Two leading golf clubs in the Highlands of Scotland are preparing to do battle in simultaneous matches at opposite ends of the country tomorrow (Saturday, 1 April).
While players from Nairn Golf Club and Royal Dornoch Golf Club compete in the 30th annual match for the Armourers Targe, London-based members from both clubs are holding their first ever contest at the same time.
Nairn will host the competition for the targe, which was played for first in 1987 when it was presented by then club captain Dr G B Farquharson for the regular contest against their Royal Dornoch rivals.
In a parallel tie, hundreds of miles away, some of the club’s southern-based members will be holding their own contest against Royal Dornoch members based in or around London at Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club in Sussex.
As well as their sporting connections, Nairn and Royal Dornoch are both members of Highland Golf Links, a partner group that promotes golfing breaks in the Highlands.
Nairn’s London-based club was established 18 months ago by Chris Hart, who works for a corporate bank in The City. He has been a Nairn member for 16 years, having formed an affinity with the Highland club as a youngster during family holidays to the area.
He said: “We arranged a few outings and matches and it’s just grown from there. We managed to get in touch with the Royal Dornoch members through the club to see if they wanted to do something similar. We’re now looking forward to our first match against each other and having it on the same day as the other event in Nairn makes it more special. This won’t be a one-off. We want to grow the club and our connections to other groups, especially those associated with other clubs in the north of Scotland.”
Fraser Cromarty, CEO of Nairn Golf Club and chairman of Highland Golf Links (HGL), said: “We have very strong ties with our friends at Royal Dornoch, both on and off the course, and this connection in London strengthens that bond further.
“Having both matches played at the same time is a great way to celebrate our friendships and I hope we can continue these events for many years.”
Neil Hampton, general manager of Royal Dornoch Golf Club, said: “The annual contest against Nairn is always a greatly anticipated event, but this year it will have a new element in the London match which adds even further to the occasion.”
Nairn Golf Club, which has hosted both the Walker Cup and Curtis Cup, was the venue for last year’s Fairstone Men’s Home Internationals.
Royal Dornoch, which in 2016 celebrated 400 years of golf being played in the town, also staged the Northern Open and the biggest gathering of ‘royal’ clubs ever organised.
Highland Golf Links also includes Castle Stuart Golf Links, home of the Scottish Open on four occasions in the last seven years, as well as the Kingsmills Hotel and Culloden House, Inverness, and the Royal Golf Hotel at Royal Dornoch.
The partnership offers attractive packages for visitors to enjoy the finest links golf and luxury accommodation while exploring a unique and beautiful part of Scotland.