Yesterday I reported about my refreshing arrival at and on the wonderful golf course in Brora. Today I go to the course.

James Braid, once again, stands for this place with his reputation. Legend has it that in 1924 he received the sum of £25 to design the course, which celebrated its birth as a 9-hole course in 1891 and was extended to 18 holes in 1900. As mentioned earlier, the Brora Golf Club is also home to the James Braid Society.

Whenever I roll onto the parking lot here - I'm here for the sixth time now - I think that the clubhouse doesn't exactly fit the place. The real home would be a wooden hut with a tin can in which you throw in your fee and then get going. Probably the members wouldn't like it if my redesign plans came to pass, but I stay on it. But so, the clubhouse, from which restaurant you have a wonderful view over the course, especially the 18th green and the northern edge of the Dornoch Firth, is used as a place for various social festivities like in so many golf clubhouses all around Scotland. Today, a wedding is on the agenda, which enchants the surprisingly many guest golfers because of the glasses of champagne.  The fact that these were not served for them only disappoints those for a moment, and then they went on reminiscing about the previous round.
From my previous visits I remember this place as quite lonely. I can't remember having seen more than two or three other groups on the course before, more often I was alone with my group. But there is a lot going on today. Obviously the rush of American golf tourists, who played the nearby Dornoch course, which has been famous in the USA for a long time, is bigger in summer than at the times, mostly in May, when I was usually here.
Be that as it may, the first tee is free and I'm off. A simple but nevertheless interesting first hole falls blindly down at first, only to leave a short shot to the right to an elevated green; I guess the more talented and local golfer often goes for the direct line to the flagstick on that par 4. The open sea is very present on this course, at least on the front 9 to the right. Apart from the first par 3, the sixth hole, you play permanently parallel to it, hardly ever separated by a dune. On the ninth hole, again a par 3, it goes almost directly to the water, the beach starts directly behind the green. Many would call this the signature hole in Brora since it is truely scenic.

In general, the par 3 of the course are very original. Altogether they form a cross and go - even if not to the degree exactly - in all four directions. It is these holes that will be remembered most in the visitor's mind because of their respective layout. The first hole abruptly changes direction. While it went straight away from the clubhouse on the first five holes, it suddenly turns left at a right angle. In the case of wind, which is of course more the rule than the exception with the coastal location, this is a special challenge. The ninth hole captivates with its wonderful location near the beach. The 13th hole is very short, about 100 meters, depending on the flag position. But the green is surrounded by five bunkers and a meandering stream, the Clyne Burn. With a little wind this hole can become quite challenging. Finally, the 18 remains, a great closing hole. As I said before, the green lies directly under the windows of the gastronomy, which certainly provides special fun in club tournaments. But even without the pressure to be asked later by the other members about an observed disaster, this hole is challenging. 175 meters have to be carried. If it is 173.5 meters, the ball rolls down the six, seven meter high hill of the green to the left, if it is 180 meters, the ball rolls backwards. Either way, feeling is a must, either on the tee or on the next pitch.

Of course you have to mention that there is a good reason why the greens are separated from the rest of the place by electrified wires. On these sensitive areas, the specific picture on the rest of the site would be somewhat undesirable: grazing cows and sheep.

Again, I had a fantastic day on this jewel. The first round was comparatively slow, because I had to play through three groups, which always takes some time. Arriving on the 12th hole I waved briefly to my textile home on the campsite:

When I took the ball out of the hole on the 18th green, it was 6:00pm. I listened into myself for a moment and went straight back to the 1st tee. All in all I only needed 4:45 hours for the 36 holes. This way I really enjoy this sport! How often do you have that opportunity?

Today the cycgo rating can only be a James Braid memorial coin in shining gold.