fbpx
Shiskine Golf Club

This club is famous for… having only 12 (glorious) holes

Nothing at Shiskine is conventional and that’s why the Scottish course is one of the most exhilarating in Britain…
 

I defy you to find another golf course as beautiful as this. Turnberry is sensational and the backdrop at Kingsbarns is epic.

But there’s something just magnificent about Shiskine Golf Club, the unconventional links on the Isle of Arran.

Overlooking the Mull of Kintyre and the Kibrannan Sound, its craggy features, holes played amid huge cliff and rock faces and large number of blind shots makes it an unforgettable experience.

Albeit a shorter one than perhaps you might expect. For this delight in south Scotland only has 12 holes.

Shiskine Golf Club

Now back in the day, 18 holes were hardly the standard.

Old Tom Morris designed Prestwick as a 12-hole course in 1851 and the first Open Championship was staged over three trips of the links. Musselburgh Links was originally seven holes.

Golf’s first set of rules, laid down in 1744 by the Gentlemen Golfers of Edinburgh, doesn’t mention 18 at all.

Where Shiskine differs is that it once did have what we’d class as a full complement. Founded in 1896, it was designed as a 9-hole layout by Willie Fernie – who lifted the Claret Jug in 1883.

Willie Park was then commissioned to extend the course to 18. But, during the First World War, some of the new holes were lost to agriculture.

That leaves us with the 12 that are enjoyed to this day. What a dozen they are as well.

Shiskine’s website describes the course as being “a little bit up and down”. That can’t prepare you for the two-hole stretch at the third and fourth – known as Crows Nest and The Shelf.

Both par 3s, the first is 128 yards playing almost 100 feet upwards to a green that’s basically nestling – hidden – under a giant rock face.

Shiskine Golf Club

The Shelf goes back down the other way, with the elevated tee providing quite a view.

Finishing the seventh, meanwhile, known as Himalayas, means raising a lever at the side of the green to signal to waiting players that the putting surface is occupied.

Everything at Shiskine is different, even down to the handicap conversion chart you use to work out how many shots you receive over the 12 holes.

Not bad for just £200 a year!

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

Latest Posts

Rockliffe Hall

Courses and Travel

Rockliffe Hall: The hardest course in England

By

Read full article about Rockliffe Hall: The hardest course in England
Isle of Purbeck

Courses and Travel

Isle of Purbeck: The breathtaking course with a special backstory

By

Read full article about Isle of Purbeck: The breathtaking course with a special backstory
best hotels in dominican republic

Courses and Travel

Terrific Tortuga and wonderful Westin: Which Dominican Republic hotels should you stay in?

By

Read full article about Terrific Tortuga and wonderful Westin: Which Dominican Republic hotels should you stay in?
Stoneham Golf Club

Courses and Travel

Stoneham: This rare Willie Park heathland is a real treat

By

Read full article about Stoneham: This rare Willie Park heathland is a real treat
Leven Links

Courses and Travel

Leven Links: The first of its kind and one of the finest finishing holes in golf

By

Read full article about Leven Links: The first of its kind and one of the finest finishing holes in golf
dominican republic golf

Courses and Travel

Dye Fore and the Dog: Golf in the Dominican Republic is a dream

By

Read full article about Dye Fore and the Dog: Golf in the Dominican Republic is a dream
Hallamshire Golf Club

Courses and Travel

Hallamshire: From city centre to national park

By

Read full article about Hallamshire: From city centre to national park
Belton Park

Courses and Travel

Belton Park: Golf in a National Trust estate

By

Read full article about Belton Park: Golf in a National Trust estate
Auchterarder golf course review

Courses and Travel

Auchterarder: Glorious golf in the heart of Scotland

By

Read full article about Auchterarder: Glorious golf in the heart of Scotland