Scotland’s Brora Golf Club – Avoid the Sheep
Brora Golf Club in the north of Scotland has some interesting local rules because a flock of sheep is housed in the middle of the course and they are free to roam all over! As a result each green and some tees have electric fencing around them! In 1891 Old Tom Morris designed a course for the Brora Golf Club in Sutherland, just twenty minutes away from Royal Dornoch. This natural course has all the attributes of typical Scottish seaside links course. In 1923 James Braid redesigned Brora and today it is glorious 6110 yards par 69 course with certain unique characteristics.
The course has a profusion of gorse, thyme juniper growing and the sound and sight of the sea greets the player on every tee. Each green has some lovely borrows. The bunkers are strategic but fair in their design and as the local sand is light, it facilitates recovery. The layout of Brora is classic with panoramic views to feast your eyes on as you go around the course. The first holes are along the shore with the sea to your right and begin with an easy opening hole. The vista of the sea and surrounding landscape can be a distraction on the second tee. There are a series of short holes that are located in the direction of each of the main points of the compass. The wind has an important role in the game here. Braid has cunningly included a hole that cannot be reached in two shots.
The ninth is so close to the sea that you can hear the sounds of sea spray. The 13th is a gem but the finest are the final two holes of Brora. The 17th, Tarbatness, is a demanding par four with an elevated tee and is so named because of the lighthouse which gives a line to this fine driving hole. The 18th is a long par three of over 200 yards with the last green under the clubhouse window. In all, the course is a fair and challenging test of the golfer’s skill on a traditional links course.