According to geologist, geographer and golf consultant Robert Price’s book Scotland’s Golf Courses, “a different type of links course is to be found at Spey Bay. An 18-hole course has been laid out on a series of raised, storm-beach ridges which accumulated during periods of higher relative sea level some 6,000 years ago.”
He continues: “The ridges consist of boulders and pebbles and largely coincide with the rough of gorse and heather, whilst the fairways are to be found in the shallow ‘valleys’ between the ridges. Wind direction and strength obviously play an important part in determining the difficulty of this course.”
Ben Sayers, one of the best players to compete in the Open championship and never win it – with twelve top ten finishes in thirty four tournaments – was the man who laid out the course in 1907 when he routed the fairways in an out and back fashion along the Moray coastline. Several holes were lost during the 1980s due to storm damage but most of the original layout remains intact.The signature hole is still the 138-yard 8th, situated at the most easterly point on the property. Out of bounds extends to the left and beyond this par three hole, with a nasty pot bunker positioned to the front left of an elevated, shallow putting surface. Pray the wind is blowing against when standing on the tee as that’s the best chance of playing a tee shot to hit and hold this treacherous green.
January 07, 2007