St Andrews Old Course, Muirfield, Carnoustie. Scotland has no shortage of contenders for a top ten of the world's most recognisable courses.
Yet the championship courses that play host to The Open, Ryder Cup and Tour events can tell only part of the story. All across Scotland local golfers and intrepid visitors are discovering the hidden gems that contribute so much to life in the Home of Golf.
Royal Aberdeen Golf Club
In the north, nestling in the heart of the stunning Cairngorms National Park, lies Boat of Garten, considered one of the triumphs of James Braid's genius. One glance from the clubhouse is enough to convince that you are about to play Britain's most beautiful course. A different challenge awaits at Lossiemouth's Moray Old Course which combines the best elements of links golf in one stunning round.
Braid also had a hand in shaping the Balgownie links for the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club which remains one golf's most spectacular layouts and in the 1930's oversaw alterations to the classic Murcar Links in Aberdeenshire.
Moving down the east coast, Letham Grange Old Course was opened in 1987 and is rightly regarded as one of the toughest inland courses in the country although that is a title Dundee's Downfield could certainly compete for.
In the shadow of the Old Course, the St Andrews New Course and the Duke's Course are proof of how spoiled for choice resident of the Auld Grey Toun are. The New was designed by Old Tom Morris and the tight fairways and testing par threes have been offering a challenge to golfers ever since. Five times Open winner Peter Thomson created the Duke's Course, a championship inland course just minutes away from the epicentre of links golf.
But to visit St Andrews and not explore deeper into Fife would deny you the chance of playing some of the old Kingdom's treasures. Crail's Balcomie links is home to world's sixth oldest golf club, Lundin is another enduring Braid design, Scotscraig offers an intriguing mix of links and heathland and Ladybank's heather, pine and silver birch place an immediate premium on accuracy.
Across the Firth of Forth, occupying an exposed strip of links land, Dunbar Golf Club is often overlooked in East Lothian with the focus on Gullane and Muirfield. Moving further south Roxburghe has quickly established itself as the leading course in the Scottish Borders.
Downfield Golf Club
With Loch Lomond dominating it is easy to forget The Carrick also occupies the bonny banks offering a challenge as testing as it is beautiful. At Gleneagles the Queen's Course attracts a loyal following for the golf and stunning scenery.
The links courses of Ayrshire enjoy a global reputation although Turnberry's Kintyre course, with its classic links test, deserves more of an audience than its traditional role as a second course warrants. Along the coast Glasgow Gailes is another links challenge that leaves the visitor with nothing but fond memories.
From north to south and from east to west Scotland offers more than just its traditional blue riband courses. This is a country where world class golf abounds and the inquisitive visitor will be rewarded with memories to last a lifetime if they are prepared to occasionally wander from the well beaten tourist path to visit some of Scotland's Hidden Gems.