As a destination for a golf holiday, Scotland can be downright impossible to beat – as it provides such a huge and varied selection of high quality courses.

Home to some of the best golf courses in the British Isles, with five of its best featuring in the Open Championship rota – The Old Course, Carnoustie, Turnberry, Royal Troon and this year host Muirfield.

However it’s not just the golden oldies that steal the limelight, Scotland is also host to some amazing recent creation, such as Kingsbarns on the coastline of Fife and a host to the Dunhill Links Championship, and Castle Stuart Golf Links, which was recently given the job of hosting the Scottish Open.

If you’re more of an “off the beaten track” kind of golfer then you’ll be glad to know that away from the famous and most popular venues there are plenty of “hidden gems” peppered far and wide across the countryside of Bonnie Scotland.

Here are five Scottish gems that you might not be too familiar with, but should definitely be on your list of course for your next Scottish golf break.

Gleneagles Queen’s Course, Auchterarder, Perthshire

The Queen’s Course, in its long history, has been host to many of the world’s golfing greats. The stunning surroundings and the challenge of the course has attracted the best golfers and big names from the entertainments and sports worlds.

The course itself roams through the high ridges on the north and west sides of the Gleneagles estate, offering charming woodland settings, lochans and ditches as water hazards, with many moorland characteristics – there’s no wonder why it’s often referred to at the member’s favourite.

The test on the front nine can be deceiving, measuring 3,192 yards long – even the best golfers can find it a challenge to make par into a stiff south-westerly wind. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security as you stand on the first tee. The “Trystin’ Tree”, or lover’s meeting place, after which the hole is named, is a tough opener. The ground drops away at your feet, the fairway arcs round to the left and angles towards the forest, and there are a couple of strategically positioned sand-traps testing your second shot into the small green.

From the medal tees, the course measures less than 6,000 yards, but with a lowly par of 68, it represents an immensely enjoyable challenge.

The Carrick, Loch Lomond, Argyle

The Carrick Course threads through an area of stunning natural beauty, right on the ‘Bonnie Banks o’ Loch Lomond’. The course, at the De Vere Deluxe Resort at Cameron House, is one of Scotland’s most recent Championship Standard courses and, arguably, offers the country’s most awe-inspiring rounds.

It has, of course, been carefully laid out keeping its location within Scotland’s first National Park. The modern par-71 track follows the classic Scottish heathland style and, uniquely, hugs the undulating Lowlands and regal Highlands of Scotland. The testing holes flow over superbly kempt rolling fairways, hug inland ponds and overlook the mystical waters of Loch Lomond and the jagged mountains beyond.

The course was developed by the renowned golf course architect, Doug Carrick, and is able to stretch from 5,200 yards all the way to 7,086 yards from the championship pegs. The Carrick is an exceptional, very enjoyable and unforgettable test of the game for all levels of golfer.

Keep your eyes peeled for the amazing wildlife of Loch Lomond – you can expect to see kingfishers, oystercatchers, great crested grebes, lapwings and otters.

Royal Dornch Golf Club, Dornoch, Highlands

Located 50 miles to the north of Loch Ness, and just eight degrees below the Arctic Circle, Royal Dornoch has been the recipient of much critical acclaim over the years by all of the most respected golf writers and golfers who have walked its fairways – and, bar it’s difficult to get to and remote location, would find itself on the Open Championship rota.

The future Ryder Cup Captain, Tom Watson, once described Dornoch as one of the world’s truly great courses, referring to the three rounds he played over the course as “the most fun he had ever had playing golf” – this just goes to show the sheer quality of the course. Watson has since been named as an honorary member of the club.

The Donald Ross design is characterised by the elevated, domed greens which are the architect’s trademark. And of course it offers a firm but fair test of golf, with the front nine holes being played into the wind. The links is abundant with heavy gorse, which looks and smells gorgeous when in full bloom, and terrifying pot-bunkers that look to gobble up the unwary – these are often impossible to see from the fairways and tees.

It’s a well know fact that it’s not the most easily accessible course in the world – located to the north of the city of Inverness, however every golfer should play Royal Dornoch at least once in their career as an amateur golfer, so that they too can try to uncover the allure of the course which stole Mr Watson’s heart.

Crail, Balcomie, Fife Ness

The old Balcome Links in the old borough of Crail, near to the home of golf, St Andrews, is one of Scotland’s greatest golfing secrets. There is great history to go along with this golfing gem as well. The Crail Golfing Society was founded in 1786, at a time when there were only six other golf clubs in existence anywhere in the world!

It’s nestled in an unsheltered corner of the most easterly part of the Kingdom of Fife on a peninsula known as Fife Ness – the current course is very much like it was after Old Tom Morris laid out the initial nine holes in 1895 and then added a second nine a few years later.

Balcomie has many fans from all corners of the globe, and when the Open Championship is at St Andrews it is likely to see the famous faces of the game’s greatest players taking on this charming little course – which just goes to show what an enjoyable track it is.

Moray Golf Club, Lossiemouth, Aberdeenshire

Moray has been long been an attraction for the tourists who make the trip every year, and the region’s biggest pull is the two Moray golf courses, Moray Old and Moray New. The gorse coated links landscape, which overlooks the Moray Firth, is ideal for the royal & ancient game.

The Old, which was designed by Old Tom Morris, has every characteristic that resembles a superb Scottish links course, and its closing hole is one of the best in the whole country. Out-of-bounds is down the right and with deep cavernous bunkers and thick rough to the left, means that wayward drives are harshly punished. If you do manage to hit the fairway you’ll be left with an accurate mid-iron to the green – good luck.

Old Tom Morris must have been very pleased with his own creation, as he often played it himself.

If you’re interested in finding out more about “hidden gems” in Scotland or are looking to book a memorable golf break to the home of golf then take a look at what are friends Your Golf Travel have to offer.