Past and Present

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Why Golfers Enjoy Tain Golf Club

Five times Open Champion, Peter Thomson, AO, CBE who won the Open Championship five times, once declared that “Tain is a classic and a ‘must visit’ on any Highland golfing holiday” – and the hundreds who visit this scenic, interesting 18-hole course every year agree.

The full Championship length course is set in a mix of links and heathland with some forced carries across tangled heather to rumpled fairways, edged by gorse, giving enticing views of the Easter Ross mountain backdrop and panoramic views of the Dornoch Firth on the other side.

Tain is easy to find just off of the A9 trunk road to the Scottish Highlands, 35 miles north of the city of Inverness, and nine miles south of the town of Dornoch.

The Golf Club is signposted from the small but lively town centre.

The cosy club house is awash with the spirit of Highland hospitality and the relaxed, friendly welcome for visitors is as evident on the greens as it is in the bar and Pro Shop.

Tain Golf Club History

When you tee off for the first hole at Tain you’ll be under the watchful eye of a striking statue of “Old Tom Morris” (1821-1908), outstanding champion golfer, maker of golf clubs and balls, St Andrews greenkeeper and celebrated designer of numerous courses across the UK.

Old Tom watches over the Tain course because it was he who originally laid it out, in 1889, at the invitation of a group of local golfers who had been granted a piece of land from a local land owner.

The game of golf has been played by locals on the links on the north-east Scottish coast, including Tain, for centuries. Young men used to knock around rudimentary balls with home-made clubs back in the Middle Ages, but by the 19th century the sport had become more formalised and popular, with great advances in the quality and availability of equipment.

Since 1890

So Tain wanted a golf course, and Tom Morris provided it, but he advised that only 15 holes could be accommodated on the land provided. The course duly opened in 1890 with its 15 holes.

Initially the club was called St Duthus Golf Club – named for the patron saint of Tain. 

After a few years more land was acquired and some alterations made to the course to extend it to a regular 18-hole challenge.

In 1911 the clubhouse (rebuilt in 1998) was established, and the name changed to the Tain Golf Club.

The Old Tom Morris Magic Touch

In more recent years the evolution of the modern game of golf has necessitated adjustments to the Tain golf course layout, but there are still several holes that retain the substance of the original Tom Morris design.

Indeed, Tain is one of the very few courses left where golfers can confidently play Tom Morris holes that survive either wholly or in part. Going out Tom’s magic touch lingers on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 9th, and coming in on the 10th, 14th and 15th.

The Tain Golf Club members are justifiably proud of the Tom Morris connection with their esteemed course, and enjoy hosting visitors all year round, but particularly during the annual Golf Week, held in August – an extravaganza which brings out the best of Tain’s golfing and social talent to meet and greet visiting golfers over a set of superb competitions.

If you’re local to Tain, join the club – social membership is available even if you don’t fancy swinging a club. If you’re visiting on a golf holiday, or exploring the Highlands, you can’t afford to miss out on a round at Tain Golf Club to experience a true encounter with Scottish history and heritage.

Become a member

Becoming a member of Tain Golf Club is a straightforward process, and entitles you to all sorts of discounts at local businesses, as well as reciprocal arrangements with other local golf clubs (including Royal Dornoch).

Go Pro

There is a well-stocked pro shop on site, where you can meet our helpful resident PGA Golf professional who is always happy to “talk Tain” and guide you through the trickier parts of the course.

Tain Golf Club Hospitality

Our friendly, sociable clubhouse is at the disposal of members and visitors with Old Tom’s Restaurant, bar and lounge providing a comfortable venue for pre- and post-game get togethers, with a highly rated menu.

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Call 01862 892 314

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