Brora Golf Club

Brora, United Kingdom

For a refreshingly laid-back links golf experience, look no further than Brora Golf Club. Fairly unknown outside the local community, Brora Golf Club is situated in the northern Highlands 20 miles from Royal Dornoch.

The course at Brora Golf Club could best be described as “unpretentious.” It’s built on an ancient tract of farmland that runs along the North Sea. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see sheep and cattle roaming the fairways.

Playing golf at Brora feels like stepping back in time, and not just because of the resident livestock. It’s also because the course has remained pretty much the same since it was built by Old Tom Morris in 1891 and overhauled by James Braid a little over 30 years later.

For a relatively short course, Brora is more challenging than it lets on. Rabbit holes, cattle dung, and barren fescue fairways are among the course’s most effective hazards, but rest assured, it still has 50 bunkers for good measure. The North Sea acts as a rather large lateral water hazard on the visually striking, par-three ninth, followed by a railway line coming into play on the 10th.

Despite all its quirks, Brora is easy to fall in love with. Just look at Peter Thomson, who became smitten during his first visit in 1995. Thomson would go on to call Brora “The purest links golf course in the world,” and honestly, it’s hard to argue with the opinion of a five-time Open champion.