You’ve got to be really committed to play a round at Durness. To get there, you drive to Inverness – no quick journey in itself – and you keep going. For another three hours. Now I’ll go anywhere for a game of golf but this journey to one of the most northern points in Scotland makes my eyes twitch. When you get there, though, boy is it worth the hours behind the wheel. The most North Westerly course in mainland Britain celebrates its 30th birthday next year, and the 9-hole layout is in a truly spectacular spot.
Now that can be a cliché when it comes to talking about nice golf courses, but could anyone taking a look at the par-3 9th really argue? It plays between 108 and 155 yards, depending on whether it’s your first or second nine. For your ball to reach the green, it will have to carry over the Atlantic Ocean.
The tee stands about 60 feet above the rocks and waves and the shot is almost all carry. I’m not sure if what’s down below is in play or not but it would be the trickiest of recoveries – or the most amazing of up and downs.
Now brilliant as that is, and it is far from the only stunning hole on this 5,495 yard assault on your golfing senses, it is not the reason it makes National Club Golfer’s list of famous clubs.
It is because of the ‘ungodly’ hour at which you can play a round. It’s a well known concept that the further north you go the more ‘daylight savings’ doesn’t really need to apply.
Durness’ website says golfers can enjoy playing from dawn until dusk. Now dusk, in the summer at least, happens to fall a little later than most places. In fact, it’s possible to play after midnight and, certainly, very late in the evening. In June, that brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘the longest day’.
So if you play at Durness, gone are the days of rushing out of the office to make a midweek medal tee time. I can’t think of anything better.