Balmore Golf Club was established in 1907, when founding members arranged to have a golf course set out within the Glenorchard Estate, near Baldernock. The fairways were routed around a beautiful parkland property that contained a variety of specimen trees, including giant sequoia, copper beech and blue Serbian spruce.
Harry Vardon, who at that time had already won four of his six Open titles, was commissioned to lay out the course and his design at Balmore is one of the very few that the great man ever put his name to in Scotland. In fact, we think the course at Kingussie is the only other one north of the border to bear his architectural stamp.
The course layout hasn’t changed much in over a hundred years, though all eighteen greens have been relaid to USGA specification since the start of the new millennium. Measuring only 5,542 yards from the back tees, there are no par fives and six par threes on the scorecard so the par mark is 66. Golfers shouldn’t underestimate this little beauty however as the standard scratch score is set at two strokes above the par.
Only four of the par four holes play longer than 400 yards and three of them are played consecutively, starting at the downhill 3rd, “Torrance Turn”. Negotiating this little stretch of holes in par figures will certainly set golfers up for the remainder of the round though a birdie at the semi blind short par four 7th (“Mary’s Well”) might also help.The back nine plays almost four hundred yards shorter than the outward half, with four of the par threes located here. Two of them, the 217-yard “Temple” and 150-yard “Wee Gem,” are played back to back at holes 15 and 16, and their cross over fairways prove that good old-fashioned golf design still has a part to play in the modern game.