11 reviews of Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club
A great course in great condition. I felt there were no weak holes on the course with the well placed bunkers and gorse making you really think about every shot, especially in the wind. We managed to get a tee off time as the tide was coming in and so were able to see plenty of dolphins in the backdrop. The most scenic course that I have ever played.
Our group had a fantastic days golf at F&R in May 2007 during our golf odyssey to the Scottish Highlands. Located about 40 minutes north of Inverness, the course is on a spit of land sticking out into the forth and is open to all the elements, as we were to find out later that day.
In our morning round the sea was flat calm and we all scored well - the stroke index 1 hole proving very difficult even in benign conditions. After a quick lunch, we set off for round 2 to be met with a gale which was blowing at about 60 mph. Fantastic when driving down wind but not so good when playing in any other direction!! For example, in the morning I played the short par 3 6th with a 9 iron, in the afternoon I hit a good 4 iron and was about 15 yards short. Despite the conditions I thoroughly enjoyed the course which was in good nick throughout. It's not a difficult test by any means, it's more the kind of place that makes you feel glad that you've been there and played it, just by it's sheer quirkiness.
The clubhouse was nice and cosy and we were made to feel welcome. One really noticable aspect was the sheer number of juniors who were playing which I thought was great to see considering that the area is fairly sparsely populated and is well off the beaten track.
We stayed just down the road at a fantastic pub in Fortrose called the Anderson which I notice has won the CAMRA Pub of the Year for 2007 since our visit. This does not surprise me in the slightest as I have never seen a pub which had such a wide selection of drinks. In addition, the pub restaurant did great food at very reasonable prices. Landlord Jim (a displaced American) is worth a visit himself.
What a hidden gem, a fantastic introduction to links golf, a colleague and I played recently using a 2 for 1 voucher, making it exceptional value for money.
Having never played links golf before this was an ideal course to start, not overly busy. The weather was ideal to start sea was like a mill pond with no wind to speak of.
Tight fairways and fast greens, make positional play essential, on the majority of holes the further you go the tighter it becomes so long irons are the order of the day. Hole #4 stroke index 1 needs to be played conservatively, only use an iron to the edge of the ridge and take a disaster out of play. 7 of the first 8 holes are lined with water making imposing views. The weather bared its teeth on the back 9 just to keep us both honest and it became a different course.
For any body on a golfing tour of Scotland, but want to avoid the overpriced championship courses, mke a bee line here and enjoy the fantastic course and facilities
We played at the end of March on a beautiful morning with a hint of breeze. The views from all around the course were stunning with Fort George just across the firth. The staff in the pro shop and the members were all very friendly. The course starts with 3 quite tight holes before the tough par 5 4th. You need to lay up before the bank or you can end up with a tough lie and no chance to go for the green. The 5th is super short links par 3. After that it does open up a bit and the back 9 is relatively short with a few drivable par 4s but the awkward greens can make good scoring tricky. The tees and greens were in great condition especially for the time of year. Overall this is a super course, a bargain at £16 using 241 and a course that I will look forward to playing again. The food in the clubhouse was also top notch.
Not the longest of course this, playing 5800 off whites and 5600 off yellows, but it is a real challenge to score well around Fortrose.
Surrounded by the sea, it is set out on a peninsular which I would imagine means that the wind is blowing pretty much all of the time. The views are stunning, the holes beautifully set out to capture so much of what is going on around you. If you only plan the one visit, a camera must be taken on the course with you.
Some of the holes leave a tight landing area off the tee and can quickly destroy any chance of you carding a decent sccre. This is not really a "boom-boom" course. A bit of thought and positional play off the tee is an absolute must. particularly if the wind gets up - better to be short but straight than long and nowhere.
My only criticism of our visit was that the greens were a little bit "two paced". There were some very good putters in our 4 and we would play 3 or 4 holes on the bounce then get to a green which was much faster/slower than what we had played, making it very difficult to get any consistency or confidence going on the greens. They did run true, however, it was just so frustrating to find yourself 4 feet short or 6 feet long on every other hole.
That said, the course is well worth a visit as it is very well laid out and is in such a stunning setting. The locals were the friendliest we met on our trip, encouraging us to come and join them and making us extremely welcome indeed.
As an avid Braid fan, I have to agree with all the previous comments. This true links course tests the average golfer in a similar manner as an Open rota course would test a pro, and as such it is immensely pleasurable to play. Don't miss this course out. On 2F1 it is great value.
Fortrose & Rosemarkie:
This has to be one of the best settings for a links course in Britain, despite the much over used phrase, this is a hidden gem. The course is squeezed into the Chanonry Peninsula, with a lighthouse perched at the end of the headland. The layout is an outer loop out and back followed by an inner loop out and back. Its an open course, where solitude is not at a premium, you are often aware of other golfers on other holes, be prepared to shout fore if you err. Fairways are often only separated by a hint of whins. This club makes great play of its wildlife and environmental management of the policy, something I think all courses should take seriously. Fortrose & Rosemarkie is a course where you break the old golfing adage of keep your head down. In between shots, lift up thine eyes & look around for the resident school of bottle-nosed dolphins, particularly on the first eight fairways. The club and pro, in particular, are very friendly and helpful. On my first visit I was delighted that our discounted green fee (2 fore 1 scheme) included insurance for the day it was only later that I was to discover how important that could be. As with many of James Braids courses, the start is gentle in terms of length. However, accuracy is at a premium if you want to score well. The beach & sea are lateral hazards on many holes!! The signature hole is the 4th, off the back tees it is a 455 yard par 5, but off the yellows it is a daunting 446 yard par 4. The fairway is split by a gully at 240 yards (yellows), so on a rare windless day a good, accurate, whack with a driver / 3 wood will leave you with a second shot of 225 yards to a small elevated green with a dogleg approach. To carry the gully it would need an accurate carry of over 270 yards. The fun is not over then, once ensconced on the dance floor the slopes and borrows mean that two putting is no certainty and when the wind blows, keep your calculators handy. For me this is one of the hardest holes that Braid ever designed. Play it as a par 5 and be content with a 6. Beauty follows the beast, a par 3 of only 123 yards. This is the first time you realise why you were given the insurance policy, the course is split into by a road busy with beach goers, as with any links courses this can be anything form a flick with a sand wedge to a good heave-ho with a long iron. The nature of the course changes as you head along the other side of the headland, the fairways are more generous & fairway bunkering becomes more significant. Again there are the usual Braid devices of relative short tempting holes where accuracy is at a premium and bunkers await to punish the greedy. The strategy options are clear, high risk playing for birdie or bogey , or playing conservatively for par. One prime example of this is the par 4 seventh, a slight dogleg, drivable 255 yard par four. The green is surrounded by three hungry bunkers, whereas a drive of 129 yards will leave you with just 125 yards to the middle of the green and leave you safe from the fairway bunkers. The course continues in a similar vein with some blind tee shots, though the real issue is the road. It is literally a handful of yards from the greens of the 9th, 10th, 12th (where I pitched on the road and watched transfixed as the ball mercifully ballooned over an oncoming car), and also on the 13th & 14th . Of the inward 9, my personal favourites were the 16th (330 yards) and 17th (345 yards), both short par fours that encourage a testosterone / titanium driven approach taking on bunkers, ridges and unseen fairways. The 18th (195 yards) is a long well-bunkered par three with out of bounds tight on the left. Youll leave this course admonishing yourself for not scoring as well as you would expect on a course of modest length. But youll have learnt that length is not the main factor in determining a good test of golf. Fortrose & Rosemarkie is a course that you will look forward to playing again. In the meantime you will plot how to tame the par four 4th and convince yourself that next time you really will score well here ..dream on! A course that entices, delights, frightens and frustrates the essential ingredients of a top notch course, one of the many legacies of the great James Braid that we should cherish first hand.
Played here in mid-May of 2000. There was, in my judgement, a howling right to left wind, but given the location on a peninsula I suspect the wind is a normal feature. Shot an 85 which I was very pleased with considering I was 27! after the first four holes (8,5,6,8). Had the pleasure(?) of seeing my tee shot on two land in the upper reaches of the fairway and then trickle, trickle, trickle, to a gorse bush on the left margin of the fairway. Thought I had the Lighthouse (#4) in hand until I hit my third into what must have been the densest patch of rough in all of Scotland. All in all, I had a great time (once I remembered to keep the ball low) and would look forward to playing it again and again. Some of the shorter par fours are devilish. Great fun and highly recommended.
I played this course twice in one week in late September. The first time, the wind and rain from the sea over the first three or four holes made play very difficult and a par a real triumph.
The long hole up to the lighthouse is very testing and it is followed by a very challenging short hole where accuracy is all.
The second time, I played the easier back nine first and, in better weather, I thought I had a good score in hand. However, the second, third, fourth and fifth holes brought me back down to earth.
A great little course where accurate stroke-making brings benefits. Very fair.
Fortrose and Rosemarkie Golf Club on Black Isle, 14 miles north east of Inverness. A very nice seaside course built on a peninsula between the Moray Firth and the Inverness Firth. The course offers panoramic views in every direction. Our round in the month of October was greated with wind, rain and snow flakes. Even so we enjoyed not only the course but the people we met at the club.
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