Nairn Golf Club is a timeless links in the Highlands

NAIRN, Scotland -- Nairn Golf Club is a quintessential example of linksland golf. The rumpled, heaving fairways slither through gorse- and heather-carpeted dunes like so many angry snakes.

From the tees, the aiming points and landing areas are often obscured from view. For first-time visitors, some of the tee shots at Nairn look utterly merciless. Add in a strong westerly wind off the Moray Firth -- which is visible from every hole and fully in play on the first seven holes -- and hitting a fairway feels almost as great as holing a birdie putt.

But it's not until you get to the greens that Nairn's teeth are truly bared. Breaks are at the same time wild and inscrutable, and, again, the wind can slap balls off line faster than you can say "three putt."

Some 80 years ago, James Braid called Nairn's greens "unrivaled" in quality and texture -- and they've had nearly a century to mature since then. As the site of the 2012 Curtis Cup matches, Nairn Golf Club was universally praised as a true test of links golf.

Sep 05, 2012

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Kiel Christianson

Senior Writer

Kiel Christianson has lived, worked, traveled and golfed extensively on three continents. As senior writer and equipment editor for, he has reviewed courses, resorts, and golf academies from California to Ireland, including his home course, Lake of the Woods G.C. in Mahomet, Ill. Read his golf blog here and follow him on Twitter @GolfWriterKiel.