NAIRN DUNBAR GOLF CLUB HISTORY
While Britain and the Empire celebrated Queen Victoria’s 80th birthday on Wednesday, 24th May, 1899, the townsfolk of Nairn had other things on their mind. A procession of local councillors and dignitaries were led by the Artillery Volunteers Band from the Town House to the first tee at the newly laid out nine hole golf course at Nairn Dunbar. The development of the course had only been made possible through the generosity of Sir Alexander Dunbar of Boath who had made some 60 acres of land available for the construction of nine holes. It was Sir Alexander’s mother, Lady Dunbar, who declared the course open and called on her son to strike the first drive. Tragically, the club’s major benefactor was to die in a drowning accident less than 18 months later.
It took another 25 years and a World War before the club was able to extend the course to 18 holes after acquiring additional land from the Town Council and landowners Brodie of Brodie and Dunbar of Boath. Over the next 14 years the club continued to change the configuration of the course bringing it ever closer to today’s championship layout. This work was interrupted by the outbreak of World War II. Despite the adjacent East Beach being “seeded’ with land mines and encroachments by various sections of the armed services, golf continued to be played throughout the war years. However, it took a huge effort by the greenkeeping staff and volunteer members to repair the damages incurred during six years of conflict.
Following the war, golf enjoyed a boom which has continued up to the present day, and Nairn Dunbar was no exception.
The original clubhouse underwent two extensions - in 1962 and again in 1976 - in an effort to keep up with the demands of an increasing membership and visiting players. However, as the club neared its centenary, it became clear that despite improvements to the clubhouse and course, some major redevelopment was required. Three new holes were constructed at the east end of the course towards Culbin Forrest. These were open for play in 1994, becoming the 9th, 10th and 11th, with the three holes on “the Hill” taken out of use. This land, on the south side of Lochloy Road, was sold to a housing developer, helping to fund the construction of a new £1 million-plus clubhouse which was opened in 1997.
The new millennium has seen the club continue to improve and upgrade the course to keep pace with the ever-changing requirements and expectations of members and visitors.