Having played Golspie in the morning I’m not sure what I expected from Brora. The gap in the rankings suggested a quantum leap in quality but when faced with the Brora links it really impressed. What surprises me most about this course is that it is ranked so lowly. I can only think the reasons for this would be the fairly remote location of this highlands outpost or the fairly slow-paced greens. Perhaps the greens at Nairn are what ensure its higher ranking However, this is what gives the course its jaw-droppingly beautiful surroundings with sea on one side and heather-clad hillsides beyond the railway line on the other. However, it is not just a treat for the eyes; the golf on offer is exceptional too provided you can forget the sheep fences surrounding the greens. Certainly, the sheep along with the cattle, rabbits and arctic terns add to the local flavour. Some might say that Braid was blessed with perfect links terrain here and that he only followed what nature had presented him with but by all accounts, that was his great skill. He also made the inland holes more interesting/compelling than those that hug the shore. The inward holes are reminiscent of those at Royal Cinque Ports but are even more beefed up than those found at that wonderful Kent Links, especially the hilltop 16th. Both courses give you that feeling of being somewhere very special for golf. Finishing on a par3 is not that commonplace but seems perfectly in keeping with the quirkiness at Brora. An essential stop on a highlands golf visit.
Date: June 28, 2012