Brora is a unique golfing experience and a superb addition to any golfing pilgrimage to Royal Dornoch. You will not find a more natural and authentic links. You get the sense very little has changed in its 130-year history.
A typical out and in front and back 9 respectively, every hole has a view of the sea. Despite not being a long course, like all good links the challenges lie in judgement of the wind and navigating the contours on and around the greens. The greens themselves are excellent and putt true with the electric wiring around them not detracting from their playability at all. Just remember to step over it!
The sheep and highland cows present on various parts of the course only add to the brilliantly rustic and wild golfing experience. When we played, the herd had made camp just in front of the 4th tee, completely unperturbed by passing golfers. We had to take extra care not to top the upcoming tee shots which surely would have resulted difficult conversations to be had in the clubhouse.
Memorable holes of Brora include the 5th – watch out for the semi-hidden burn, the 9th – a par 3 out to sea, the 16th – a fantastically shaped hole with a requiring a precise pitch up the hill, the 17th – an excellent driving hole from a raised tee and the 18th – a brute of a par 3 to finish. The clubhouse almost seems to overhang the 18th green and is not actually a bad line for the tee shot with a prevailing wind. If you come up short here (which is easily done) do not attempt a flop shot from the gulley in front of the clubhouse gallery and onlooking members. Bump it up, take a four and wash it down with a hearty dose of medicine.
On reflection, it is not difficult to see why Brora, despite its remote location, is the home of the James Braid Society and why they were so successful in their funding attempts during the pandemic. It is an utterly charming place that delights any golfing purist and perhaps is the last bastion of active club golf in the faraway north. Do visit if you get the chance, it will not disappoint.
Date: August 05, 2020