Brora - North Scotland - Scotland

Brora Golf Club,
Golf Road,
Brora,
Sutherland,
KW9 6QS,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1408 621417

Brora Golf Club lies just off the A9, about 20 miles north of Dornoch. It's one of the most delightful short road journeys imaginable. The A9 follows the East Coast of Sutherland and skirts around the westerly edge of Loch Fleet before passing through the Highland village of Golspie - where there's another fine course. Grab a glimpse of Dunrobin Castle, where the Duke of Sutherland died in 1833 and then enjoy the coastal views before passing through the village of Doll, where a big cat-like animal was recently spotted. And then, you arrive at Brora, ready for even more excitement.

Scotland has dozens of famous classic links courses but Brora is probably the least well known and this most northerly course really does deserve to be discovered. When Brora Golf Club was founded in 1891 the members played on a nine-hole course and the Secretary of Royal Dornoch Golf Club, John Sutherland, later extended it to 18 holes. J.H. Taylor made further changes following a visit and, in 1923, James Braid was commissioned to redesign Brora and little has changed since.

It's a traditional out and back layout with the opening nine holes hugging the North Sea coastline. We can think of no other course in Scotland which has so many holes playing so close to the sea. What's more, there are no dunes to obscure the magnificent seascape, but the downside is that when the wind blows, you'll have to hold on to your hat. The ground undulates gently and you can expect to encounter the odd wily burn and a series of electric fences, which do a fine job in keeping the grazing animals off the fast Brora greens.

Measuring 6,211 yards from the back tees, Brora is certainly no championship layout, but playing to handicap will be a real achievement, not only because the greens are tough to hit and tough to read, but because it's even tougher to concentrate on your golf in these breathtaking surroundings. When you arrive at the 2nd tee, you'll know what we mean. The tee is sited on a small promontory directly next to the beach and from here you are presented with the most arresting view along the full stretch of the coastline.

If it is good enough for a five-time Open Champion, then everyone should play Brora. The late Peter Thomson visited regularly, proclaiming it to be his favourite course in the world.

There are so many great holes, but the 9th, a 162-yard par three called Sea Hole, is our favourite. It will come as no surprise that it's a visually attractive hole, where the North Sea is a rather large lateral water hazard. The inward holes are solid but less dramatic than the front nine. The closing hole is a tough par three where the tee shot must carry across a deep gulley to a green which seems to be too close to the clubhouse for comfort.

Our message to those pilgrims who are heading to tick Royal Dornoch off their list is this, take your time and add Brora to your itinerary, you will not be disappointed.

Just wild about blustery Brora

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Reviews for Brora

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Description: Brora Golf Club is a fine, natural seaside links. A Highland delicacy to be tasted alongside Royal Dornoch. Brora is one of the jewels in James Braid's crown. Rating: 8.2 out of 10 Reviews: 48
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Jim McCann
Brora Golf Club - photo by Jim McCannI’ve seen plenty of wildlife on courses around the UK and Ireland in recent years – horses grazing by the fairways at Royal North Devon, goats tramping the rough at Lahinch, sheep wandering the course at Machrihanish Dunes – but, until a couple of days ago at Brora, I’d never had cows block my path during a round of golf; thankfully, one of my playing competitors in the Brora club’s Autumn Ladies & Gents Open was able to do the necessary in moving the bovine interlopers from the par three 6th tee and we were able to continue our round without further interruption.

I recently conducted a little exercise to find out the best value Scottish golf to be had in Scotland for under £50 a round and Brora came second only to Boat of Garten – and, if affordable green fees are what you’re looking for in these cost-conscious times, the entry fee for participating in the aforementioned Open was only 15 quid – now that’s what I call stupendous value for money!

It’s no coincidence that the James Braid Golfing Society has its spiritual home in Brora as this course encapsulates all that’s good and simple in Scottish links golf, offering as natural a game of golf as you could ever hope to experience. The quality of workmanship on the greens and surrounding bunkers is as good as you will find at any of the top championship courses in the country. All the course lacks is the length of the very top Scottish tracks but, truth be told, it’s all the better for this, especially as there are no distracting yardage markers on the fairways to make things too easy.

Real links lovers will have their faith in the game renewed every time they stride the fairways here and I for one can’t wait to return for another rejuvenation another day. Jim McCann
October 18, 2010
8 / 10
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David Jones
October 30, 2010
I was lucky enough to play her in july and wanted to write a review. But as ever Jim your words sum it up better than i ever could. i found it Like Royal North Devon. A great no frills golf course.
Tom Moore
Brora was a high-light of our 17 links tour of Scotland. Cheap (40 pounds) and unpretentious. A wonderful Braid design. The par 3 Ocean hole is one of the best in Scotland. Sheep and cattle everywhere. The spirit of golf lives in this place. After the round while having a drink in the members bar, a young man of about 9 years of age holed a putt on the 18th green. The members tapped on the glass and applauded him. Wonderful day, wonderful turf, wonderful course. Don't miss Brora--its not as elegant as its famous neighbor (Dornoch), its just more fun (and the greens were in better condition).
July 12, 2010
10 / 10
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Hamish Wilson
An experience not to be missed. It is in the most magnificent situation. It is golf as it has been played in Scotland since organised golf began.An excellent links. There is virtually no rough as it is on common land with sheep and cows (cow pats are treated as casual water!) but the animals are few and do not intrude. The condition is excellent, especially the greens. Combined with Dornoch and Tain (or even Golspie) it is a great area for golf. It is great value for money.
December 22, 2009
8 / 10
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Dan Hare
We based ourselves at the Sutherland Arms in Brora for our pilgrimage to Dornoch, Golspie and Brora and it's highly recommended. We played the links on our own in high winds, rain, hail and sleet and still came away enchanted. As Braid addicts we loved the tee boxes, no 150 markers and being discouraged from buying a stroke saver ! Having played the course, make sure to have a pint in the scenic bar and then go round to corner to visit the "Braid Room" in the Royal Marine Hotel - it is the home of the Braid Society and has a nice collection of memorabilia and books to read. We fell asleep wind-burned in front of the fire to cap a magical day ! Great touring country inland too, can't wait to return.
June 10, 2009
8 / 10
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kcbritton
Sandwiched between two rounds at Dornoch and a round at Nairn, we were concerned this course might suffer in comparison...not true! One of the true gems of Scotland. Played in a 40mph wind and played very well but shot 79 (I'm a 1 handicap). Don't be fooled by the short yardages...terrific layout and challenging golf. Great welcome by the members. Ranks up there as one of favorites. Would make the effort to go north just for this course.
July 20, 2008
10 / 10
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Mike
Brora is golf in its purest form!! Not the longest yardage wise, but the par 4's can be real killers. The greens easily the quickest and toughest to read of all the Scottish courses. It is seldom a par 3 makes my list of favorite holes, but #6, #9, #13 (Snake) and #18 would be included in any list. Each points to a different compass direction and will confound you on club selection from round to round. A pitching wedge one day and a 5 iron the next!!! Sheep, cattle and electric fences are just pieces of a pure golf course.But, even better than the golf, are the most friendly people I have ever had the honor of meeting. From the time we walked into the clubhouse, it felt like we were at home with friends. So much so, we joined the club before leaving!
June 29, 2008
10 / 10
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BraidsBrora
Playing Brora was a fantastic experience its like going back 100 years to a bygone era ! well balanced 9 out 9in .There are 4 superb par 3s and the par 4 17th is a tremendous hole overall well worth the trip to sample somthing so challenging and unique .
May 15, 2008
10 / 10
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Ivan
Great - old style links at it's best, if you are in the area play it.
February 26, 2008
8 / 10
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Jorn Greve
What a fun! A pure old Links in best tradition. A little bit shortish but lovely to play. Greens and bunkers were in perfect condition. Don't miss Brora at your trip to the northern jewels. You won't be disappointed.
January 09, 2008
8 / 10
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Cédric
This place may be a little remote but is definitely well worth the trip! Greens were better than nearby giant Dornoch, Brora's bunker sand is a joy to play on which is rare enough to be mentioned. The electric fences around greens make up for a nice little curiosity. This may not be the longest course ever but nonetheless enjoyable every second. There is a lot of space left to lengthen it but I am not quite sure it's what the friendly members we met want for their course... A real scottish gem! Cédric
April 20, 2007
8 / 10
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