Fortrose & Rosemarkie - North Scotland - Scotland

Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Club,
Ness Road East,
Fortrose,
IV10 8SE,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1381 620529

  • Mike MacDonald

  • James Braid

  • None


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Fortrose & Rosemarkie

There is reference to golf being played here at Fortrose & Rosemarkie as far back as 1702, though it was not until 1889 that a formal golf club was established with a membership of fifty playing over six holes. Play was suspended during the First World War when the clubhouse was used by the Highland Cyclist Battalion as a guardhouse!

The course was extended to 18 holes by 1924 but it was ten years later before James Braid shaped the links to its current design and Sir Hector Monro opened the revamped course 1935. War intervened again in the early 1940s when the military requisitioned the course and clubhouse as a training ground during the Second World War but all 18 holes were back in play by 1947.

Stunning aerial shot - courtesy of Fortrose & Rosemarkie GCFortrose & Rosemarkie lies out on a narrow peninsula named Chanonry Point, just north of Inverness – jutting out into Rosemarkie Bay – protecting the entrance to the Moray Firth. The road to the lighthouse divides the course in two, with just enough land either side to accommodate a 5,881-yard long golf course.

What Fortrose & Rosemarkie lacks in yardage is more than made up for with its small, subtle greens, strategic bunkering, dense island gorse, several blind approaches and the proximity of the sea at nearly half the holes. Playing to one’s handicap, especially with the wind up on this exposed sliver of land is never easy.

The scorecard is deceiving as it shows that 11 of the 14 par fours measure less than 400 yards in length, whilst the two par fives are each less than 470 yards but, remember, length is not everything on this course – the 455-yard par five 4th is not stroke index 1 for nothing and the degree of difficulty is obvious to the visitor when standing on the tee.

Fortrose & Rosemarkie proudly hosted two national competitions during 2010, the first time the club has ever attracted such prestigious events to the Black Isle. The first tournament was the SLGA Scottish Senior Ladies Amateur when Fiona de Vries of St Rule beat defending champion, Heather Anderson of Alyth 1 UP in the match play final. The other contest saw the three-man gents team of Carrickvale from Lothians win the SGU Scottish Club Championship by a winning margin of three strokes over second placed St Andrews.

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Reviews for Fortrose & Rosemarkie

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Description: Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Club lies north of Inverness on a narrow peninsula which juts out into Rosemarkie Bay... Rating: 4.3 out of 6 Reviews: 18

I have so much time for golf courses like Fortrose & Rosemarkie. A setting as unique and stunning as any I have come across along with some fantastic golf holes and one that is truly world-class.

Often described as a short, tight and fun links this doesn’t quite do the course justice. It is certainly all of those but some big golf is also required and the quality of several holes is extremely high.

Located on the Chanonry Peninsula in the ‘Black Isle’ this Scottish links golf course enjoys breathtaking views over the Moray Firth, very close to the City of Inverness. Now confirmed as being the 15th Oldest Recorded Club in the World in 1793 the course was later re-designed by the five time Open Champion James Braid in 1932. You play four holes out towards the thinnest point of the land-tip, with the sea and beach on your left, before turning and playing another four holes on the other side, again with water on your left.

These are spectacularly located golf holes but they also play so well. Modest in length at 329 yards the first serves as a perfect getaway hole before the second and third raise the bar higher; both have superbly simple and understated green complexes that are so natural in appearance yet difficult to judge.

You are then hit with the fourth; one of the best golf holes I have ever played. Aptly named Lighthouse, for this is what you have been playing towards since your round began. It is a par five from the black tees of just 497 yards. At around 250 yards the fairway ends and broken ground begins and an unbelievable green complex is located at the end of the peninsula. It slopes left-to-right and requires a long carry over rough duneland if you fancy going for the green in two, otherwise a slither of fairway is available down the right. It’s an all-world hole that will live long in the memory.

The course plays longer than its 6,085 yards (par is 71) and is undoubtedly not a venue to miss on your golf trip to The Highlands.

Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.

4 / 6
Fortrose & Rosemarkie
May 02, 2017


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After a week of fantastic highland golf we visited Fortrose and Rosemarkie on our last day of playing. It was a very sunny day and we enjoyed a good course with stunning views. On the first and last few holes there is only a small margin of error since there is not much space when missing the fairways. Well, at least the gorse was in bloom, so it was nice to look at, when mourning about lost balls. There are some holes, which leave a lasting impression on the golfer’s mind. The fourth (Lighthouse) is very tricky to play, the following fifth (Icehouse) is a quirky Par 3. On the back nine there are some short Par 4s I enjoyed much due to their strategic value. But the surroundings of that peninsula golf course are so beautiful that the design of the single holes hardly matters. And I have to add that the condition of fairways and greens was flawless.I had as much fun on this course as I had ever on any golf course. But to be exceptional it simply lacks greatness: It is too short and tight (especially on the back nine) due to restricted land it is build on and there are many mediocre holes. But that really doesn’t matter: Visit F&R and have a lot of fun!
4 / 6
Fortrose & Rosemarkie
September 27, 2015


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Played here on my way to RDGC from Castle Stuart(45 min drive)...arrived on a Friday evening and paid our green fees(25 pound pp) in the clubhouse behind the bar...hardly anyone on the course on a lovely summer evening.Very tight course with lots of gorse if you stray from the fairways..excellent par 3 5th over the access road and a really fun and enjoyable detour up North.Short but still a very good test that sits on a magical peninsula opposite Fort George(you can see Castle Stuart Clubhouse across the water)..Great fun..
4 / 6
Fortrose & Rosemarkie
August 03, 2015


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I loved my visit to Fortrose and Rosemarkie. I am an average player but one of my dreams was to play a true links course in Scotland and to paly seaside. This course fit the bill and exceeded my expectations. Special thanks to Mike for setting up my tee time and assuring me everything would go smoothly. I was staying in Aviemore just south of Inverness and my morning drive to the course started out with rain and cold weather. I was in for a true Scottish golfing experience! Upon arrival the wind picked up and though the rain was spotty the wind increased the challenge and fun with this course. Maybe a little luck but I pared the first hole and was excited and continued to play well even paring the fourth- a spectacular hole! Bu t the wind had its way with me and eventually brought me back to my normal game but I had a wonderful and forever memorable trip. I hope to return some day. Go play this course!
5 / 6
Fortrose & Rosemarkie
July 17, 2015


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Fortrose lies at Chanonry Point next to the Moray Firth on the Chanonry peninsula. This is one of the most charming locations you will ever chance upon. There is a rather unique feel here with a relaxed atmosphere and a sporty course that will challenge despite its shortness of length. The course is well presented with relatively small greens, ample gorse and well placed pot bunkers. The sea is in close proximity on eight of the holes.

A round can be in disarray early if you hook any shots on the first hole which runs along the water’s edge. The 4th is a standout hole. It is a par five of just 455 yards and yet it is rated the most difficult on the course. Accuracy is essential as you play towards the sloping green in front of Chanonry Lighthouse. The par three 9th is 196 yards in length and can require anything from a short iron to driver but beware of out of bounds which runs all along the left side.

Ten and eleven are par fours that will test your ability to avoid fairway pot bunkers that can spell ruin to any round if you are unlucky enough to finish against a steep revetted face. The 17th fairway has a marker stone which is reputed to also be the location of the last burning of a witch in Scotland. The round concludes with a 212-yard par three and plenty of gorse, particularly left.

This review is an edited extract from Another Journey through the Links, which has been reproduced with David Worley’s kind permission. The author has exclusively rated for us every Scottish course featured in his book. Another Journey through the Links is available for Australian buyers via www.golfbooks.com.au and through Amazon for buyers from other countries.
3 / 6
Fortrose & Rosemarkie
March 13, 2015


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Great fun. Tight, short, but a proper links course in a great setting.
5 / 6
Fortrose & Rosemarkie
October 23, 2014


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By far the most original of the courses we played in the Highlands (Brora, Tain, Dornoch and Fortrose), and I am very happy we included it. Not only did the dolphins oblige with a little show but several shots will remain for a long time in memory, just because there are few of its kind around. Although the yardage is modest, the start is not for the faint-hearted as it will be a challenge to stay out of the gorse, especially if the wind is up. You will need your low, penetrating ball flight if you are to succeed. In August this year it also rewarded us with lots of extra length as the fairways were baked hard and the ball rolled miles... A blessing which brought some short par-4s into driving reach but sometimes also a curse as the ball bounced or rolled into trouble. Do not miss!
4 / 6
Fortrose & Rosemarkie
October 02, 2013


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Mike MacDonald
October 31, 2013
Thank you for your review. We are without doubt one of the most unique courses you will have the chance to play and yes of course, wind can be a factor but that just adds to the fun of links golf in my opinion. We have recently extended the course by nearly 200 yards so we of course welcome visitors to come and play here off our new tees as it certainly adds to the experience. The first four holes are the key to a good score here so keep it in play and you will be making a decent start. Visiting parties are more than welcome to play here throughout the year.
Super course, very challenging with a mixture of tight and blind holes especially the 4th & 5th on the 1st 9 and 11th on the back, the course is very well kept and the staff were very hospitable, played as part of a four ball and we all enjoyed it.
5 / 6
Fortrose & Rosemarkie
September 15, 2013


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Mike MacDonald
October 31, 2013
The course has now been extended by nearly 200 yards and playing from the Black Tees will certainly make you see the course in a different light. Fantastic changes and we hope you will return soon. We also hosted the Scottish Boys & Girls U-14's Open Amateur Championship in August of this year with 120 kids playing and it proved to be a fantastic challenge for them all. We hope you will return to our links in 2014 as all visitors are more than welcome to play from our Black Tees.
Played this in June as part of our annual 3-day golf tour. The course is short but tight particularly the first three holes. Four is a great hole but you need to lay-up off the tee. The short fifth is a delight with the green adjacent to the sea and a very difficult green. The next half dozen holes are so-so but it does have a strong finish. I would recommend playing this course if you are in the area and the views are terrific as it is set on a peninsula. After the round drive the car to the edge of the course to view the dolphins.
5 / 6
Fortrose & Rosemarkie
July 13, 2013


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Mike MacDonald
November 01, 2013
Thank you for your e-mail. This is very much appreciated. The course as mentioned in other replies has now been extended so you are more than welcome to play off our back tees should you visit us again. There will be additional course changes happening in 2014 so watch this space! Thank you for visiting our links course. We hosted three national tournaments this season in what is our 125th year and I know everyone who played really enjoyed the experience.
Jugue este campo hace dos años. Un día típico escoces, tan pronto soleado, como de repente nublado cayendo chuzos de punta. El viento es la clave, es un triángulo clavado en el mar. Alejado del mundanal ruido, es un link dificil, donde uno se pregunta ¿como jugaban ahí hace mas de 100 años?. Escocia en estado puro. Fortrose&Rosemarkie bien se merecen una visita.Para el tipo de juego español de bolas altas, no es el campo ideal, pero el golf tiene esas cosas.
4 / 6
Fortrose & Rosemarkie
July 13, 2013


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Keith Baxter
October 31, 2013
Rough translation of the above review is as follows: I played this course two years ago on a typical Scottish day, sunny and then suddenly cloudy, then raining cats and dogs. Wind is the key as it’s set on a triangle stuck out into the sea. Far from the madding crowd, it’s a hard links where one wonders how they played there over 100 years ago? Scotland at its best. Fortrose & Rosemarkie is well worth a visit. For the type of high ball Spanish game it’s not the ideal course, but golf is one of those things.