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Brora Golf Club – Scotland’s Very Own Waterville

Much like Waterville on the remote southwest of Ireland a visit to Brora is as much about the journey of discovery as it is about the golf. With an intangible aura about the links and sense of vulnerability as you battle the elements on the remotest of golfing outposts, a trip to Brora is only taken by the most eager and knowledgeable golf connoisseurs.

A 16 mile transfer from Dornoch in the far north of Scotland feels a little longer as the drive takes you meandering round the mountainous landscapes at the foot of the Scottish Highlands, round lochs and past the front door of Dunrobbin Castle which dates back to the 13th century. Then without realising you enter the small village of Brora where the member to inhabitants ratio is a staggering 1:2, testament to the quality and inherent culture of golf in the town.

The 18 hole course is made famous in modern times for the introduction of electric fencing which keeps the resident sheep & cattle from grazing on the shorter stuff. Furthermore Brora is noted as being home to the James Braid Golfing Society. Braid was commissioned back in 1923 to extend the original 9 holes laid out by Old Tom Morris. This involved Braid taking the train from London where he would spend just a day redesigning the course before taking the return leg south the following day. The briefest of visits would cost Brora Golf Club the sum of £25. It could be argued that the work of James Braid that day on the links remains the best preserved example of 19th century golf found anywhere in mainland Scotland.

The course offers a traditional out and back layout of which the front 9 plays on the shore-side. On these outward holes the wild north sea can either be seen or heard. As you make the turn at the 9th, a short par 3 perched on the edge of the beach the back nine plays alongside the railway and pasture land with the previous holes imposing sand dunes replaced with views of the neighbouring snow tipped mountains. When visiting Brora don’t expect manicured fairways and greens. (Although both greens & bunkers were in pristine condition) No, instead travel to Brora with the understanding that this historic links is sustainable golf at it’s most enjoyable.

So in 2016 come celebrate Brora’s 125th birthday and enjoy a uniquely wonderful golf experience. If your visit to Royal Dornoch doesn’t include an accompanying round at Brora more fool you.

Green Fees – £49. For more information visit


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