Originating as far back as the 1920’s the Isle of Harris Golf Club closed in 1939 and didn’t re-open until 1985.
The club is now owned by its members, after they purchased it in 2000, and what a lucky group of golfers they are to play here.
The opening tee shot sets a strong tone that resonates throughout the rest of the round. You drive from an elevated tee down to a fairway that narrows and then sweeps to the right cascading to a green complex that virtually backs onto the white sandy beaches of the Sound of Taransay, eventually leading onto the Atlantic Ocean.
The opening three holes, all short par fours, make fabulous use of a triangular parcel of linksland. Any one of these holes could be taken individually and lifted onto any number of top links golf courses and wouldn’t look out of place. Each one at less than 300 yards gives you the option of going for the green but I suspect most people will make their birdies by playing more conservatively, especially at the second where a thrilling tee shot over the sea is required.
The terrain of the course changes slightly for the next four holes - yet still produces captivating golf holes - before returning to more undulating ground for the final hole, a par five of just 484 yards but rarely reachable in two thanks to the rising nature of the land and the inevitable coastal wind.
The course is located in a stunning setting but it was the quality of the golf holes that impressed me the most at Scarista. If you love links golf then a visit to the Isle of Harris Golf Club is well worth it.
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.
There’s very little that hasn’t been written about the golfing mecca that is St. Andrews.