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Highland courses make Euro Top 100 list

August 8, 2014

Three of the Highlands' leading golf courses have been named among the 100 best places to play in Europe by a prestigious magazine.

The Championship Course at Royal Dornoch Golf Club is ranked third in the list compiled by the German publication Golf Journal. Castle Stuart Golf Links is placed 33 rd on the list and The Nairn Golf Club 81 st.

All three courses - which are among just 17 Scottish venues in the Top 100 - are part of the Highland Golf Links (HGL) partnership which promotes Play and Stay destination breaks in the area. The Kingsmills Hotel and Culloden House Hotel, in Inverness; the Royal Golf Hotel at Royal Dornoch; and the Golf View Hotel and Spa in Nairn are also part of the group.

Only Royal County Down Golf Club's Championship Links in Northern Ireland (1) and the Ailsa Championship Course at the Trump Turnberry Resort in Ayrshire (2) are rated higher than Royal Dornoch by Golf Journal's editors in the July edition.

The latest list is a further accolade for the Highland courses, which in May were all named among the 40 best places to play in Great Britain and Ireland by Golf World magazine. Royal Dornoch Golf Club was placed 9th, The Nairn Golf Club 26th and Castle Stuart Golf Links 31 st .

Royal Dornoch, which in 2016 celebrates 400 years of golf being played on the town's links, was also ranked sixth best in the world by Golf Digest in January. Castle Stuart Golf Links, which opened just five years ago and in 2016 will host the Scottish Open for the fourth time in six years, was placed at 87 on the world list by the same publication.

Fraser Cromarty, chairman of HGL and CEO at The Nairn Golf Club, said: "The latest European rankings from Golf Journal provide another shot in the arm for Highland golf. Time and again our leading links courses are being rated highly by major golf publications, which demonstrates the high regard in which the clubs and the area is held.

"Royal Dornoch, Castle Stuart and Nairn are all accessible for visitors and can be played over the course of a weekend, making a golfing break in the Highlands extremely rewarding."

Royal Dornoch's Championship Course is a favourite of Major winners such as Tom Watson, Ben Crenshaw, Craig Stadler and Greg Norman and is often described as the best links course in the UK not to have hosted The Open Championship.

Castle Stuart Golf Links hosted the Scottish Open for three successive years from 2011, with the 2013 competition, won by Phil Mickelson, reaching a television audience of more than 500 million. It was announced last month it will also host the 2016 event.

The Nairn Golf Club hosted the Walker Cup in 1999 and the Curtis Cup in 2012. It will also welcome the Home Internationals competition in August 2016.

The three courses feature in the 54-hole Tomatin Single Malt Homecoming Pro-Am which will be held from 30 September to 2 October, just a few days after this year's Ryder Cup. Former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher will lead a field of nearly 300 golfers taking part in the 2014 event.


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