Both the Highlands and Moray-Speyside are world renowned for excellent golf courses; their gorse and heather bound fairways and windswept greens offering a unique challenge no golfer wants to miss. Just along the road we have the Royal Dornoch, ranked as one of world’s top ten golf courses, the Nairn Golf Club, host to Walker Cup and Curtis Cup competitions, and Castle Stuart, three-time host to the Scottish Open.
“Nairn is a classic, traditional out-and-back links, and the opening half a dozen holes along the coast rival anything at more illustrious Scottish courses” [Jock Howard, commissioning editor, Golf World]
The Cawdor Castle golf course is 1161 yards, par 32, nine hole course at Cawdor Castle, set amongst twenty-five acres of beautiful parkland, offers a variety of challenges for both the seasoned pro and beginner alike. There are similarly attractive and accessible nine hole courses at Rothes, in the heart of the Spey Valley, and at Ballindalloch, where the championship standard course was designed by internationally recognised golf course architects Donald Steel and Tom Mackenzie.
For golfers looking for the challenge (and pleasure) of shooting 18 holes along the sometimes rugged, sometimes sandy, coastline of the Moray Firth, where a shank or a hook can find the sea, there is choice in abundance. Hopeman, founded in 1909 and one of the most demanding links courses in the North of Scotland. Moray Golf Club at Lossiemouth, a classic links designed by the famous course designer ‘Old’ Tom Morris; a superb test of golf with seven par fours over 400 yards. Spey Bay, designed by the legendary Ben Sayers; opened in 1907, its membership including the first Labour Prime Minister, Ramsay MacDonald. Or Cullen, another classic Scottish links course designed by ‘Old’ Tom Morris.
Head inland and the choice of courses is just as varied and no less challenging. Dufftown, 18 holes set amongst breath-taking scenery; the 7th and the 10th featuring in Britain’s 100 Extraordinary Golf Holes. Elgin, founded in 1906, a testing heathland course measuring 6449 yards, with par of 69, and a standard scratch of 71. Forres, designed by Open Championship winners James Braid and Willie Park, a Par 70 course providing a good test for golfers of all abilities. Grantown-on-Spey, founded in 1890 and also the work of Braid and Park, the course measuring 5710 yards with a par of 70.
This above list is not exhaustive and there are more golf courses to be discovered throughout the Highlands and Moray-Speyside. Booking is essential, especially at weekends, and the Estate Office is happy to help with the arrangements.
Castle Stuart Golf Links: www.castlestuartgolf.com
Grantown-on-Spey Golf Club: www.grantownonspeygolfclub.co.uk
Moray Firth Golf Clubs: www.morayfirthgolf.co.uk
Nairn Dunbar Golf Club: www.nairndunbar.com
The Nairn Golf Club: www.nairngolfclub.co.uk