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Traigh Golf Club

This club is famous for… being the most westerly course on the UK mainland

The end of the Road to the Isles reaches this Scottish 9-holer, which boasts some incredible golf…
 

Traigh – it’s pronounced as ‘try’ – means beach in Gaelic but while the sandy coastal path is certainly something to savour, it’s not the reason this Scottish course makes our famous list.

Found just north of Arisaig, in Inverness-shire, this nine-hole layout has existed in some form or another since around 1900 but was redesigned much later by John Salvesen, a former captain of the R&A.

Jimmy MacDonald, the master greenkeeper at Royal Lytham & Annes, also helped advise on the rerouting and the greens.

Pictures don’t really do Traigh justice. One report described it as “probably the most beautifully sited nine-hole golf course in the world”.

The course is dominated by a line of grassy hills – that were once sand dunes – that rise as high as 70 feet into the air.

You largely play from one summit to the next, traversing ocean bound par 3s and holes made deceptively long by the prevailing wind and undulations, before the round climaxes with the spectacular Cuillins of Skye on the horizon.

At just over 2,400 yards, it’s short enough to give the higher handicappers an opportunity but also rewards good strikes with decent scores.

So what is it famous for? Well not just the bright white clubhouse, which looks suspiciously like it could also double up as someone’s house.

Traigh is the most westerly course on the UK mainland. If you tried to play golf any further in that direction, you’d end up in the sea.

It’s quite fitting, really, that a course so beautiful – looking out as it does over the Hebridean islands of Muck, Eigg, Rum and Skye – should form the finishing point for golf on the mainland.

If you haven’t played a shot at the end of the Road to the Isles, you really are missing out.

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.

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