Matt Ginella is taking your golf and travel questions on Twitter and answering them each week on Golf Channel's Morning Drive, 7 AM ET.
A Golf Channel Morning Drive viewer recently wrote to Matt Ginella on Twitter about playing golf in Scotland on a budget:
To jump ahead of Ginella, Matt, the answer is a definitive "yes." That's especially true if you're open to going during the "shoulder season," which in Scotland is in April and October. Green fees are normally 20-30 percent less (and lodging is cheaper, too). As those who have been to the U.K. know, you're as likely to catch a warm, dry spell in the spring or fall as you're likely to suffer a wet July.
Here's another money-saving tip that could help your per-round cost stay under $100: While few Scottish golf clubs have "twilight" rates like in the U.S., many offer "day passes" for only £10 or £20 more than a green fee, so you can essentially get two rounds for a little more than the price of one.
Additionally, golf clubs in Scotland have been getting more and more into golf packages and last-minute, online tee times, so don't be afraid to leave for your trip with a few unbooked tee times in your itinerary.
Here are some of my favorite options to consider that hover around $100 or less. Keep in mind that exchange rates right now are about $1.65 to £1.
Crail Golfing Society
Exposed overlooking the sea on the eastern edge of Fife, Crail's Balcomie & Craighead (£40-60 April & October, £65-80 high season) are starkly different courses from the low-lying St. Andrews Link Trust courses down the road. The Balcomie is historic and a little more scenic with a few holes along the water, while the Craighead is a little more modern in design and length and designed by Gil Hanse, Brazil's Olympic golf course architect.
Value golf in the Scottish Highlands
The remote Highlands have a collection of fine courses under $100, including Tain Golf Club (£50), Royal Dornoch's well known neighbor that is the home of Glenmorangie Scotch. North of Dornoch, you can seek out remote Brora Golf Club (£49-55) for links golf played among sheep. And if you're not adverse to a heathland course (and you shouldn't be), head to Boat of Garten, a James Braid design in Cairngorns National Park that's wonderfully pleasant. Lastly, Nairn Dunbar Golf Club (£40-55) near Inverness is a historic course in the shadow of Nairn Golf Club.
Golf under $100 in East Lothian
Near Edinburgh, East Lothian has numerous picks under $100: Gullane No. 2 (£49-54), short and sweet Kilspindie (£47-58) and it's modern, next door neighbor, Craigielaw Golf Club (£59 weekday). You can also play former Open Championship venue, nine-hole Old Course at Musselburgh for about $25.
Golf under $100 in St. Andrews
Golf in St. Andrews for under $100? Absolutely! You can play both the New Course and Jubilee Course, both excellent links that border the Old, in the shoulder season for £50 (£75 high season). In the high season, the Eden and Strathtyrum, while certainly a step or two below, can be played for £30-45. Nearby Scotscraig is pretty good too.
Golf under $100 on the Mull of Kintyre
Lastly, if you're willing to make the long but spectacular drive, the top one-two punch for bargains can be found on the tip of the Mull of Kintyre at Machrihanish and Machrihanish Dunes. While their green fees, at £65-75 high season, are slightly above $100, but they often offer aggressive stay-and-play deals and day passes to attract golfers to this most remote point of Scotland.