Episode 11: Brora
In Season 2 of Tourist Sauce, a golf travel series from No Laying Up, the guys head to the Home of Golf for 12 unforgettable rounds of golf, and a lot in between.
Brora is a special course, and the place I’d most want to play everyday in Scotland. There aren’t a ton of individual holes that stick out (unlike Dornoch or Berwick), rather it’s consistently solid throughout. The course is truly more than the sum of its parts, and that’s even before considering the graciousness of the professional, Malcolm Murray, and the pastoral setting.
Soly’s writeup from the round of his (*alleged) ace is probably a better resource for a hole-by-hole and photography, as the light he enjoyed that day was as good as any I’ve seen in Scotland.
Opted to do a photo essay and some high-level thoughts about the course here. While you may look at the pictures below and think that the course is rustic or even in shitty condition, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. As mentioned in the episode, the greens were as good as any we putted on the trip. The links land that James Braid found here features some of the gnarliest natural fairway rumples and rolls I’ve ever seen. Lastly, the routing is refreshing in that it’s an out and back affair that doesn’t feel like one, as there are a few twists along the way, namely nos. 6, 13, and 16. Lastly, massive props to Malcolm, for personally creating one of the better yardage books I’ve used. Tons of usable info – distinctly opposite from that down the road in Dornoch.
THE COURSE IN ONE WORD: feral
WEIRD COURSE TRIVIA: Brora architect James Braid, who designed over 200 courses across the British Isles and Europe, also won five Open Championships and was the only guy to successfully defend his Open title until Padraig Harrington.
WHAT SHOULD I DO BEFORE PLAYING THIS COURSE?: Put on your walking shoes and mentally prepare for one of the most pleasant walks on the planet. Everything about the place puts you at ease.
CLUBHOUSE/FOOD: Clubhouse is pretty basic and I did not eat there on either visit, owing partly to the quick pace of play (well under four hours) and partly to the proximity to Dornoch. Make sure to visit the pro shop for some merchandise – in a country with relatively crappy logos and merch, Brora punches well above its weight.
TEE TIMES: Visit the club’s website.
GREEN FEES: Offseason (Nov-Feb) £40; Mar £45; Apr £55; May-Oct £80 for 18, £99 for all day, £225 for unlimited weekly ticket.
ACCOMMODATIONS: We stayed at the Royal Golf Hotel Dornoch, about a 25 minute drive south of Brora. A few good options up in Brora if you’re looking to get away.