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Brora

I have at the time of writing not actually played Brora, but my Mom says we used to pass the golf course on our highland vacations when I was a kid. I do, however, recall it seemed to be wonderful area with lovely beaches and seas, even if it probably was as high as the mid 50's. Kids and golfers on vacation don't care about the weather right?

From the Club's website: Brora Golf Club was established in 1891 and recently celebrated its 125th anniversary. Originally 9 holes until around 1900 when the club was extended to 18 holes. In 1923 James Braid, five times Open Champion and a prolific designer of golf courses, was invited to visit by the club committee. This he did in 1924 and for the princely sum of £25 plus travelling expenses, submitted plans for a redesigned 18 hole layout. This was largely implemented as he suggested and remains mostly unchanged to this day. It remains a fair and challenging test of true links golf.

 Located pretty far North. A good three hour drive from Edinburgh.

Located pretty far North. A good three hour drive from Edinburgh.

 

Here's a link to the Club's website: https://broragolfclub.co.uk

Gleneagles may be more glamorous, Carnoustie more prestigious. It is Brora which is the most northerly golf memorial to James Braid in his native Scotland.

Brora is also the headquarters of the James Braid Golfing Society, and while its President, Peter Thomson, and fellow member Ronan Rafferty annually enthuse, the club golfer, the bedrock of the game, will derive equal pleasure and satisfaction from Brora's 6110 yards.

Given 194 acres of Scottish links land to work on, what in 1923 was entitled "Braid's Plan" is hardly altered. Here the visitor will enjoy the mixture of bent grass and beach sand, burn water and gorse in glorious yellow May bloom. There is even a railway which comes into play from the tenth tee.

With the exception of the short sixth, the outward nine holes follow the contour of Kintradwell Bay in the foreground, with a backdrop of the Sutherland foothills from Ben Bhraggie to the west, away to the Ord of Caithness in the north-east.

The inward nine holes follow the fence line of the bordering croft land, with out of bounds to concentrate the mind. Of the two short holes, the delightful 13th, Snake, winds back towards the sea, whilst the 18th contains all the concerns of protecting a score against a bunkered green a two hundred yard carry away and under the scrutiny of the clubhouse windows.

I managed to get hold of a copy of "Golf at the Back of Beyond", written by Hugh Baillie, published in 2008. Brian Anderson, the pro, sent me a copy. The book is great. Lots of stories and history of the place, characters come alive.

Here's a link to the pro shop: 

http://www.broragolfpro.co.uk

The main local hotel is The Royal Marine. Here's a link to the hotel's website:

http://www.royalmarinebrora.com Looks pretty nice.

And here’s a link to some surrounding areas:

https://broragolfclub.co.uk/about-the-area

Carnoustie

The Renaissance Golf Club at Archerfield