from overseas. Maps and further information about the course can also be located on its website: http://www.wigtownshirecountygolfclub.com/.