The Highlands is home to some of Scotland's finest golf courses with the trek north to play Royal Dornoch a must for any golf enthusiasts. However the Highlands offers much more, with such courses as Nairn, Brora, Fortrose and Castle Stuart being among the very best.
Castle Stuart has been the host to the Scottish Open which traditionally has been used as a lead up to the Open Championship the following week with the 2013 Scottish Open champion Phil Mickelson going on to win the 'Open Championship' at Muirfield the very next week.
There are several good places to base yourself when you're in the Highlands with the majority staying in the city of Inverness but the villages of Dornoch and Nairn also offer splendid lodging and are well situated to many courses. In fact the town of Dornoch offers an experience that only St Andrews can equal in terms of the quality of the links and for charm and pure golfing atmosphere.
Don't forget the other attractions when your in the area, such as whiskey tastings, hunting, fishing, Loch Ness and in general the stunning scenery!
Course Profiles and Map
Royal Dornoch Golf Club
Castle Stuart Golf links
Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Club 6085 yards Par 71
Nairn Golf Club
Moray Golf Club
Royal Dornoch Golf ClubRoyal Dornoch Golf Club 6722 yards Par 70, A visit to Dornoch is one of the great pilgrimages in all of golf, starting with the scenic drive through the Highlands over Dornoch Firth Bridge ending at the historic town of Dornoch. Golf has been played over the links since 1616 which makes it the 4th oldest course in the world. The links follows the Dornoch firth in a classic out and back routing that forms a S shape giving it a wonderfully natural feeling. The links is at its most beautiful in May when the gorse is in full bloom and the long days offer almost 18 hours of daylight a day. Several famous people have had there hand in the development of the course including Old Tom Morris, John Sutherland, Donald Ross and George Duncan. Dornoch is the birth place of Donald Ross who would go on to be one of the greatest golf course architects of all time. This is one course not to be missed.
Castle Stuart Golf linksCastle Stuart Golf links 7009 yards Par 72, The stunning Castle Stuart Golf links is modern masterpiece which has rocketed into the top 100 courses in the world. Designed by Gil Hanse & Mark Parsinen the course opened in the Summer of 2009 to rave reviews. Although still young Gil's team did an amazing job of shaping the course and combined with its expansive fescue fairways gives a feeling of a links that has been there for decades. From 2011 till 2013 was Castle Stuart the host to the Scottish Open, the highlight being Phil Michelson thrilling victory in 2013 the week before he went on to win the Claret Jug at Muirfield in The Open Championship.
Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Club 6085 yards Par 71Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Club 6085 yards Par 71, The course is situated on the Canonry Peninsula which is on the southern shore of the black isle. The course offers wonderful views over the Moray Firth, due to its exposed position it is susceptible to wind but this is more then made up for by the fine links golf and the wonderful setting. The point of the peninsular is also well known for dolphins watching.
Nairn Golf ClubNairn Golf Club 6774 yards Par 72, Nairn Golf Club is one of the great links courses of northern Scotland, tracing its beginning back to 1887. There have been many great championships played over the links including the Walker Cup in 1999 won by Great Britain & Ireland team. The course has been influenced by several architects over the years, the original design was by Archie Simpson but his work was followed up by Old Tom Morris and James Braid who did further work on the course. The course provides spectacular views over the Moray Firth, and the first 7 holes run along side it. The course is relatively flat but contains many humps and hollows with tricky greens which makes it challenge to play in all conditions.
Moray Golf ClubMoray Golf Club 6572 yards Par 71, The classic links which is situated next to the village of Lossiemouth was designed by Old Tom Morris with a traditional out & back routing. In a lot of ways similar to St Andrews the course plays back into the town.
Brora Golf ClubBrora Golf Club 6211 yards Par 70, Probably the most northerly great links in the world, Brora golf club dates back to 1891 and was designed by the legendary James Braid. Being one of the most natural links you can imagine, you share the course with cattle and sheep that help to keep the grass down. Combine Brora with a round at Royal Dornoch or one of the other fabulous links courses in the region.
Tain Golf ClubTain Golf Club 6404 yards Par 70, Tain Golf Club is a traditional Scottish Highland links course designed by Old Tom Morris situated 9 miles south of Dornoch and 34 miles north of Inverness. The Championship links overlooks the Dornoch Firth and 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, every day brings a different aspect to this challenging and beautiful course and the layout of the holes guarantees an interesting round for all levels of players. The sheltered location of the course ensures favourable weather for most of the year.
Golspie Golf ClubGolspie Golf Club 6021 yards Par 70, Founded in 1889 and about half way between Brora and Dornoch the course is a mix of links & moorland with especially the holes along the coast being particularly good. A must visit when you're in the region.
Reay Golf ClubReay Golf Club 5854 yards Par 69, Reay Golf Club is a traditional links course that was established in 1893 with the legendary James Braid having had a hand in the design. The course is actually the most northerly 18 hole links course on the British Mainland. The course is located close to the North Coast 500 route around the Scottish North Highlands and boasts a beautiful views overlooking the Pentland Firth and the Orkney Isles. Reay Golf Club is approximately 75 minutes drive from Brora Golf Club and 90 minutes from Royal Dornoch.