The old course at Moray Golf Club is a quaint Old Tom Morris original featuring deep revetted bunkers, undulating gorse confined fairways, and smooth flowing putting surfaces. This is not going to be on anyone’s “A” list of must courses to play in Scotland but, in my humble opinion, it is a destination worth seeking out if you are traveling along the northern coast of Scotland. It is the proud asset of this small seaside community of Lossiemouth.
The clubhouse displays a dignified stature sitting atop a hill overlooking the finishing hole and seaside links land below. Five flagpoles and a commemorative sundial stand proudly above the practice putting green and some terraced hills creating a perfect amphitheater setting for those enjoying happy hour at the clubhouse bar. As you finish your game you will undoubtedly get some cheers and jeers from related interested parties.
With seven par fours of 400 yards or more, only two par fives at 2 and 17, and a par of 71 there are long stretches of challenging golf without relief and this is plenty of course to chew on for the average bear. The apparent flatness of the terrain, there are very few high dunes except Mt. Lebanon adjacent to the first and last holes, is a bit of a sucker punch because Old Tom found plenty of humps and hollows in the seaside terrain to create fairways and green complexes that impart serious movement as your ball is seeking it’s targets. The holes are very tightly packed in and there really is not much other than fairway and gorse so any significant wandering off the playing line can mean unplayable circumstances.
The holes themselves are a wonderful collection of links offerings and you will encounter all the characteristics of washboard fairways, intrusive burns, nasty revetted bunkers, and raised greens with arbitrary runoffs. Controlling the sideways movement of your ball is the key and enlisting the help of the given terrain is the best way to do this.
When we played the course they had been experiencing a prolonged hot and dry summer so the course played as hard and fast as the playground out back of P.S. 84 in the Bronx. The lack of any high obstacles means that any wind experienced at Moray will have full force since there is little in the way to obstruct it. The parched conditions coupled with a stiff 25 mile an hour wind made it a real chess match to anticipate the roll out on even the shortest approach shots. We would have been lost without the valued advice of a couple of caddies who knew the lay of the land.
There are not a whole lot of memorable holes on the course but I will say the last five will get your attention. It is a strong finish that begins at the par four fourteenth that gets it’s name from it’s bearing toward the sea. On a clear day the green is majestically framed by the sea and a lighthouse in the distance. The par three that follows is a clever and deceptive hide-n-seek hole that calls for strong visualization off the tee. A strong par four and a funky par five bring you to the signature hole to end your day. This long par four may be one of the strongest finishing holes in all of Scotland. The second shot into a plateau green complex set into the hill below the club house packed with revelers is a real adrenaline rush. A perfect finish for a very enjoyable day of links golf.
Something you will notice early on is that the course sits adjacent to a Royal Air Force base next door. You may have to ignore the screaming jet engines from fighter bombers on training runs, so don’t say you were not warned. At least there are a number of wind socks visible over the fence to help you figure the wind and the landing light poles for the runways that appear like cactus gardens throughout the property can give you some convenient aiming lines.
Architect: Old Tom Morris
Tees Par Yardage Rating
White 71 6572 73
(Click here to review the complete Moray Golf Club hole-by-hole descriptions)
Fantastic and detailed review of Moray Golf Club, a hidden gem of the Scottish North Coast. I have just stumbled across this review today, however remember the round very well.. I was your caddie that day (Aaron), 7 years ago. You certainly witnessed the full links potential of the links that day! I am very glad to see the blog is still going strong and hope to see you back on our course one day.
All the very best,
This is a voice from the past. Moray was our first round off the plane on our Scottish Highland Tour in 2013 and it was no disappointment. Looking back at my score that day I shot 89 with a triple and five doubles. Actually struck the ball off the tee quite well with 8 of 15 fairways but the approach game was wanting. As you might recall that was the summer of burnt toast fairways throughout Scotland which put a huge premium on guaging the approach bounce.
I remember two things from Moray-the airplane runway guide lights throughout the course and the Craic behind the 18th green as we finished toward dusk. Your members know how to kick back and relax.
I hope the review continues to bring you patrons….they will not be disappointed.
If my memory serves me correctly it was certainly one of those rounds where you ”played a lot better than you scored’. The course most certainly at its most unforgiving by the time you visited.
I for one can vouch that you are correct, the members certainly know how to kick back and relax.
It was would by my pleasure to welcome you back sometime if circumstances allowed, see if we could take a few shots of that first round score..
On a personal note, we hope to get out to venture over your way sometime soon to sample some of the golf culture. Will have to make use of your in depth expertise analysis when choosing our selections.
Hope all is well and all the best,