Nairn Golf Club, Nairn, Scotland
Ask any local which course in Scotland has the finest set of greens, and you are more likely than not to be told that they are found at the Nairn Golf Club, site of the 1999 Walker Cup. These gently-sloping, true surfaces are always slick and challenging, and serve to add to the pleasure of playing this beautiful links right on the Moray Firth. Perhaps the very first true “hidden gem,” Nairn is now firmly set in the mainstream and on nearly everybody’s list of “must plays,” its reputation and quality now widely known. The first 7 holes, literally hugging the coast, must be taken advantage of if the wind is not blowing, because they actually are a relatively gentle start compared to the rest of the course, which gets stronger and stronger as the round progresses. The course actually moves away from the sea on the back nine, into more of a heathland setting amongst the trees, culminating high on the 14th tee with a glorious downhill par-3 back towards the shore. The new clubhouse at Nairn is a great place to end the day with some Snooker, or a couple of pints with a panoramic view of the 1st and 18th holes. Just up the drive from the club are some wonderful hotels that make for a perfect place to spend the night, close to the links.