Shiskine Golf and Tennis Club

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  • Architects:
    • Park, Willie
    • Fernie, Willie
  • Holes of Merit:
    1-12

At A Glance

Shiskine Golf Club is a rare 12 hole golf course on the Isle of Arran. Once played, never forgotten!

Watch Shiskine Golf Club Videos

See Erik Anders Lang's visit to the course here

Hidden Links overview can be seen here

Watch golfNV's excellent drone video here


Full Course Review

Shiskine Golf and Tennis Club on the Isle of Arran is best known for what it doesn't have... 6 holes. However, when the 12 you do have are this good, you don't need anymore. It has become a cult classic among the 'woke' golfing crowd.

Founded in 1896, the course has no less than 5 blind holes and even more quirk provided by two burns which cross the course. With a stunning location overlooking Kilbrannan Sound and the Mull of Kintyre, it has been called a ' topographical rollercoaster'.

From 9 to 18 to 12

Willie Fernie laid out the original 9 hole course. Holes 5 and 9 are the only two surviving holes from 1896. The 10th tee is in its original location and playing to the 1st green would constitute another original hole. The original layout was 9 hole then extended to 18. During the war, six holes were used to support food production to support the war effort. Following the war, the club simply carried on with 12! Willie Park is responsible for the current 12 hole layout which was finalised in 1928.

The Members Only Loop

Visitors are only able to play the 12 hole layout with the 18 hole loop reserved for members only. If 18 holes are needed, the 12 hole layout is played followed by holes 1, 2, 9, 11 and 12. The other hole needed to arrive at 18 is a hybrid from the 3rd tee to 4th green.

Sam Cooper's Course Synopsis of Shiskine Golf Club

On the beautiful Isle of Arran, they don't worry about an arbitrary 18 holes at Shiskine Golf and Tennis Club. They have a small parcel of exceptional linksland, and they use every inch of it splendidly to create their wonderful 12 holes.

The first two are very good golf in beautiful surrounds, but they don't prepare you for what's to come. The third is aptly named 'Crow's Nest'. A marker post atop an enormous dune is all that guides the way. However, on the 5th tee, it gets even better. Panoramic views along the coast and over to neighbouring Kintyre completely distract from the task at hand. Nearly 250 yards to a green 'at grade'. There's enough of a carry to focus the mind again, and a watery grave should you miss right.

The quality of these golf holes is relentless. There are only a few where the water isn't directly in play. All play over rumpled links ground. Is Shiskine not a 'proper' golf course because it's only 12 holes? It could acquire some adjacent farmland perhaps to make up numbers. But it would be an entirely different character and, in my view, ruin the experience.

The 12 holes are consistent in quality, equally interesting and all enormous fun. Not a weak hole among them, and there aren't many places you can say that. I just wish there were more like it...


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The Essentials

Everything you need to know before you go!