Scottish Links Golf
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What others say
Tain Golf Club ©
|The view from the 1st tee may look like a
peaceful kingdom, but you won't have to wait
long to know it's no pushover.
Don't let first impressions fool you. Tain may look like a lamb from the first tee
but there's a lion lurking, and the big cat
springs to life after your first shot. Never
have I seen a golf course whose bite is so
much fiercer that its seemingly benevolent
bark. Viewing the golf course from the first
tee one sees a rather peaceful scene of gentle
terrain--nothing really to worry about. It's
only after you view the first green from
the fairway that you see what you've gotten
yourself into--how about two fences, a road,
and a gully to negotiate and badlands all
around the green? Not exactly what you had
in mind when you teed up your ball. But hold
on, there lots more fun ahead.
|Tain's first green. Having gotten past the
bunker on the left at 195 yards and water
on the right at 221 yards, you've now got
to get your ball up and over two fences and
a road and stop it on the green. The fun
Golfers in the know always include Tain in
their Northern Highland itinerary
Tain is a marvelous golf course and one of the
most enjoyable plays in all of Scotland.
Golfers in the know always schedule Tain when in the area. For sheer enjoyment, nothing
can top it. From fairways that look
sculptured using Quasimodo as a model
the generous scattering of gorse and
throughout, to the placement of greens
positions that demand utmost accuracy,
addition, there's the Tain River that
its way throughout the golf course
into play on four holes.
Tain golf course takes you for the ride of
your golfing life.
Tain golf course is yet another of the legendary
Old Tom Morris's designs, at least twelve
holes of it are. Eighteen holes were not
yet the norm when he designed it in 1890.
Yet although there was more than one hand
involved, there is great continuity in the
design with each hole flowing into the next
in what seems like a natural progression.
Many of the Morris holes incorporate tee
shots where the green is not visible. On
some, the 11th in particular, the green is
not visible even from the fairway!
|View from 11th tee. Not a flag in sight.
And you won't see it until you're on the
|View from the fairway on the 11th. The green
is over the humps. The official name of this
hole is "Alps" but the members
call it "Dolly Parton"! There's
a good birdie opportunity if you bring your
shot in over the "cleavage."
|View from the green side of the cleavage
on the 11th.
We highly recommend Tain links to the independent
golfer. Great golf, great price.
By the way, don't let the raw and parched
look of this golf course deceive you. Although
most American golfers would think it's a
sign of poor golf course management, it's
done on purpose and there is a method in
this madness, typical of so many links-type
courses. How else to let the ground features
asssert themselves? Plus, it's your friend
when the wind howls because it allows you
to keep the ball low and running. You don't
want to be in the air when the air is moving
at 30 mph. (Graeme Lennie, the Pro at Crail
Golf Club, is so often asked how to play
when the wind is blowing, and he tells them,
"Keep your putts low to the ground,
Tain overlooks the Dornoch Firth and the sea
is your companion on many of the holes and
the mountains visible on all of them, so
even if you're playing poorly your eyes will
be feasting on beauty. According to the write-up in Tain's yardage book, "The sheltered location
of the course ensures favourable weather
for most of the year--winter greens are seldom
used at Tain." That's good news if you're traveling
to the area in the off-season.
|A good way to end your visit is with a relaxing
round or two at the clubhouse. There's excellent
food and drink with a good view of the golf
course and the 18th green.
the able Pro.
Munro loves the golf course and will give
you the lowdown not only on the best way
to play it but a bit of the history of the
links as well.
He is also a good source of information about
the other courses in the area. Munro is a
friendly guy. You'll like him.
Golf Nook Scotland rating - an enthusiastic
You can always opt to remain in Dornoch,
in which case refer to Northern Highlands. But I strongly suggest that you come to Tain and enjoy some of the interesting and rewarding
experiences available here. Tain is the oldest
royal burgh in Scotland, and was founded
in 1066. Whisky, pottery, silver and cheeses
are produced here, and you can visit each
of the producers. Also, the Pictish Trail goes through Tain and the surrounding area,
and the Trail is signposted so you can easlily
follow it. Much history here.
What to Do All Day around Tain
Market Street and the town centre has so much to offer--beautiful buildings
of architectural importance, and from family-run
small shops to exclusive designer shops.
Something for everyone. And if you get hungry, you will discover a broad range of eateries,
from little tea shops to upscale restaurants.
Collegiate Church of St. Duthac - one of the finest medieval buildings in
Tain Through Timewww.tainmuseum.org.uk/ - on Tower Street. Includes museums, visitors'
centre, and a medieval church
in a beautiful
Glenmorangie Distillerywww.glenmorangie.com - Guided tours daily. See the age-old process
and the shining elegance of the
the tallest in Scotland. The
price is redeemable against purchases.
see the signposts for Glenmorangie
||Tarbat Discovery Centre - a major attraction on the Pictish Trail.
An important archeological
centre with finds
from the excavations carried
out on the site
by the University of York.
The first Pictish
monastery from the early
days of Scotland's
conversion to Christianity
has been revealed. You'll
also see wonderful
sculpture carved by the
Picts, never before
publicly displayed, along
with many other
finds from the Picts and
Discovery Centre is housed
in a beautifully
restored 18th Century church,
is of great historical
Not an "amusement
Tarbat Discovery Centre
is a serious and
of important, on-going
archeological work. I found
and well worth the few
extra miles from Tain.
The modest admission fee
helps support the
From the A9 turn east at
signs for Portmahomock.
|Lighthouse at Portmahomack --
After you've visited the Tarbat Discovery
Centre, drive the few extra minutes out to
the tip of the peninsula--Tarbat Ness. Just follow the signs for the lighthouse.
Leave the car in the car park and walk to
the edge of the cliffs for a view you will
never forget. Bring your camera.