Grantown-on-Spey Golf Club
The predominantly fast-running and at times undulating par 70 layout was originally designed by Willie Park in 1911 with later assistance from James Braid in 1921.
The 5,710-yard course, which owes its well draining nature to its gravel base, is easily split into three distinct sections.
The first six holes are played on flatter, more open parkland before the course delves into some stunning woodland with holes lined by swathes of heather for holes 7 to 12 whilst the 13th transitions us back to the clubhouse before a fun loop of fives holes over some incredible bumpy terrain at the opposite end of the estate.
The best of the golf is found in the middle section of the round and I suspect is the main reason Golf World magazine placed Grantown so high (46th) in their most recent Scottish Top 100 golf courses. All six of these holes are excellent with the 7th and 12th arguably the standouts.
The final frenzied five holes also add much to the round. The 265-yard 15th was a hole I am particular fond of. You must favour the left side of this hogs-back fairway for a short pitch into a raised green otherwise you could find yourself in all kinds of trouble. The next, a par three of just 137-yards, looks fairly innocuous on the card too but is protected by no less than nine bunkers!
In summary; the first third of the round eases you in, the middle section contains some top notch golf and the final fling has bags of fun.
If you are heading north to the Scottish Highlands there are a number of golf courses you can jump off the A9 to play and Grantown is one I would highly recommend. The mountain views, especially the one from the elevated ninth tee, are worth the modest green-fee alone.