Nairn (Championship) - North Scotland - Scotland

Nairn Golf Club,
Seabank Road,
Nairn,
IV12 4HB,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1667 453208

  • Golf Club Website

  • 16 miles east of Inverness.

  • Contact in advance – Not Sat/Sun am


Nairn Golf Club is located on an elevated, rumpled piece of linksland on the Moray Firth coastline, close to the historic fishing port. It’s one of Scotland’s lesser-known gems.

This is a course which has been touched by many great architects. The club was founded in 1887 to an original design by Archie Simpson. A few years later Old Tom Morris extended the layout and, prior to the Great War, James Braid made further alterations. Directly after the Great War, Ben Sayers added his mark to the course only to find James Braid itching to polish off the design. It is no wonder that Nairn is such a detailed masterpiece.

One of the most spectacular seaside courses in Scotland, Nairn boasts sea views from every hole. If you are a right-hander and you’ve got a slicing problem, you could find the beach from your very first tee shot. The sea is in play on six of the first seven holes; make sure you’ve got an adequate supply of balls.

When the sun is low in the sky and the shadows are long, you cannot fail to appreciate the undulating, bunker-pitted moonscape that is Nairn. It’s a delightful links with fast, firm but narrow fairways, a number of which are framed by gorse bushes and heather, heaping further pressure onto a nervous drive. The greens are sited in the trickiest places – some are raised and others are nestled in hollows. Most are well protected, either by bunkers or natural hazards, and all of the greens are fast and true, a Nairn trademark.

There is a plethora of good holes at Nairn and the 5th is one of the best. It’s a great 390-yard par four called “Nets” which requires a straight solid drive avoiding the beach on the right. This will leave a short approach shot to a small, elevated green that is well protected by bunkers and a sharp bank sloping off to the right.

The 9th, named “Icehouse”, is a lovely par four to close the outward nine. A tough long drive from the tee is required, avoiding the whin bushes on the left and the bunkers on the right. The green is located to the right of the white cottage which is, in fact, a Salmon Bothy Keep your eyes peeled for the Icehouse which is covered in thick grassy turf where salmon was kept on ice for up to two years.

Nairn is a very long way north. However, you may be surprised to hear that despite Nairn’s Highland latitude, it is located in one of the driest places in Britain. So, why not follow in the footsteps of Peter McEvoy? In 1999, here at Nairn, he lead the Great Britain and Ireland Walker Cup team to a resounding 15-9 victory over the USA.

Following a Course Audit presentation by Tom Mackenzie at a Special General Meeting, approval was given to start work on a course upgrade at the end of 2018. New forward tees were added and new greens constructed on the 1st, 7th and 14th holes, with further reshaping and bunker adjustments made to a further twelve holes.

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Reviews for Nairn (Championship)

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Description: The Championship links at Nairn Golf Club is one of the most spectacular seaside courses in Scotland, boasting sea views from every hole. Rating: 7.7 out of 10 Reviews: 49
TaylorMade
IAIN MACLEOD
What is supposed to be the big deal about this course?This is the most unlinkslike " links" that I have ever played and is a seriously boring and repetative track.Don't waste your money, there are dozens of alternatives from world class to hidden gems in the vicinity.Give it a miss.
August 05, 2009
4 / 10
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Jim McCann
August 06, 2009
DOZENS of better alternatives in the area is more than an exaggeration but I take your point as I too was more than a little underwhelmed by The Nairn when I played it, even accounting for the fact it was in April and the famed greens were very poor.
KtotheU
August 09, 2009
Unlinkslike - Please define in more detail."Boring and Repetative" - Please define in more detail."Dozens of alternatives" - Name them.You must have a severely skewed view of links golf to hold the aforementioned oppinions. Nairn is a world class links kept in the best condition of any course in the UK or anywhere else for that matter.
dan
August 09, 2009
Many courses can be unfavourably compared to other courses in the vicinity on occasion - Nairn is clearly a quality course, and was playing very well when I was there, and seasonal issues in March were addressed with a £30 green fee. What do you expect exactly ?
ron
October 13, 2009
Obviously written by a non golfer with absolutely no appreciation of what a links course should look like. Nairn has some of the finest fescue dominated greens you will find anywhere on the planet.
Gimme ma four iron
January 14, 2010
I have played Nairn several times and underwhelmed is about it. Not bad but ..... Now Lossiemouth old course, thats a real test and of course the hidden gem Spey Bay. Yes memories are made of this
Dan Hare
I played Nairn at the end of March in a howling gale (3 different flags had been blown out of the holes) but on an almost empty course we loved it. A typical Scottish links course, similar to North Berwick in its geography, and a very friendly welcome in the Visitors' bar. Bear in mind when reading unflattering reviews of off-season golf that it was only £30 to play, much cheaper than the high-season tariff and given the quality of the course and its history, a steal. Recommended.
June 10, 2009
8 / 10
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Paul calverley
Played Nairn on a windy late March morning and the opening 3 holes proved extremely difficult being straight into the wind. Having reached the greens however imagine our disappointment at finding the fabled putting surfaces in a terrible condition. They were heavily sanded and cored and frankly a disgrace. The course itself was an ok layout but without enough standout holes to make it a great one. Have played getting on for 2/3's of the top 50 in the UK & Ireland and in this condition Nairn will be lucky to hold on to its current position.
March 31, 2009
6 / 10
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Emil Weber
Nairn is a great course that deserves it's position among scotlands top 15 courses. I think that the holes 1 and 2 have a very special character. They lack big dunes but they do symbolize classic and natural links golf golf. Holes 3 to 7 are a great stretch of beatiful links holes with great views. Holes 8 to 12 are probably the weakest spot of the course, still fun to play, though. At the 13th the course takes on another character and reminds of surrey's heathland courses but here you have spectacular sea views on top of that! 16 and 17 are fun to play and the 18th is one of the greatest finishing holes in scotland in the style of the first 2 starting holes. I don't know whether to give it 5 or 6 stars, but in terms of conditioning this is one of the best-maintained courses I have ever played so I'll give the links 6 little golfballs.
December 16, 2008
10 / 10
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Phil Bonsall
A brilliant golf course. I absoloutely loved it. Great views, great condition and great layout. I preferred it to Royal Dornoch. Played 18 holes at Nairn Dunbar in the morning, and then 18 holes here in the afternoon. What a great day.
September 25, 2008
8 / 10
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kcbritton
Probably the best clubhouse and club atmosphere of any of the 14 courses we have played in Scotland. A very enjoyable day but not a great golf course. Sitting here a week after playing, I can only think of one or two really good holes. Worth playing for the quality of the club and the conditions but not in the league of Dornoch, Cruden Bay and Brora.
July 20, 2008
6 / 10
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Jorn Greve
A perfect golf course. Very sportive to play, fantastic views and the best conditions you can find on a links course. Enjoy the 14th and 15th hole. An absolut 'must play' and withe a very warm welcome.
January 09, 2008
10 / 10
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Ted
Played recently on a cloudless and windy day. A superb links course in great condition with the greens being some of the best I have ever putted on, super quick and very true. There are no dunes but anything straying from the reasonably generous fairways will be gobbled up by well positioned bunkers or heather and gorse, or the sea on the first 7 holes. A good, fair test of golf combined with a first class, welcoming clubhouse and stunning views over the Moray Firth and Highlands make this must visit if in the area.
September 18, 2007
10 / 10
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Cédric
I was very enthousiastic about playing this course. Reading the 19/20 on the Peugeot book made me expect a Dornoch like experience... Well it wasn't. It is definitely a good course,but no to the standard of Dornoch or other places which also get that 19. No really memorable holes,no poor hole either to be fair... Uneven bunkers and greens which even in late april shouldn't happen on a course of that standard. Despite the great views all around the course,something is missing to make this place a truly great one. Our time there started superbly at the starter's (the exact opposite of the one at Dornoch, see my review) but went decrescendo to finish at the nice looking clubhouse offering quite poor service. Maybe a place I would need to revisit in the summer months to change my opinion? Cédric
April 20, 2007
6 / 10
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Jim McCann

Nairn is a very fine golf course but it lacked a little something that I am unable to put my finger on - maybe I am being too critical Nairn - Photo by Jim McCannas it was the last course I played in a couple of days in the Highlands and championship golf fatigue may have set in by then!

Or maybe it has suffered from the input of too many classic course architects? The famed greens were not of the standard – even for mid April – that I was expecting so that was a very big letdown for starters.

Bunkers looked a little rough around the faces and sand in the traps was hard pan in places and too soft in other parts. The general feeling I got – and I must be brutally honest here – was of playing on a somewhat overpriced course that has punched above its weight in attracting so many national and international championships down the years.

There, I’ve said it and I'm sorry to offend anybody who rates Nairn as one of their favourites.

I loved the “Icehouse” buildings on the 9th and thought the three inland holes from hole 13 to 15 were very interesting for a links but overall I just never got enthused about the place – they've a lovely big clubhouse too (despite the poor after round service) so maybe I’ll need to return another time – if they let me back – to understand why it’s worth shelling out such a hefty green fee to play here.

Jim McCann

April 15, 2007
6 / 10
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