The Independent Golfer

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Golf courses Around dornoch


The Dornoch area has a wonderful concentration of courses centered around one of the very best links courses you will ever play, Royal Dornoch's Championship course. Though you will not find one of the British Open venues here, Royal Dornoch offers everything you could find at any of the Open courses except crowds of golfers. And, close by are Royal Dornoch's Struie course, Golspie, Brora and Tain. Taken as a group, these five course provide an absolutely unforgettable golf experience.

To the south, but within easy driving distance, are the courses that surround Inverness, Strathpeffer Spa, Nairn, Nairn Dunbar and especially the newest star, Castle Stewart.

Further, for the adventurous, who perhaps would like to include with their golf sightseeing in some of the wildest and most awe inspiring country in Europe, the area to the north and west of Dornoch offers access to the great Northwest Highlands with its towering sea cliffs, glacier-carved mountains, tumbling streams and isolation from all modern intrusions. Happily, also nestled here are some remarkable "hidden gems" that you will be talking about for years.

World Class Courses

  • Royal Dornoch-Championship Course – You simply have to experience this course. As you play over classic links land that borders the North Sea at the Dornoch Firth, you will be awed by its wild magnificence of sea, sky, mountains and ancient, grass-covered dunes while having every shot you have in your bag tested. Golf Magazine recently ranked it the SECOND BEST course in Scotland, only outranked by The Old Course at St. Andrews. Yet, because of its remoteness (45 miles north of Inverness and 8 degrees below the Arctic Circle) Royal Dornoch is relatively uncrowded and retains a personal intimacy long since lost by the more famous courses in the south.
  • Nairn – Key features of this seaside links course are its meticulous maintenance, modern clubhouse, links land setting along the Moray Firth and the members’ ability to promote their course as a site for numerous national and international championships. Variation is the theme at Nairn. Though the wind might be constant, the changes in direction of the holes at times, require you, to play cautious and, at other times, allow you to be bold with your tee shots and approaches. While some holes, especially those along the sea shore, are flat and long, others ask you to climb hills or hit down to delightfully placed greens situated among tumbling hummocks. You play some holes on open, gorse-lined fairways and others near stands of large trees.
  • Castle Stewart – The newest addition to the area, this course attempts to create, on virgin links land, a destination golf resort with the feel of the great Scottish links courses. Designed by Gil Hanse (who was recently selected to design the Olympic course for the 21xx Rio Games) and completed in 2009 by Mark Parsinen (the same man who created Kingsbarns Golf Links in St. Andrews) this course features six holes that run close along the Moray Firth with the remainder ambling above and offering wonderful views of the mountains and the sea. Though quite new, Castle Stewart has already been selected as a site for the Barclays Scottish Open on the European Tour.

Hidden Gems

  Dornoch as a Hub for Scotland Golf  

Click on the course name to see its description

Within a 30 Minute Drive

Within a One Hour Drive
A Longer Drive, Perhaps an Overnight Would Be Wise
15. Reay
20. Thurso


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