Traigh is the most Westerly golf course on the UK mainland. Traigh (pronounced ‘try’) means ‘beach’ in Gaelic, and a series of sandy beaches run alongside the course, with stunning views to the Inner Hebridean islands of Eigg and Rum, and the Cuillins of Skye.
The layout is based on a line of grassy hills, with the springy turf of a true links course. Traigh is a subtle course that rewards accurate shot-making. Good players are made to work for their scores, and yet high handicappers are given every chance.
In short, Traigh offers something for everyone. Maintained to the highest standard, Traigh presents the golfer with all the traditional challenges of a classic seaside links. Golf has been played at Traigh since about 1900, but it was originally a private course.
Golfers had to share he ground with dairy cows until the 1990’s, and the cows were kept off the greens with fencing wire. This all changed in 1993 when the owner and golf enthusiast, Jack Shaw Stewart, invited Scottish course architect, John Salvesen, to redesign the course.
Salvesen had been captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Course of St Andrews, and chairman of the championship committee (responsible for The Open). He designed and improved courses all over Britain and abroad, but he was especially proud of his work on the spectacular nine-hole course at Traigh.
Salvesen used the natural contours of the hills that rise up from the beach (originally sand dunes) to create a ‘fair challenge to all levels of golfer – but a course that is great fun to play on, so that one wants to play it again’.
During the rebuilding of the course invaluable help and advice was provided by Jimmy MacDonald M.B.E. who was head greenkeeper at Royal Lytham & St Annes. He was a native of Arisaig and knew the ground well.