Founded in 1906, Elgin Golf Club is a testing heathland course fully justifying its claim to be one of the finest inland courses in the northern part of Scotland. This course, a test to low and high handicap players alike, is always kept in immaculate condition by the greenstaff and, while playing one’s round, there is the added beauty of the panoramic views looking north over the city of Elgin, and the hills stretching towards the distant Cairngorm Mountains to the south.
Elgin is an extremely attractive inland course with hints of heathland, woodland and parkland at various points. It is exceptionally well presented and is very reminiscent of Fife classic Ladybank in places. The club is over 100 years old and dates back to 1906. Originally a nine-holer, the work of long-serving greenkeeper John MacPherson, it was extended to 18 in the 1920s. Advice was taken from nearby Moray and MacPherson also had a say.
It was extensively redesigned in the 1960s under the guidance of CK Cotton with the current 2nd, 3rd and 4th holes all added. It now stretches to almost 6,500 yards and plays to the stingiest par of 69, with four short holes and only one par 5. There are eight par 4s in excess of 400 yards. Any Elgin Golf Club review should make clear that you will have to play very well indeed to get near your handicap.
There are a handful of short par 4s, that said, and the section around the turn is probably the most scoreable section of the course. Look out for Elgin’s current club captain – a chap called Colin MacGregor. If I tell you that you may have heard of his brother, Ewan, then you’ll understand why.
In writing an Elgin Golf Club review, I feel obliged to say that you will also enjoy the Elgin vibe. This is a long-established club with a pleasingly contemporary feel. Like all the best golf clubs, it feels like it is part of the community rather than set apart from it. On the midweek afternoon that we were in town, there was a pleasing hum of conversation in the clubhouse and it was great to see so many people using the facilities in a relaxed fashion.