Scottish Links Golf
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Royal Aberdeen, Cruden Bay...
Royal Troon, Turnberry, Prestwick...
Just east of Edinburgh
Scotland's Golf Coast
North Berwick, Muirfield, Gullane...
Boat of Garten
Bonar Bridge Ardgay
Fortrose & Rosemarkie
St. Andrews area
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What others say
Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Course ©
How the great Scottish golf course architect James Braid managed to squeeze an 18 hole, 5,890 yard links golf course into the Chanonry Peninsula, a narrow wedge of land at the mouth of the Moray Firth, is amazing enough. How it plays as if there were all the room in the world makes it doubly amazing. Then add the fact that this is not just a mediocre golf course but an outstanding Scottish links golf course. Since the first ball was teed up in 1932, the golfing community has been in awe of Braid's skill as a golf course architect.
Fortrose and Rosemarkie is an outstanding example of a course that the independent golf traveler will play but those who choose to hook up with a golf tour company will never see. A shame, really, because it's such an unusual play.
Because of the shape of the land--a irregularly shaped triangular crescent is the best way to describe it--Fortrose and Rosemarkie's front nine are unlike any I've ever seen. Consider this: holes 1 through 5 tiptoe along the sea with water on your left all the way. Holes 6 thru 8 turn back in the opposite direction but the water is still on your left! Unusual to say the least so right-handed hookers and left-handed slicers beware. Holes 10 through 18 then ramble back and forth in the middle of this narrow peninsula. What this does, then, is to keep you guessing about the wind. On the classic out-and-back links layouts the wind will favor you either on the front nine or back nine. At Fortrose and Rosemarkie, because of the constant changes in direction of the holes, you can never ease up your concern about taking the wind into consideration on club selection. And when the wind howls off the Moray Firth, you'll have your hands more than full shooting your handicap.
Fortrose and Rosemarkie is not a long golf course but it's no push-over. Accuracy is rewarded as is confidence. I say confidence because the sea will be your companion for half the round and deep gorse for the other half. And for the entire 18 holes you'll be negotiating strategically-placed bunkers. Did I mention the wind? It's as much a part of the game at Fortrose and Rosemarkie as is the grass--and this wind can howl. For example, on the 5th, a 132 yard par 3, you could be hitting anything from a wedge to a hard 4 iron depending if the wind is coming at you or from behind you. If the wind is blowing across your path, you may be aiming at another flag and hoping the wind will draw or fade you back to the green. Speaking of greens, they are small and tricky and great fun to putt on because the ball will run true
Location: South of Dornoch. Take the A9 and then turn east (left) on the A832 for 9 miles to Ness Road, where you turn east into Fortrose. Then follow the sign for the golf course.
Golf Nook rating - PAR
For What To Do All Day, please refer to Northern Highlands.