Nairn courses to stage new golf festival

AS CASTLE Stuart waits for confirmation that it will stage next year's Barclays Scottish Open, details of a new event in the Inverness area for club golfers have been announced.

The inaugural Nairn Golf Festival will take place in April and includes a packed programme of events, the highlight being rounds on both Nairn, venue for the 1999 Walker Cup and set to stage the Curtis Cup in 2012, and Nairn Dunbar.

Karl Morris, mind coach to Open champion Louis Oosthuizen and US Open winner Graeme McDowell, will also host an event on golf psychology.

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The announcement follows confirmation that the Moray Firth coast has been named one of the world's top coastal destinations by National Geographic Traveller magazine.

"It's an exciting time for the area and everyone associated with Nairn and golf in the Highlands," said Alister Asher, chairman of a specially formed Festival committee. "This is an extraordinary part of the world where you can find some of the finest golf courses in Europe. The Nairn Golf Festival is really about celebrating that as well as getting everyone primed for the year ahead."

Dropping a hint that the Scottish Open is heading for Castle Stuart, Asher added: "It's also the beginning of what will be an exciting year for golf in the Highlands."