However, we’re so glad that we did because it’s a lovely links golf course and one I will remember with much fondness.
Quite often when you venture off the beaten golfing path you come across hidden gems like this and Inverallochy most certainly falls into this category.
Its par is 67 and its length a modest 5,436 yards but there is lots of fun, as well as good golf, compressed into this relatively short course. It's worthy of inclusion in our best golf courses under 6,000 yards.
Golf dates back to 1888 at Inverallochy but the course fell into disrepair between 1910 and 1950. Fortunately in 1951 the locals wanted to claim back what had become sheep-grazing land and thankfully they were successful and by 1954 18 holes were back in operation.
The biggest compliment I can offer Inverallochy, located right in the north-eastern tip of Aberdeenshire, is that each and every hole offers something good or interesting. At the first it is the stunning vista to your left as you walk down the fairway; a view that can be seen from most holes but you are never closer than at the opening hole. On the day we visited the water of the North Sea was a beautiful turquoise colour.
Meanwhile, the green settings at the second and fourth are very good and whilst there is an open feel to the first section of the course the holes are structurally sound. However, this delightful course really gets going from the sixth with an excellent heroic drive and an even better approach to this tempting par five.
You then find yourself in a very narrow strip of linksland where Whitelinks Bay pinches in to the mainland but where the architect has brilliantly created three one-shotters. Each one splendid, each one varied, each one demanding. The first two come back-to-back at the seventh and eight whilst you must wait until the 14th before you play the third, shooting in the opposite direction.
In-between you still have the best part of the course to play. Holes nine through to 13 are very good. You initially tackle two shortish par fours on higher ground before descending down at the short 11th, a hole with a fabulous green, then making a U-turn and heading back between dunes on the lower ground closer to the shore.
The course very much ends as it started on more open land but the quality is still high and the holes retain your attention.
Inverallochy certainly over-delivered on my expectations and I came away very impressed by this hidden treasure. Tagging it on to a round at Fraserburgh ensured this was one of the most enjoyable 36-hole days I’ve had on the links and I would recommend you do the same.
Eyemouth is an easy-going, golf course with many different sections but mostly plays along the clifftops of the beautiful coastline close to the England-Scotland border.
There is something about Elie that puts you under a spell. It is a truly magical links that, after just one round, has won a place in my heart and mind forever.