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Fortrose & Rosemarkie

Fortrose, Scotland
ArchitectBadgeJames Braid
Fortrose, Scotland
Rankings
  • AddressNess Rd E, Fortrose IV10 8SE, UK

There is reference to golf being played here at Fortrose & Rosemarkie as far back as 1702 (making it the 4th oldest golf course in the world), 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.

Fortrose & 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 had 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.

There is reference to golf being played here at Fortrose & Rosemarkie as far back as 1702 (making it the 4th oldest golf course in the world), 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.

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Course Architect

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James Braid

James Braid was born in 1870 in Earlsferry, the adjoining village to Elie in the East Neuk of Fife. He became a member of Earlsferry Thistle aged fifteen and was off scratch by his sixteenth birthday.

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