Golf fan Stuart Macfarlane completes mission to play all 522 Scottish mainland courses

Stuart Macfarlane is pictured on the day he played at Durness, Great Britains most northerly golf club
Stuart Macfarlane is pictured on the day he played at Durness, Great Britains most northerly golf club

A Scottish golf enthusiast has completed the incredible feat of playing every single one of this country’s 522 mainland courses.

Stuart Macfarlane (71) reached the incredible landmark – set across over half a century of marching the fairways – when he played Loch Lomond last month.

Stuart at the Trump International course in Aberdeenshire

Stuart at the Trump International course in Aberdeenshire

The 15-handicap Lanark Golf Club member said: “When I completed all the courses over so many years my fellow Lanark members were very pleased for me.

“Since the news went onto the Lanark Golf Club website I have had a few phonecalls saying: ‘That is brilliant – how did you manage to do it?’

“My son Iain said he’d put the news on Twitter and it had received 80-odd likes.

“I jokingly told him: ‘You didn’t ask me if I wanted it put on social media’.

“And I joked that I’d now be so famous that the paparazzi would be waiting on me the next time I went to Lanark Golf Club!”

Stuart – who for many years worked as a senior HR manager for British Steel – began playing several different Scottish courses back in the 1960s, when the then Airdrie Golf Club member would play three or four different layouts a year with pals.

But it was only after his retirement from his next job – a trainer with Scottish Enterprise – in 2010 that Stuart came up with the idea of playing every single Scottish mainland course and he began ticking off between 40 and 50 a year.

Younger generations of Stuart’s family have also caught the golfing bug.

Both his grandkids are members at Stirling GC, with Ross (17) winning this year’s boys title there and Alison (20) being a former girls champion.

Stuart rates Fife links course Crail as his favourite.

“I love the traditional links courses,” he said.

“I was a member of Crail Golfing Society for seven or eight years.

“You need to think your way around a links course like Crail as the design of them is a bit more challenging.

“Their history is great and when a wind is blowing they are even more challenging!

“They are unlike the new clubs, these big US courses that are all about hitting the ball as hard as you can.”

When asked what he thinks of Linlithgow Golf Club, Stuart revealed that he played the layout on a cold and wet day on December 16, 2016.

He added: “I found Linlithgow to be a hilly course and I remember the famous par three 17th hole, when you’re looking down from the tee and can see a panoramic view of the town in the background and the canal passing the green.”