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Nairn Dunbar Golf Links

Champions always outshine their competitors and get the fame no matter how excellent the competitor is. That's the case with Nairn Golf Club, the seaside links sitting snuggly on the sea, outshining its neighbor Nairn Dunbar Golf Links two miles away. And that's too bad, really, because Nairn Dunbar Golf Links is a superb Scottish links layout well worth a play. But being in such close proximity to its more famous neighbor, it seems destined to always be an unnoticed stepchild. Chances are you've never heard of Nairn Dunbar Golf Links but it is loved by the locals, admired by those in the know and very accessible to the independent golfer in Scotland and well worth your attention.


Nairn Dunbar Golf Links is really quite a nice golf course with more than a few really excellent holes. I've not yet played it but did have a chance to give it a thorough walk-around and talk to some of the members. I was impressed. And they are currently (2017) in the process of restoring the natural links characteristics of the site and firming up the surfaces to give it a trul links-like feel. Holes 4 thru 7 are a good test of golf with pines, gorse, and broom adding to the miseries of any wayward shot. Even the shorter holes can mean trouble if you are not careful. For example, the 2nd is rated the third easiest but the green is hidden and slopes downward from front to back. Like any links course, position off the tee is critical.

Nairn Dunbar's fabulous 8th hole
Here's the wonderful 8th. At 163 yards how much trouble could it be? Obviously...plenty.

The 5th is the highest rated and with good reason. Not only must you be accurate off the tee funneling your shot onto a narrow fairway, your approach must be to the middle or right side to give you a good look at a devilishly tough green--two-thirds of which sits in a bowl! Then there are the elevated greens on the difficult 6th and 7th to think about. Club choice is critical if you are to par either.


You'll be starting the back nine on this unforgiving par 4, rated the 2nd most difficult on the course. The burn may look pretty but watch out, it's a ball magnet!

The finishing hole is a good one but DON'T BE SHORT! It's not too difficult but, as you can see by the photos below, it's easy to make a bogie or worse if your approach is weak.

18th hole, Nairn Dunbar golf course
An excellent finishing hole. Your second shot must hit on the far left side of the green to take care of the slope, otherwise you'll be pitching or putting up to this highly contoured green.

Nairn Dunbar 18th hole and clulbhouse
The 18th green from the back with the clubhouse in the background. (Keep in mind that golf clubhouses are always a good option for a meal.)

I liked what I saw at Nairn Dunbar. Moderately priced, this championship traditional Scottish links golf course looks to be challenging, interesting and one that needs lots of your imagination to score well. I'm eager to play it. On Lochloy Road, off the A96 at the eastern end of the town of Nairn.

Golf Nook Scotland rating - Not Yet Rated

www.nairndunbar.com

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Mary-Alice suggests...

What to Do All Day in Nairn

If you stay in Dornoch while your travel partner plays one of the two championship courses in Nairn, then you'll want to refer to the Northern Highlands page. But I encourage you to come along to Nairn (about an hour and 20 minute drive from Dornoch) and spend the time in this pleasent town instead.

The colourful town centre of Nairn is a very quick walk from the Nairn Dunbar golf course. Please see the Nairn page for a write-up of the town.

Directions from Nairn Dunbar Golf Club into Nairn town centre--
Definitely leave the car parked at the golf course and walk into the town centre. (It's signposted, and only a few minutes walk.) With the Nairn Dunbar clubhouse to your back, go right, staying on that same street (Lochloy Road) for one block until you reach Bridge Street (A96). Turn right onto Bridge Street, cross the river, and take the first left--it's the high street of the town centre. Very simple.

Nairn Town Square