Head north to Scotland

Whether you’re heading north for the Scottish Open, Open Championship or AIG Women’s Open, or just paying a visit later this year, here’s our pick of some of the gems just a short drive from the North East of England…

Lochmaben Golf Club
Laid our around Kirk Loch, Lochmaben Golf Club still showcases many of James Braid’s influences on its design – in both its original nine holes, which were laid out in 1926, and its 1995 additions. Famed for its wildlife and picturesque views of the loch, Lochmaben may be short at just under 6,000 yards, but bunkering and fast greens are sure to test you at one of Dumfries & Galloway’s best courses. The course also encompasses three archaeological sites of historic importance while a fourth site, the Gallows Hill, lies across the road from the fourth tee. The second green is the site of one of Bruce’s castles and the remains of the mottes are clearly visible. On the ninth, there are the remains of the Mount Pleasant settlement and the enclosures of Skelvieland.
Lochmaben Golf Club, Castlehill Gate, Lochmaben, Dumfries & Galloway, DG11 1NT, tel 01387 810 552, www.lochmabengolf.co.uk

Lockerbie Golf Club
From its elevated setting, Lockerbie Golf Club affords stunning views over the Annandale Valley and the Lakeland hills while presenting a fine parkland test with tree-lined fairways and subtly contoured greens protecting the par 67 layout. The original nine-hole course was designed by the legendary five-time Open Champion James Braid before a further nine holes were added in 1986. Short by modern standards at 5,463 yards, the course is protected by trees, water and its small, sloping greens. Water comes into play on three holes while five par threes present tricky tests of 100-200 yards. With no par fives, the par fours at Lockerbie range from great birdie chances to stern holes protected by hazards and thick rough – driver is often a risky play here. Situated on the east side of Lockerbie, just five minutes from the north and south exits of the M74, this is a great place to start your trip north.
Lockerbie Golf Club, Corrie Road Lockerbie, Dumfries & Galloway, DG11 2ND, tel 01576 203 363, www.lockerbiegolf.co.uk

Ladybank Golf Club
Laid out by Tom Morris, the course at Ladybank Golf Club dates back to 1879. Set out over attractive heathland, the landscape features stunning gorse, broom, heather, scots pine and silver birch – creating a colourful palette and an excellent home for many red squirrels. Driving into the club, through a long avenue of trees alongside the 16th, 17th and 18th holes, you catch a glimpse of what to expect from this classic layout. The sandy soil creates tight turf while the gentle undulations to fairways and fast, firm greens make for a memorable occasion on every visit. Deep bunkering adds a links-like feel when matched with the tight fairways. The links resemblances end there however, for the many trees here demand far more accuracy from the tee than the traditional linksland of the coast. There are few straight holes and while just four of the par four holes stretch more than 400 yards, this is no pushover thanks to the doglegs and subtle curves. A challenging, yet peaceful golfing experience – what more could you ask for?
Ladybank Golf Club, Annsmuir, Ladybank Fife, KY15 7RA, www.ladybankgolf.co.uk