Once you get a reputation, it can be difficult to shake it off – just ask Moray New. Truth told, the locals at Lossiemouth are simply spoilt for choice with their 36 holes of prime links to choose from. For many years, the New was a 9-hole relief course, used by the ladies, and even now, some 40 years since Henry Cotton was called in to create what stands today, you sense that is still the way it is widely regarded. In fact, the three-time Open champion, who went on to design Penina in the 1960s, did a fine job in crafting a 6,068-yard layout that is intertwined for the most part with Old Tom Morris’s famous Moray Old layout.
Moray New, by comparison, is shorter and also a little tighter than its sibling. It also has a couple of very short par 3s (the 6th is only 100 yards) that reduce the total yardage in a slightly misleading fashion. With only two par 5s, and one of them coming as early as the 2nd, it’s the kind of course where your expectations of a flatteringly high score can quickly evaporate.
The fairways are generally lined by gorse, there is the occasional burn to avoid and the small greens can present awkward targets, especially if you are out of position from the tee.
From time to time, the course bursts into life, for example at the 9th and 10th with a couple of fantastic short par 4s, the latter played across vintage and crumpled linksland. Both are sporty, offering birdie chances, but they are certainly not without danger.
On the way home, the 13th is among the more striking par 4s while the the last of the par 3s, the 17th, is by far the most demanding of the short holes. You probably won’t read an awful lot about Moray New, and if you find yourself in the charming seaside town of Lossiemouth then it’s Moray Old that will dominate conversation.
However, what it offers is 18 holes of unrelentingly worthy links golf with barely a poor hole. That makes it absolutely worth building into your itinerary. Satisfaction is guaranteed – and it will almost certainly exceed your expectations.