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DESIGNER: Archie Simpson, Tom Morris, James Braid
PAR: 72
SSS (Course Rating): 74
TYPE: Links

Though reports that a club had been founded in the town of Nairn were carried in 1875, it is generally accepted that Nairn Golf Club was founded following a meeting of gentlemen interested in the game of golf in September 1887. Set on the Moray Firth coast in the Highlands of Scotland, Nairn represents traditional Scottish links golf at its very best.

Nairn Golf Links has hosted numerous major amateur and professional events, including the British Amateur Championship but Nairn is probably best known for hosting the Walker Cup of 1999 where the Great Britain and Ireland team scored a rare victory over their American counterparts. The fact that Nairn was chosen as host to this prestigious event speaks volumes for the quality of the course. The Walker Cup is historically played over only the finest courses, with past venues including Brookline, Cypress Point, Pebble Beach, St. Andrews and Portmarnock reinforcing this point.

Certainly one of Scotland's finest and most picturesque links courses, the par 72 layout at Nairn comprises over 100 bunkers, guarding subtle greens and gorse lined fairways, which unanimously demand accurate ball striking. The course lies directly on the coast and offers all the natural hazards one would expect, including an abundance of heather, whins and burns. Always in excellent condition, its greens are renowned as being fast and true.

The configuration at Nairn Golf Links is such that the course gets progressively more difficult as you go around. This of course, is not to say the outward nine are in any way accommodating but good scores appear to gradually peter out as the golfer embarks on the homeward stretch. Some of the finest holes at Nairn Golf Links include the 2nd, 5th and 7th on the front nine and 12th, 13th, 14th and 16th on the inward nine.

Perhaps the pick of the outward journey is the par five, 7th, which at 487 yards may not be the longest hole but bushes and heather left and right of the fairway combined with strategically placed bunkers place a premium on accuracy from tee to green. It is not uncommon to reach the 12th tee with a reasonable tally of strokes but prepare for the downward spiral as the three most difficult holes at Nairn are from 12 to 14. The 435-yard 13th is recognised as the most difficult with deep trouble lurking both sides of the fairway in the shape of bushes and out of bounds. Generally playing long due to the prevailing cross wind, the green is situated in an elevated position and boasts plenty of subtle undulations.


Culloden House (20 minutes), Swallow Kingsmills Hotel (25 minutes), Morangie House Hotel (75 minutes), Skibo Castle (85 minutes)

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