Why the Scottish Highlands needs to be on your to-do list in 2022

Royal Dornoch

While many of the marquee courses in the UK and Ireland are now fully booked in 2022, there is currently still some availability in the Scottish Highlands. But note there are still plenty of enthusiastic links aficionados looking for their fix next year so these few remaining times will no doubt be snapped up very soon.

The Scottish Highlands is simply a superb golfing destination. Not only is the golf fantastic but the sightseeing activities and natural beauty of the area is world famous. Located in Inverness, the main town of the region provides an ideal base to explore the wonderful golf courses and spectacular places to visit while enjoying the best of Scottish hospitality. Let’s look at all this region has to offer.

Castle Stuart

Golf in the Scottish Highlands: Royal Dornoch

Royal Dornoch is without any shadow of a doubt the crown jewel of Scottish Highlands golf. Royal Dornoch is routinely ranked amongst the best golf courses in the world.  With an original design by Old Tom Morris, the course has slowly evolved with upgrades from George Duncan, Donald Steel and Tom McKenzie spread out over a century. The famed Donald Ross grew up here and this is where he took his inspiration from when building a portfolio of superb golf courses all around the world. Royal Dornoch should be right at the top of any “must play” links golf list, but unfortunately it sometimes gets neglected due to its remote location. The club still has some availability for 2022 tee times, but it is being snapped up fast. Try to make this the cornerstone of your golf getaway to this region and be sure to add as many of the following additional courses to your trip as well.

Royal Dornoch

Golf in the Scottish Highlands: Castle Stuart

Castle Stuart is a truly stunning golf course that has hosted in the Scottish Open on four occasions. Phil Mickelson famously won here the week before he won the Open Championship in 2013 and to this day, he is the only player ever to win both championships in the same year. The course runs alongside the Moray Firth which comes into play on several holes on both the front and back nine. The scenery is stunning, and the course was the best conditioned course this golfer played in a recent trip to the highlands. While the “art deco” clubhouse divides opinion, there is no denying it’s functionality and the welcome you will receive here is second to none. This is another must-play on any Scottish Highland golf trip.

Castle Stuart

Golf in the Scottish Highlands: Nairn

Nairn is a traditional links design that has hosted countless R&A championships through the years. The Walker Cup was hosted here in 1999 while The Amateur Championship (British Amateur) was hosted here in 2021. Located just 30 minutes from Inverness the course design has had input from Old Tom Morris, Ben Sayers, James Braid, and C.K Cotton. While there have been some minor changes over the years on this classic links, our friends at Nairn say the course “remains substantially the links course that James Braid knew and admired so well.”

Nairn Golf Club

Golf in the Scottish Highlands: Moray Golf Club

Moray Golf Club (Lossiemouth) is one of the best kept secrets in Scottish Golf. “Lossie” as it is affectionately known by the locals is without question a “hidden gem” — a phrase that we know is used probably too often, but never more apt than in this instance. There are two courses to choose from here, one by Old Tom Morris and the New by Sir Henry Cotton. The Old Course plays longer and is more difficult with deep revetted bunkers, undulating gorse lined fairways and smooth fast greens. The New course is shorter but is a more exciting test with tighter fairways and smaller greens. If you only have time to play one of the courses here, we suggest playing The Old Course as we consider it another must-play in this region.

Moray Golf Club

Golf in the Scottish Highlands: Brora

Brora is located 1 hour and 20 minutes North of Inverness, but it’s well worth the journey in order to discover the unspoiled beauty of Brora. The views from the first tee across the golf course and the North Sea are simply breath-taking. The club was founded in 1891 and James Braid is the accredited designer. The most authentic of Scottish Links experiences with sheep grazing on the course and electric fences surrounding the greens, this course is unlikely to get to top of any of the golf course rankings list but don’t let that for a second diminish the uniqueness of this experience. Encouraging people to visit here seems a little sinful as the endearing welcome and the authentic experience of how links golf has evolved is an experience second to none. The arrival of hordes of tourists is the one thing that could ruin what is so great about Brora, but we can’t help but list this as a great option to include on your trip as it is such a memorable experience.

Brora Golf Club

Additional trip activities

The Scottish Highlands are a world-famous tourist destination outside of Golf. There are endless opportunities to supplement your golf with activities and sightseeing that will make this a simply superb vacation. Listed below are some of the very best things to do:

Visit some of the local whiskey distilleries

There are several whiskey distilleries in the area. Glenmorangie is the largest and most commercial, however Glenturret and Balblair are most certainly well worth visiting too. Whiskey lovers who are on a guided tour in a luxury coach will have ample opportunity to visit these great distilleries on their trip.

Historical sites

The Culledon Battlefield is a must visit for history buffs. There is a visitor center with expert guides and digital content to explain the whole backdrop to the battle and the Jacobite wars. Fort George and Urquhart Castle are also excellent historical sites to visit with expert guides employed to inform the visitor with fascinating historical detail.

Visit Loch Ness

For all the believers out there, a visit to the Lough Ness Visitor Center or a boat trip on the Lough will prove too hard to resist. No doubt the younger visitors will be very keen to try and catch a glimpse of Nessy.

The Isle of Skye or go hiking at Cairngorms National Park

The Scottish Highlands is famous for its natural beauty. While sitting on a bus on a visit to the Isle of Skye will not appeal to all, it most certainly provides visitors with an abundance of opportunities to take in the spectacular scenery on offer here. A trip to the Cairngorms National to take some hiking trails will also appeal to many.


With the abundance of golf and sightseeing options within commuting distance and a great choice of local hotels and restaurants, Inverness is the perfect base for your golf getaway to this region. If you want to travel there in 2022, there is still limited availability but it sure to evaporate very quickly, so early booking is crucial to avoid disappointment.

When you are ready to start planning your trip here, be sure to utilize a golf travel company who knows the region versus trying to plan it on your own.  We’ve heard one too many tales about golfers who tried to save a few bucks and plan their own getaway just to run into a multitude of problems during their trip spoiling the whole experience.

There are several reputable companies that can assist you with a trip to this area, and we’ve found the team at LyonsLinks.com to be exceptional at providing service and insight into this area and other great UK and Ireland trips.  If you mention Golf Stay and Plays during your booking, you will receive special benefits so please be sure to do so.

We hope this helps, and we hope to see you “across the pond” in 2022!