Some of the Highland region’s most famous courses such as Royal Dornoch, Nairn and Castle Stuart are known the world over. But this region boasts some wonderful hidden gems such as Brora, Tain and Boat of Garten. Courses that are often missed by some, but not us. All present serious challenges in their own right and are worthy of consideration.
There is something magical about the town, the people and the course when it comes to Dornoch. It attracts golfers from all over the world to visit a course that has a real understated majesty. No wonder it is ranked 3rd in UK and 8th in the world. But those sort of numbers belie it’s modesty. Tom Watson is an honorary member of Royal Dornoch, and is quoted as saying of Dornoch “It’s the most fun I’ve ever had on a golf course”. It’s also the home of world famous golf architect Donald Ross. In fact many golfers will tell you it’s their favourite place to stay and play golf in the whole wide world. Go visit.
Founded in 1887 to an original design by Archie Simpson Nairn has been altered and added to by James Braid, Old Tom Morris and Ben Sayers. The course boasts a sea view on every hole and the sea comes into play on 6 of the first 7 holes. Ranked number 20 in Scotland and 42 in UK this traditional Scottish links course was created from a Highland wilderness of gorse and heather, and tests the talents of professional and amateur alike. Host to many tournaments including the British Boys Championship and The Walker Cup, Nairn is one of Scotland’s lesser known gems.
Fortrose and Rosemarkie
Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Club is the 15th oldest recorded club in the world with evidence of a member’s AGM in a pub in 1793! It sits out on a narrow peninsular named Chanonry Point and is just north of Inverness. Originally designed by James Braid, the course was revamped by Sir Hector Monro in 1935.
The course is ranked 67th in Scotland. It’s not long but it compensates for this with small subtle greens, strategic bunkering, dense island gorse, several blind approach shots and the proximity of the sea at nearly half its holes.