Golf Course Review of Tain Golf Club
Tain Golf Course
Reviewed by Ed Battye -
Quick Summary: A stunningly beautiful and challenging moorland-links
Our 5 Star Rating: 4.0
Tain Golf Club, founded in 1890 and originally laid out by Old Tom Morris, is a captivating moorland-links course that delivers a number of very fine holes and should be an essential play for any golfer travelling to The Highlands.
As well as being a superb test of golfing skills it is also one of the most picturesque courses I have ever played with vibrant purple and green colours framing virtually all of the holes.
I suspect you could also add golden-yellow to that when played in late-Spring with the gorse in full bloom. Tain really is a delightful place to play golf.
Two flat fairways – the first and 18th –are visible from the clubhouse and may not set the pulse racing but everything in-between the opening drive and closing approach is of real interest and of a very high quality. It will therefore come as no surprise the club proudly hosted the Scottish Ladies Amateur Championship in 2012.
There’s a lovely naturalness to the course as you wend away from the clubhouse and play some very individual holes bordered by heather, gorse and broom. There are too many excellent shots to mention all of them but the impressive drive at the second, the exciting approach to the billowing third, the entire 542 yards of the excellent fourth and the fabulous ninth hole are ones that immediately spring to mind on the front nine.
Onto the back-nine and the 10th keeps the momentum going and then the 11th raises the bar even higher. The drive is arguably the best on the course and the wonderful backdrop to the hole of the Dornoch Firth is truly sensational. The blind approach, played over ‘The Alps’ to a sunken green, will divide opinion for sure but I personally loved it.
More good golf can be found on the homeward stretch; the green complex at the 13th, the tough 14th and the superb domed green at the 15th are all out of the very top drawer of links golf. Two good one-shotters follow, the latter requiring a long blow over the River Tain before the ‘Home’ hole brings a highly satisfying round to a close.
Tain isn’t a classic links in the respect that you play close to the sea for the most part, nor is there rugged duneland, but the more inland feel represents a refreshing change in an area that is jam packed with great links golf. Adding Tain to your itinerary would be highly recommended. It’s impossible not to be impressed, I certainly was.