Gorse-lined, criss-crossed by burns and pockmarked by perilous pot bunkers, Nairn delivers typical Scottish links golf

Nairn Golf Club Championship Course Review

Green Fee Range: £50-£160

Medal Tee: Par 71 – 6,436 Yards

Visitor Times: Monday to Friday – 9:40-16:20, Saturday and Sunday – 11:00-12:20 & 14:00-15:10. Visitors may play fourballs after 9.40 a.m from Monday to Thursday, after 10.00 a.m. on Friday and after 11.00 a.m. at weekends.

Website: www.nairngolfclub.co.uk

Nairn Golf Club Championship Course Review

This lovely course runs up and down the Moray Firth east of Inverness with a brief foray inland in the middle of the back nine at which point the feel becomes more heathland for a few holes with magnificent views.

Related: Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland

The famous links to the west end of the seaside resort of Nairn began life in 1887 when the club’s founder Robert Finlay, later Viscount Finlay, employed Andrew Simpson of Aberdeen to design a course.

The layout was greatly changed by Old Tom Morris and again by James Braid. The latter was the first to break 70 around Nairn, a feat he accomplished in 1901.

Further alterations have taken place over the years including interventions from Ben Sayers and later CK Cotton.

The course was lengthened in preparation for the 1999 Walker Cup. Nairn was also the venue for the 2012 Curtis Cup.

Nairn Golf Club Championship Course Review

Gorse lined, criss-crossed by burns and pockmarked by pot bunkers, Nairn delivers typical Scottish links golf. It’s an out-and-back layout with the sea visible on every hole.

During the summer months the fairways are fast-running and covered in humps and hollows, patience is required to accept the odd cruel bounce.

The greens can be lightning fast and many have treacherous run-offs, or are protected by testing bunkering. It’s a real thinker’s course, even from the very back tees it’s not particularly long, but careful placement of drives is crucial for success.

The prevailing wind is from the west so it’s generally into the golfer’s face on the way out and behind on the return home.

Course changes since previous ranking

Nothing significant

Proposed course changes

Full course remodelling through MacKenzie and Ebert. Removing revetted bunkers from fairways and replacing with ‘rough-edged’ bunkers in two phases of 9 holes each. Phase 1 started Nov 2018 ends Feb 2019 – phase 2 starts Nov 2019 ends Feb 2020.

Golf Monthly Verdict

Testing when the wind is off the Firth, but fair and very enjoyable.