Scotland is the birthplace of golf, and with over 550 golf courses the number of courses per head of population ratio is greater than anywhere else in the world! So it made perfect sense that my first UK golf trip was to the Highlands to experience this golfing heaven. Inverness is located about 3 hours north of Edinburgh and hosts a plethora of exceptional, world famous courses.
During my weekend excursion I was lucky enough to play golf at Royal Dornoch Golf Club, which is argued by some to be the best golf course in the UK. I also enjoyed a round at the delightful Nairn Golf Club. I stayed at the 5 star hotel Ness Walk in the centre of Inverness, which is a short drive to both of these amazing courses. The hotel was beautiful and they truly looked after me during my stay.
For this trip I was joined by the extremely entertaining Patrick Koenig. Patrick is an incredible golf photographer and took all of the great shots of me on this trip! You can check out more of his work on his website.
The Royal Dornoch Golf Club was founded in 1886 by none other than Old Tom Morris. The club has two 18-hole courses: the Championship Course and the Struie Course and I played the older Championship Course. The Golf Magazine’s 2020 ranking of the top 100 golf courses in the world list it as 10th best. I thought this links course was challenging, fun and overall truly spectacular. It is a powerful golf course and not for the faint hearted. The greens are tricky and the views of the Dornoch Firth are breathtaking. I was truly blessed that the weather during my round was unusually kind, with lots of sunshine and a slight breeze; not quite T-shirt weather but glorious for Scotland in October.
Patrick had come over from the States not only with the aim to play some top UK courses, but also with a dream of seeing the infamous Lochness monster. So early the next morning we went on a boat ride, in what can only be described as arctic conditions. I was cold to my bones.
After defrosting myself following the unsuccessful Lochness Monster hunt, Patrick and I were shuttled off to Nairn Golf Club to play. I had great fun at this course, which is a traditional championship links course. Although the sea is in play on six of the first seven holes, Nairn is less intimidating than Royal Dornoch but no less enjoyable.
The halfway house at Nairn is actually an old bothy where fishermen used to live and across from the old bothy is an icehouse covered in thick grassy turf where salmon was kept on ice for up to two years!
We were given a sneak preview inside the icehouse and I’m not sure what I was expecting to see inside the building, but to my slight dismay it is now used to store some cool golf memorabilia. Nevertheless a fantastic photo opportunity.
I will definitely be coming back to Inverness to play these amazing courses again; I had a phenomenal stay. On my next visit I’ll be sure to visit some of the other reknown courses in the area, such as Castle Stuart, and I can’t wait!