Fortrose & Rosemarkie: One of Braid's best-kept secrets
Situated on the Chanonry Peninsula – a narrow protrusion off the Scottish coast – Fortrose & Rosemarkie Golf Links enjoys an enviable position to the north-east of Inverness which is one of the most unique courses you will come across anywhere in the World.
Measuring 6085 yards which is relatively short to many new modern courses, it is packed with hazards and small greens that putt beautifully, albeit with some subtle borrows. The lack of length may look inviting to some, but the wayward ‘bomber’ will rapidly come to grief here with gorse, the beach and strategically placed bunkers some of the many hazards you will come across.
Not only does it possess some of the finest scenes in the Highlands, Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Links is the 15th Oldest Recorded Golf Club in the World (1793) and is oozing with history.
The first documentary evidence of golf being played at Fortrose was during the year 1702, and Fortrose Golf Society was formed in 1793, where the sport was played down from the caravan site at Fortrose towards the point area, and then back up again to where the current log cabin is situated at the top of the site.
In 1932, one of the games finest architects was invited to advise on a new course layout. In a newspaper report on June 8, 1935, it was noted that "the new 18-hole course, laid out by Mr James Braid, is of great variety and necessitates much skill," adding that it's sporting character will no doubt attract many visitors to the club".
In the 1940s the course and clubhouse was requisitioned by the military authorities as a training ground, where sea landing tactics were practiced in preparation for D-Day.
What makes it special
Fortrose boasts a plethora of unique visitors to its name over the years. These include former prime minister Herbert Asquith and even King Haakon of Norway, who visited the course during the Second World War and surveyed the scene as his troops trained alongside other allied forces in preparation for the D-Day landings.
On a clear day the Chanonry Lighthouse stands out against the sombre background of Fort George. The fort was initially a chain of garrison barracks constructed along a line of the Great Glen to house Government troops who were given the task of bringing the highland clans into line following the Battle of Culloden in 1746.
Chanonry Point is one of the best coastal vantage points in Europe to spot the wildlife of the Moray Firth. Look out across the firth just as the tide starts to rise, and you are highly likely to spot dolphins as they swim in-land to feed. You may also be lucky enough to see the Dolphins when playing on the Links at the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th holes.
The Club was voted as Scotland’s Best Golfing Experience (value for money) at the Scottish Golf Tourism Awards 2018 and 2019.
Where does it rank?
50th in Scotland and 196th in GB&I
Where is it?
The club is located in between the towns of Fortrose and Rosemarkie, in Inverness, overlooking Moray Firth.
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