Sitting between rolling hills to the South and a rugged coastline to the North, Moray Speyside certainly has a unique landscape. It’s no wonder then that some of the worlds most revered course designers decided to make their mark here.
Moray Speyside's many courses offer the same quality and history of some of the most famous championship courses in Scotland with the added bonus of being affordable and accessible for players of all levels. Read on to find out more about these courses and the icons that designed them.
Moray Golf Club
Founded in 1889, Moray Golf Club’s old course was designed by the legendary Old Tom Morris. Thomas Mitchell Morris (16 June 1821 – 24 May 1908), otherwise known as Old Tom Morris, was a Scottish golfer. He was born in St Andrews, Fife, the "home of golf" and location of the St Andrews Links, and died there as well.
Regarded as the father of modern green keeping, Tom Morris was influential in beginning The Open Championship in 1860, along with James Fairlie, and struck the very first shot in that event.
Morris designed the Old Course at Moray as a classic links, with deep riveted bunkers, undulating gorse lined fairways and smooth fast greens. It is considered by many to be one of the finest links courses in Scotland, a superb test of golf with seven par fours over 400 yards.
But Moray Golf Club doesn’t stop delivering great architecture there. In 1979, Sir Henry Cotton designed the Moray New Course. Cotton was an English professional golfer who won the Open Championship in 1934, 1937 and 1948, becoming the leading British player of his generation. The Rookie of the Year award in the European Tour is named after him.
Mostly associated with golf architecture in Portugal, where he called home, The New Course at Moray is one of only two courses in Scotland designed by the three-time Open Champion.
Cullen Golf Club
Old Tom Morris, impressed by Moray Speyside’s natural coastline and sandy soil, went on to design the original nine holes at Cullen Golf Links. The result: An impressive design from golfing history that is classed by many as a true hidden gem.
It’s course design where his legacy is most prominent, as he laid out some of the best-known courses across the British Isles, from Open Championship designs to ‘hidden gems’, Cullen Links is one such hidden gem.
Forres Golf Club
Another former Open Champion, James Braid, also ventured to Moray Speyside. He designed the original nine holes at Forres Golf Club in 1889.
In 1912, Braid scaled back his tournament golf and developed a very successful career in golf course design. He is sometimes regarded as the "inventor" of the dogleg.
Forres Golf Course was then further expanded in 1912 to eighteen holes by Willie Park Jnr, another two-time Open Champion. In his later years, Park built a significant career as one of the world's best golf course architects.
The 6,236-yard, par-70 course at Forres has hosted various professional tournaments, a true testament to the quality of the course, and continues to please members and visitors alike.
Spey Bay Golf Course
The course at Spey Bay Golf Club was designed in 1907 by Professional golfer Ben Sayers, who went onto become a distinguished golf teacher, golf course designer and manufacturer of golf clubs and equipment.
Sayers used the natural shape of the rugged coastline to create what has been described as “a coastal heathland type of links golf”. Several holes were lost during the 1980’s due to storm damage, however, most of Sayers original layout still exists.
Immersed in golfing history, the classic yet quirky courses in Moray Speyside will provide players from all over the world, a challenging yet enjoyable experience, thanks to the foresight and creativity of some of the icons of the golfing world.
We hope you enjoy!