Tain - North Scotland - Scotland

Tain Golf Club,
Chapel Road,
Tain,
Ross-shire,
IV19 1JE,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1862 892314


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Tain

The origin of the name Tain is unclear, but what is certain is that in 1066, King Malcolm III granted the very first charter to Tain, making it the oldest Royal Burgh (borough) in Scotland. With panoramic views across the Dornoch Firth, Tain's Highland setting is dramatic and also pleasantly sheltered with the estuary on one side and the mountains of Easter Ross on the other.

Tain Golf Club was founded in 1890 and Old Tom Morris was commissioned to design the course. After a detailed survey of the land, Old Tom found only 15 suitable green sites and the course opened with only 15 holes. Some years later, John Sutherland revised the layout, but Old Tom's mark is still indelibly etched and there are eleven of Old Tom's green sites in use today.

Today's Tain is a full, sporting 18-hole layout, which measures 6,404 yards from the medal tees, where accuracy rather than length is essential. The nature of Tain is a combination of links and heathland and there are a number of forced carries across tangly heather to rumpled fairways, which are edged by dense gorse (stunning in full bloom).

The Aldie Burn meanders through the par four 2nd, which is called "River" and measures 391 yards from the back tees. The cozened fairway is punctuated by a ridge which falls away towards the artful burn which waits to trap the under-hit approach shot. We meet the "Alps" at the par four 11th, which requires a confident but blind approach shot over two sentry dunes in order to find the hidden green nestled beyond. Two great par threes at 16 and 17 bring us close to home and they are both strong single shot holes where the wily burn returns, waiting to catch the errant tee shot.

Tain will always remain in the shadow of its illustrious neighbour, Royal Dornoch, which lies on the opposite bank of the Dornoch Firth. But whatever you do, don't pass Tain by. There is variety and fun to be had on this challenging course. Heaven forbid, if the golf is not sufficiently celebrated to capture your attention, then surely a nip of malt at the local Glenmorangie Distillery will provide the ultimate temptation.

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Tain

Average Reviewers Score:
Description: Overlooking the Dornoch Firth, Tain Golf Club arguably offers one of the best settings imaginable in the highlands for a round of golf. With sea on one side and the backdrop of the mountains behind. Rating: 7 out of 10 Reviews: 26
TaylorMade
Stefan Hindmarsh
Visited the course today. On arrival the pro was absolutely fantastic and gave me so much time and help - mostly sorting me out a game with two friendly members as I was a single golfer.The course was on full greens apart from two greens and played mostly it's full length. The greens were in great nick! You weren't allowed to play off fairways unless you had a mat (that I did) but overall for mid February it is hard to fault the condition of the course.The course itself is a fantastic track with a real mix of holes. If there is a weak stretch I would say it is 14,15,16 but that is personal preference. One thing for sure is that you wouldn't get bored playing here as there is so much variety between the holes. There is also a real mix of tough, challenging holes and fun birdie holes.I would highly recommend if you are in the area!
February 18, 2015
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
2 people found this review helpful

Charles Farquharson
Played here twice last month and enjoyed it enormously. You would need at least 2 visits to work out exactly where the green is at the 11th and the best lines on the dogleg holes, but these niggles were more than outweighed by the fun of the layout, the tricky green complexes and excellent putting surfaces. Helpful and friendly staff ( the pro re gripped a club while we waited ) added to our pleasure. CF
September 03, 2014
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
1 person found this review helpful

francis regan
The first hole apart which is non-descript belies what unfolds into a spectacular golf course, part moorland, part links with some great views. Quirky par 4 blind shots and variation in direction of holes add to a great experience. I played this as part of my james braid trail ticket. Don't miss out the chance to add tain too your dornoch, golspie and brora highlands experience. Its golf at its best. Enjoy....
January 09, 2014
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Gustav
If you are after a combination of understated quality and the infinite pleasure that comes from playing at your own pace, then do play Tain when in the area to play Dornoch. There is more scenery to distract at Brora and Fortrose, but the pure golfing quality of Tain more than makes up for it. Pity that the first hole is so mundane, though.
September 01, 2013
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Matthew Adams
On first sight Tain does not appear to be your quintessential links course. The panorama from the first tee offers no glimpse of the sea but a view of a generous fairway with only light rough separating it from the 18th to the left. The best opening drive should finish on that side of the 1st so it does come into play. This sets the pattern for the rest of the course. The gorse-lined fairways are firm, and at times rather wide, so distance should be no problem. You have to be precise, to allow a good line in for the subsequent approach, Tain Golf Course - Photo by reviewerwith little fringe rough to stop the ball bouncing or rolling off into trouble. Having your tee shot find its way into a fairway bunker is often somewhat of a relief as it will at least be found and maybe eminently playable. In this respect the design is reminiscent in places of the Turnberry Kintyre layout. Few of the fairways are flat, with humps and hollows featuring on most, with only flatter fairways found down by the seaside holes. There is good variety to the length of the holes length of the holes as well. Upon reflection my favourite holes would be 8, 9 and 15 although the 11th stands out also for the two hillocks guarding its front. The first of those is a daunting par3 with gorse seemingly everywhere followed by the tight dogleg right par4 9th where shaping and precision are the watchwords. The 15th stands out due to its fairly short yardage at 330 yards. Having got the tee shot into play the challenge is all about the approach. If the hole is cut near to the swale in front of the green, and the run off to the right, then short game skills are really tested. Powers of concentration are also tested by what must be some of the noisiest sheep you will find anywhere. Perhaps they’re all busy asserting their individuality. By contrast, the noise from the evening train departing the station just adds further charm to the backdrop of the gothic towers of Tain bathed in early evening sunshine. A fine day of golf.
June 28, 2012
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
1 person found this review helpful

Response
tom
November 02, 2012
Tain is a very good course. A well conditioned free running thinking mans golf course that twists and turns in different directions with very firm interestingly contoured greens and excellent pot bunkering. Many half-blind shots abound with clever use of dips, small mounds, small valleys and cunning use of 'dead ground'. Lots of gorse and some heather and a couple of holes along the firth. Many excellent, testing holes especially in the sequence 9th, 10th and 11th but care is needed just about everywhere - it must be a tough test when the ground is really dry and a strong wind is up. Strong par 3's as well. Not flash or pretentious, just a really good test of golf with very friendly staff and members and amazingly given its generally high standard of course conditioning, only 3 fulltime greenkeepers. My only criticism, and it's a very slight one, is that the course photographs on the clubs website do not do the course any justice - the course is much, much better than the impression given by the photographs. If this course were 'down south' it would receive lots of plaudits. If you're coming to the area put it on your 'to play' list, I very much doubt if you'll be disappointed.
Jim Robertson
There's always one party-pooper! Recently paid a second visit to Tain and was once again left underwhelmed. Two weeks later I am struggling to recall many holes. It's not at all a bad course just not a memorable one. Played nine Highland courses in a week and would have to rank Tain at or near the bottom. It's certainly not in the class of Royal Dornoch, Brora or Golspie. I would rank it alongside Struie of the links in the area and I certainly had more enjoyment inland at Boat of GartenStrathpeffer and Kingussie.
July 26, 2011
4 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Response
Keith
July 27, 2011
I personally think it would be a mistake to leave Tain off any Highland itinerary because it is such a varied, entertaining and interesting course. I’ve not played Tain since 2006 but I can remember a fair number of holes and my memory is not what it used to be. However, I agree that there is some truly excellent golf to be played in the Highlands and there are very few places in the world that offer such incredible golf at an affordable price in a most gorgeous setting. Probably the best golfing destination in the UK, perhaps even Europe… providing you can organise some nice weather.
Hamish Wilson
This is a barrowful of surprises! You start off with a few parkland holes then on to heathland then down to links by the sea, repeating the process back to the clubhouse. Every time I have played it it has been in very good condition. It is a really enjoyable course with some excellent holes especially the heathland holes . In a visit to this area it should not be missed. It is apt to be overshadowed by Royal Dornoch understandably as that is a World Class course but I repeat DON'T miss it!
December 10, 2010
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
1 person found this review helpful

paul
We played Tain early on a Friday morning as a warm up for Royal Dornoch and were very impressed with a course that is so little known outside of the area, the greens were in great shape and the entire course was well presented, the week before it had been virtually under water and it had recovered very well. This is no easy test as some of the fairways are narrow and green complexes are tricky to say the least, with only one blind shot on the course the purists will enjoy this one although my blind shot left me somewhat wanting! My playing partner judged it perfectly and won the hole with a birdie, I can’t see too many golfers making better than par on this one. There are a couple of holes that drift away towards the local fields but once these have been negotiated you have a good finishing stretch with a strong par 3 of 147 yards at 16 and a tough par 3 of 211 yards at 17 followed by the 18th towards the club house with a tight drive down the left to give you a chance of getting home, at 427 yards and a stroke index of 13!! If you are in the Inverness area it is more than worth the 35 mile drive and the green fees are good value.
September 17, 2009
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

alp
Although not from the area, I have played Tain many times over the years, and only now have I felt compelled to write a review. My point really is that the ranking of 55th in Scotland does not really do this course justice. It may even deter people in the area from playing this course over others in the vicinity. But they would be missing an absolute treat - if we were ranking golf courses in terms of enjoyability, then Tain would be right up there with the best. For me, it is the seclusion and great variety of golf holes, that is hard to beat in my opinion. Yes, Tain does lack the sense of occasion one gets when playing the big courses like Dornoch, and it is not as challenging a course as Dornoch, but me for it is just as enjoyable. So the message is simple - don't omit playing Tain if you are in the area!
July 23, 2009
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Jon Roderick
Tain is one of those courses that seems to stretch over a large area and you only really see glimpses of other holes here and there. By comparison, it makes a lot of other courses seem cramped and there are some lovely views and a sense of escape about the place. The course is not particularly long but stray off line at your peril. It can be very easy to come home several golf balls lighter if you are not accurate off the tee. All the holes have a unique character with the 3rd and 11th being 2 of the best. The 16th would have to go down as the quaintest being a short par 3 with an elevated tee and a burn – which appears on 4 holes – snaking its way around the green. When i played the condition of the course was very good with the greens running true, although not as fast as some. Tain suffers slightly from the shadow cast by Royal Dornoch across the water but i would thoroughly recommend a visit as i dont think it’ll disappoint.
July 15, 2009
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful