I can never understand why anyone would travel to the north to play Dornoch and then not play Nairn. This a seriously under-rated links with some of the best greens in Scotland. There are views of the Moray Firth from every hole on the course.
On the 2014 trip I was delighted to meet up again with Peter Gordon, a former Captain of the club, with whom I played back in 1998.
With the exception of a cross bunker that had been removed from the 5th (pity), the course was exactly as I remembered it. The first 7 holes all have out of bounds by way of the sea on the right hand side.
At the 9th tee you will see the Icehouse buildings which date back to 1877 when for many years they were used for cold storage of the daily salmon catch.
The most difficult part of the layout is the three holes from the 12th to the 14th.
Twelve is an attractive long par 4 requiring a very accurate drive.
The par 4,13th is up a steep hill with thick rough and gorse for any wayward shots. I can't get near this green in two strikes so I am not surprised it is rated index 1. The 14th is one of my favourite holes - a long par 3 of 219 yards from a very elevated tee facing the sea in the distance.
Standing on the tee of the short par 4, 15th the green appears driveable. An accurate tee shot will put you close so then you must choose between a bump and run or lofted approach to the slightly raised green.
The final three holes are all a good test. Whilst the 17th appears to be a relatively short par 4 (377 yards) , you can't run your second shot on to the green because of a ditch and three pot bunkers at the front.
If I lived in this area and I had a choice of any club as to becoming a member then I would choose Nairn, even ahead of Royal Dornoch and Castle Stuart.
See photos - 3rd green Nairn
- 4th green from side on, Nairn
- Icehouse buildings, Nairn
- 12th from behind, Nairn
- the beautiful par 3, 14th at Nairn.
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