Founded in 1887, it is now one of the best courses in Scotland, and has hosted a large number of important championships.The Nairn Golf Club’s truly remarkable feature is that from every hole you can see the Moray Firth and the golden colouring and changing lights of the Black Isle. Even more extraordinary – only too easily you can strike the ball into the sea on every one of the first seven!
In fact, despite having been a scratch player, Viscount Whitelaw, Margaret Thatcher’s Deputy Prime Minister, would readily admit to having done just that. Willie (as everyone referred to him) learned his golf here, and like Robert Finlay, had the capacity for making friends. Charlie Yates of Atlanta, who won the Amateur Championship in 1938 at Troon and also captained the American Walker Cup Team at St Andrews that same year, had been introduced to our very own Kenny Cameron by the gofing journalist Sam McKinlay some years earlier. So began the American connection which has been nurtured ever since.
What delights the visitor and member alike is the Scottish-ness of the links. Other than in a strong westerly, it leads you in gently before demanding accurate driving and precision second shots. Gorse is a hazard. The par 4 holes tease and confound and all four short holes are cunningly angled, with the 4th a little gem and the 14th simply spectacular. As three of the par 5 holes are over 530 yards long, it is a test for all. Yet, even more challenging than the humps and hollows that lurk in the fairways, is the trickery of the greens. Eighty years ago, having played the Championship Course, James Braid commented on their quality – “The texture of the turf and the character of the greens is unrivalled”.