My Favorite Course in the UK


The farther I can get from the obvious trophy courses when visiting Scotland, the more authentic my visits always prove to be (and the less likely it will take more than 3.5 hours to play). I hesitate to mention 120-year-old Brora Golf Club in northern Scotland, and only do so because you are unlikely to venture 52 miles north of Inverness, past Dornoch, to play a 6,156-yard course that isn’t particularly famous. But Brora is the sublimest of Scottish links, shaped by the genius hand of James Braid and cut by the Clynelish burn, which runs past the fine whisky distillery of the same name. Brora’s greens are mined with deep, revetted bunkers and surrounded by electric fences to keep out grazing sheep and cattle, and golfers must step carefully over these fences to reach the putting surfaces, thus adding a dimension of potential danger that golf usually lacks. Around the corner lies the rock-solid Royal Marine Hotel, where the manager once presented me with a blue-striped Brora Golf Club tie that I still cherish and wear with pride on special occasions.

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