A GOLF club that lost its own course 16 years ago is back in business.

The Eriskay Whisky Galore Golf Club is now officially registered with the Scottish Golf Union (SGU).

But there is one drawback – when members want to play over their new "home" course, they face a marathon trip to Tain, in Ross and Cromarty, 300 miles away from the Outer Hebridean island.

The club, which plays its first competition at Tain on Sunday, has a remarkable history.

In 1994, island golfers created a six-hole course by hacking out fairways and greens from croftland, rock, rushes and sand dunes.

It sat above the beach where Bonnie Prince Charlie first set foot in Scotland at the start of the Jacobite uprising in 1745.

The club got its name from Compton Mackenzie's celebrated book Whisky Galore – which told of the sinking off the coast of Eriskay in 1941 of the SS Politician and the islanders attempts to "salvage" the 28,000 cases of malt whisky the ship was carrying.

The course, and the island's historic associations, attracted golfers from across the world.

There had been plans to extend the course to nine holes, but in 1997 a four-bedroom house was built on the fifth green. It also made the second and fourth holes unplayable.

Today all the fairways and greens have gone, but – like Eriskay's most famous visitor – the club has been on the move across the Highlands.

The Eriskay Open and the club championship survived and were held in 1997 and 1999 at a nine-hole course at Taynuilt in Argyll, 100 miles and a five-hour ferry trip away from the island.

In 2000, the competitions moved to Torvean Golf Club in Inverness, where Willie Rusk, the former Eriskay ferryman and co-founder of the golf club, has worked in marketing for the last 13 years.

Earlier this year, Eriskay Whisky Galore, which has more than 50 members, affiliated to Tain Golf Club and became members of the North District Golf Association.

And vice-captain Robert Stewart will drive off in Eriskay's inaugural competition – for the Bonnie Prince Charlie Shield – at the Highland club on Sunday.

Mr Rusk, who is also Eriskay Whisky Galore's honorary secretary, said: "Our members were keen to develop the club as a fully operational golf club, so that's exactly what we have done.

"We have now affiliated with the Scottish Golf Union, have prepared a full range of competitions for our members during 2013 and are now authorised to administer our members' handicaps."

Eriskay also runs a seniors event and the Whisky Galore Gentleman's Open as well as an annual inter-island match against Orkney – when the teams play for a flag from the Old Course at St Andrews. It is signed by Jack Nicklaus, who played his last major championship at St Andrews in 2005.

Members, who pay annual subscriptions of only £80, will be able to enjoy cut-price green fees at Tain thanks to the affiliation.