Golspie - North Scotland - Scotland

Golspie Golf Club,
Ferry Road,
Golspie,
Sutherland,
KW10 6ST,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1408 633266

Organised golf has been played in this part of the Scottish Highlands for well over a hundred years with Golspie Golf Club formed in 1889 – twelve years after Dornoch, one year before Tain and two years before Brora.

Unlike these other three neighbouring courses, the terrain at Golspie is not exclusively links in nature. The course routing sets out over meadowland, quickly turns back as links along the Dornoch Firth for several holes, veers away from the shore into tree-lined heathland around the turn then returns to parkland and links by the end of the round – quite a combination!

There are birdie opportunities early in the round at the 493-yard 1st hole, named “Backies” and at the 522-yard par five 4th hole, named “Gully”. However, you’re well advised to leave your second shot at the 4th short of the small valley in front of the green – the ball may be playable on the right side but there is heavy rough on the left side and any shot out of here will be played blind to the green.

An interesting pair of short par fours – the 288-yard “Sahara” and 285-yard “Fleet” – are played immediately before and after the par three 6th hole, called “Saucer” then the course enters its heathland section at Ferry Wood, which was laid out by James Braid in 1926. Holes 8 to 10 are located here at the furthest point to the clubhouse and they form a lovely loop, bounded by tall pine trees and deep heather rough.

Holes 11 to 14 are all played over pastureland beside the road that runs down the left of each fairway. The 15th turns back, away from the clubhouse before an old fashioned golfing quirk is chanced upon – back-to-back par threes! “Cairngorms” is the 175-yard 16th hole played to a tiered green with magnificent views across the Firth and Tarbat Ness. It is followed by the 211-yard “Sahara Back” 17th hole which is often played short right by members to avoid sand and rough surrounding the green. A pitch and putt on the large, level green will often result in a par score at this hole.

At a touch over 6,000 yards in length, Golspie does not intimidate the visiting golfer in terms of yardage from tee to green but it does ask a fair number of strategic ball placement questions around the course so keep your thinking cap on when playing here.

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Reviews for Golspie

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Description: Golspie Golf Club is a vintage seaside course with a varied and enjoyable mix of links, heathland and parkland holes. Rating: 6.2 out of 10 Reviews: 18
TaylorMade
Jim McCann

When one of the golf magazines recently compiled its inaugural Scottish Top 100 chart, I noticed I hadn’t played four of the ten courses on that listing that are currently unranked on this website and Golspie, at number 63, was the highest placed of this quartet – only one thing to do then, of course; make the 450-mile round trip from Glasgow in order to satisfy myself that this course truly has what it takes to make it into the ranks of the national Top 100!



Golspie Golf Club - photo by Jim McCannThe opening 6 holes are a links delight with the rumpled fairways of the 3rd to the 5th hugging the coastline. The routing then turns inland to the raised ground around Ferry Wood and these heathland holes are surprisingly good. The 9th, “Paradise,” is an excellent par four that’s well worth its stroke index 1 rating and it reminded me of the type of hole you might find at the likes of Formby – same sort of undulating, springy fairway that’s bounded by heather and plays to a beautifully raised green with a wooded backdrop.



I know another reviewer has mentioned this part of the layout would not look out of place at the celebrated Hotchkin course in Lincolnshire. Well, I’ll echo that sentiment as I too loved this stretch of holes and they really set Golspie apart from most typical Scottish links courses. After playing alongside Ferry Road from the 11th to 14th, the course makes a move towards the coast for the closing holes and the back-to-back par threes at 16 and 17 are excellent, particularly the former with its wonderful two-tiered green.



I was alerted three years ago that this place could really be something if a little money was spent on it. Well I don’t know about the financial side of things since then but I do know that a couple of green keeping staff (with experience at Wentworth, Dornoch and Royal Aberdeen) have been brought in by the club and boy, does their input ever show around the place. This was the fourth time I’ve been north of Inverness to golf and the first time I’ve played Golspie. My advice to you if visiting either Dornoch or Brora is to make enough time for a round here as it’s a cracking little course that fully deserves its new found status as one of the best in the country. Jim McCann

August 02, 2011
7 / 10
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Jim Robertson
Unlike other reviewers I rate Golspie highly - most definitely a 5-ball course. The par 5 opener is somewhat bland (but very tough into a strong wind) but the par 3 2nd is a cracker with a very sloping green. Of the next stretch special mention goes to the fine par 5 4th and pretty par 3 6th. Golspie really comes into its own at the famous heathland loop from 8 - 11. These holes would grace any inland course, yea even the mighty Woodhall Spa. The par 3 10th with its water feature is just wonderful. There follows a rather bland stretch before the fine par 3 16th. The last two holes can only be decribed as 'challenging' (back into that north wind again). Golspie is one of 5 courses available via the Dornoch Firth Golf Pass which costs £30. You then get 30% off the green fee at Royal Dornoch, Struie, Brora and Tain as well as Golspie. An excellent scheme and Golspie fully merits its place in that exalted company.
July 25, 2011
8 / 10
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Andy Newmarch
In direct comparison to other Scottish Highland courses, Golspie would not be included in the top 7 of the region, this is no fault of Golspie but just that there are some fantastic courses in the Highlands. If I was asked to recommend a tour for a visitor to this part of Scotland then Golspie would not be on the list unless we could stretch the tour to more than 7 courses (I'll put my top 7 in order at the end of the review). At the course there is a nice atmosphere and a definite sense of history and to be honest, a decent golfing experience. The collection of holes are a little bit of links, some heath-style and there are even some that are similar to inland holes. The pick of the holes that I like are the par-5 5th, which is the only 3-shotter and the excellent par-3 10th - the best hole without doubt. I think the thing to remember when playing Golspie is that you are in a beautiful part of the world on a course where you should score well, so my advice is to take in the views, breathe the fresh air and get a decent score under your belt as the rest of the Highland courses are a fair bit tougher! My Highland top courses are as follows:- 1. Royal Dornoch, 2. Spey Valley, 3. Boat of Garten, 4. Nairn, 5. Brora, 6. Skibo Castle, 7. Tain ..... and I have not yet had the privilege to visit Castle Stuart in Inverness, which I am reliably told will be a Scottish Top 10 course very soon.
August 12, 2010
4 / 10
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leather wedge
August 13, 2010
great review this, and just goes to highlight how many great courses there are in the Highlands. While I'm thinking about it though, would offer up a slightly different ranking which may help when planning a tour: Tier 1 = Castle Stuart (it really is that good), Royal Dornoch, Nairn Tier 2 = Brora, Tain, Spey Valley Tier 3 = Golspie, Nairn Dunbar (Have not played Boat or Skibo, but dont think you can easily get on the latter anyway).
J. Wilkinson
Enjoyable course, not a classic but well worth a play. The links holes - 2-6 & 15-17 - are good fun with plenty of the obligatory humps and hollows. The heathland section - 7-11 - is the prettiest with the tough 9th being a standout. The only weak section would be holes 12-14 which are rather bland park/heathland but do offer a good chance of scoring well before the tough finish. 15 is a long par 4 into the prevailing wind, 16 is a delightful par 3 also usually into the wind. 17 may be a par 3 on the card but 4 is a decent score. 18 is a slightly strange hole requiring a good drive and mid-long iron over a hill - a par 4 here is a very good score.
August 04, 2008
6 / 10
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Jim McCann
September 04, 2008
When I played at Brora last year I was told that Golspie could be great if only some money was invested in the course - I wonder if this is true (though it could probably be said for most courses)?
W
Perhaps not a real classic, but nonetheless a very enjoyable golf course with some great holes and plenty of variety to keep most people happy and keen to come back for more. Despite the course being right on the shore at times, the turf is not necessarily that linksy and some of the best holes are more Sunningdale than St Andrews! The best run of holes is in the middle of your round 5-12 with a few fun links holes, followed by the aforementioned Surrey heathland before opening out again with some shortish par 4s. 16 and 17 are very good par 3s before a slightly disappointing finishing hole which has links characteristics but more parkland-like turf. Like Brora, the clubhouse isn't pretty but the welcome is another warm one and Golspie should definitely be included in your itinerary.
June 04, 2006
6 / 10
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Keith Baxter

Played Golspie last week and it's not in the same league as Royal Dornoch but who said it was? This is a stunning little course with probably the ugliest clubhouse I have ever seen. Still this review is all about the course and I really liked it... a few holes are a bit flat and a trifle boring but some holes are the real links thing and others would not be out of place on a Surrey heathland course. It has to be one of the best value courses in Scotland and frankly it is worth the 10-mile short trip up the coast from Dornoch. Well worth playing.

May 26, 2006
5 / 10
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David
I have played many courses all over Scotland and i was very keen to play Golspie as i had read so many good things about it.However it is the only course i would not play again. Much of it is flat and uninspiring and while it has some good holes the idea it is in the same league as nearby Dornoch is ridiculous.
November 09, 2005
2 / 10
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Ah Golspie a brilliant hybrid course offering a combination of links, heathland and parkland golf. It’s not the longest course but it’s a real challenge and I always find it tough to play to handicap here. The Highland setting is really magical and there is no doubting where you are playing this is golf the true Scottish way. Simply unique and totally charming.
November 04, 2005
6 / 10
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