Nairn Dunbar is looking forward to one of the most exciting years in its history – and Russell Knox hopes new and current members relive the experiences he enjoyed.
The Highland venue is gearing up to co-host one of the world’s leading amateur events, The Amateur Championship, along with The Nairn Golf Club in June. Having claimed 2021 ‘Environmental Golf Course of the Year’ accolade and recently been voted inside the top 100 courses in Scotland from Golf World, honorary member Knox is delighted to see the club continuing to grow in prestige.
The three-time Tour winner grew up in Inverness and played much of his junior golf at Nairn Dunbar, becoming a junior captain over the links and a three-time club champion from 2002.
With the club currently looking to attract new members through a variety of packages and a dedicated social media campaign, the US-based Scot still recalls his time at Nairn Dunbar fondly.
“My dad was a member at the club,” recalls Knox, 35, who enjoyed a top-10 finish at the recent AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am on the PGA Tour. “He would go through from Inverness, where we lived, and play with his buddies. Eventually, I just kind of dragged along! At the time, I was playing a lot of football as well, so I was balancing the two. I just loved golf, the instant I started playing it, the individual aspect of it. Ultimately, it was the big reason why I stopped playing football and concentrated on golf.
“All my junior memories are from Nairn Dunbar, like all the prize givings. We also used to go there for New Year to the clubhouse. Regularly, my parents would drop me off at the course, I would play 36 holes with my friends and then play pool. I spent so much time there as a junior. I mean those are memories that I will remember forever. It’s been a wild journey so far in my career and hopefully I’m just in the middle of it.”
Nairn Dunbar course manager Richard Johnstone and his dedicated team have worked hard to improve and upgrade the course to keep pace with the expectations of members and visitors at great value for money. It’s now more links-style with a strong commitment to environmental practices.
With full membership in 2021 attractively priced at only £64.84 per month for adults over the age of 30, new members are welcome to join immediately and play by booking online tee times.
The club is also continuing to drive to attract new members and encourage lapsed members to return to the club through its Lifestyle category. Aimed at the occasional and fair-weather golfer, or golfers wishing a second course membership, the Lifestyle option – for £505 for those 24 years and over – provides many of the benefits of traditional membership.
With COVID-19 restrictions hopeful of being eased throughout 2021, the club is looking ahead positively to a busy season, under the guidance of Club Manager, Kieran Maclean, and PGA Director of Golf, Robbie Stewart/
Knox added: “The course looks phenomenal in pictures I’ve seen, especially with The Amateur coming up. Richard is going to make sure it is in tip-top shape, I’m sure. Playing Nairn Dunbar in so many different conditions and tournaments was fantastic. I’ve played hundreds of rounds there. It’s just a great course. You kind of knew going to the course what you would face! We used to drive by this big factory, and there was smoke coming out of the chimney, so you knew depending on the wind direction if you had a decent chance to have a good score that day, given the challenges of some of the holes.”
Initially a 9-hole course from its founding in 1899 before its extension to 18 holes in 1924, Nairn Dunbar offers views across the Moray Firth to the Black Isle and beyond to the mountains of Sutherland, as well as inland to the neighbouring Cawdor Hills. The par-72 layout offers a fun and enjoyable test, characterised by holes such as the picturesque par-3 8th.
For more information on Nairn Dunbar and their membership offers, please contact Kieran Maclean, Club Manager, on email at: firstname.lastname@example.org