Brora is one of the most northerly courses in Britain and represents all the attributes of a traditional Scottish Highland links. Established in 1923 and designed by James Braid over 194 acres of Scottish links land, the design which came to be known as ‘Braid’s Plan’ has hardly been altered to this day. The bent grass turf has a sandy feel which makes ball striking a delight.
Add in the views of the sea and nearby beaches, burn water and vast amounts of gorse and it becomes quick to see why Brora is something of a links haven. There is even a railway which must be negotiated from the 10th tee!
One of my favourite links is Brora on the Moray Firth, where the golfers share a precious piece of territory with a hundred or so woolly sheep.
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.
By contrast, the inward nine holes follow the fence line of the bordering croft land. Of the two short holes, the delightful 13th winds back towards the sea, whilst the 18th contains all the concerns of protecting a score against a bunkered green which sits two hundred yards from the teeing area and under the scrutiny of the clubhouse windows.
Brora is also the headquarters of the James Braid Golfing Society – quite an accolade considering Braid’s history and tradition of designing outstanding courses.
Commenting on the course at Brora, current society president and five-time Open Champion Peter Thomson said: “One of my favourite links is Brora on the Moray Firth, where the golfers share a precious piece of territory with a hundred or so woolly sheep. What could epitomise nature better than such a communion? I pray it will continue and last as long as the world.”