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.

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Reviews for Tain

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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
Derek Haswell
The course at Tain GC is a secret pearl, a latent treasure, a shrouded jewel…ok, ok, I admit it – it’s a HIDDEN GEM!! (and I promised myself not to use golf’s most clapped-out cliché!). Tain inhabits a lovely setting on the flat links of the Dornoch Firth, on the edge of the attractive town and edged by farmland. Your game here is played against the almost continual baa-ing of sheep, which starts off as something of a novelty (for this city slicker, at least) but kinda gets to you when you are sixteen over par. This course is easy walking, easy on the eye and, er…not easy at all. We played on a lovely sunny, calm day in their Open Pairs event, scored poorly and enjoyed it immensely. The event was won by two members with an aggregate nett score of 141 – an indication of just how deceptively challenging this Old Tom Morris links is. The green fees of £40/£45 (midweek/weekend) seem very fair to me but the £32 entry to play in the doubles event is great value. At Tain the clubhouse is comfortable and informal, the practice facilities good and the pro is a helpful chap. One thing that deserves a special mention, I think, is the club’s apparent enthusiasm for encouraging juniors – there is a “clubgolf” mini driving range, a junior chipping area and as we finished our round a group of juniors seemed to be getting a putting lesson from some members. Tain – a friendly club with a very good traditional course and an eye to the future. Highly recommended. Derek, Edinburgh, May 08.
May 13, 2008
8 / 10
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Keith Baxter
Tain, a thoroughly enjoyable course in a glorious setting, let down only by annoying military jets which seem to whizz up and down play fighting with alarming regularity. No fault of Tain Golf Club I might add! The course is an unusual and varied mix of holes, most are links (those furthest away from the clubhouse). I understand the course was brought closer to the town centre and therefore some farmland was used for the holes closest to the clubhouse. Nevertheless, Tain is well worth playing and one which should be firmly included in any Highland golfing itinerary and it's also great value.
June 16, 2006
6 / 10
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W
A fantastic course with a great lay-out and a wonderful setting. Mafeking (though not long) is a very good hole and The Alps is a classic blind links hole. If you are here to take on Dornoch, the ignore the delights of Tain, Brora and Golspie at your peril. These on their own are worth a visit. Friendly staff, a good lunch and a few pints made a day at Tain's fine links into a real pleasure!
June 05, 2006
6 / 10
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Jim McCann

Tain lies on the southern side of the Dornoch Firth and you must pass through here if you are playing at Royal Dornoch. It is well worth including Tain golf course in your travel plans if you are travelling this far north to play as it will give you a pleasant, gentle introduction of what to expect fifteen minutes drive away across the water at its near neighbour.

White tee lengths total 6514 yards so it requires a good few blows to get round in anything like the SSS of 71, which is one more than the course par total. Greens were in wonderful condition and the steep faced bunkers were well placed to punish errant approaches to the putting surfaces.

The Alps at hole number 11 was our favourite on the course, a short par four played from an elevated tee to a green protected by huge sand dunes on all sides – bringing back fond memories of several holes at the Machrie on Islay. There is also a sting in the tail to the round with two par threes at 16 and 17 which make full use of the meandering burn to give protection to the greens and form a formidable pair of potential card wreckers!

Jim McCann

August 23, 2005
8 / 10
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LondonAndy
I was surprised to see how low Tain is rated on this site as I would put it above a large number of the courses supposedly ranked as superior to it. Tain is a fine links/heathland course with the sea on one side and mountains (and the town) on the other. It has spectacular views and offered a real challenge when I played there. It doesn't have the length or prestige of Royal Dornoch (just across the firth), but I can honestly say that I enjoyed playing Tain every bit as much as its illustrious neighbour (it's a bit cheaper too!). The course doesn't really have any bad holes and and in the 3rd, 11th (wonderfully named Alps), 16th and 17th it has some truly fantastic and testing ones. I don't know how the course rating devised on this site is reached, but I would suggest if the reviewers have played the course recently then they might revise the 212th placing. This is a must-play if you're up in North of Scotland!
August 16, 2005
10 / 10
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Hugh
Rating and ranking golf courses is a very subjective business, but I have to say that I think Tain is better than quite a few courses I've played recently in the Top 100. There isn't a single bad hole at Tain, the course is supremely challenging and the welcome is second to none. My two favourite holes are the doglegged par 4 9th, called Mafeking, which has an amazing bunker that wraps around the green and the 11th, called Alps, the view will be remembered for a very long time as will the blind approach shot...brilliant. Space, the final frontier, there's loads of it here at Tain, each hole is virtually isolated from the other, and it makes for a fantastic sense of escape. This is a Top 100 course without a shadow of doubt and is surely only held back by its remote location. What's more, the condition is stunning, some of the best putting surfaces I've played on anywhere in the world.
January 18, 2005
8 / 10
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