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Moray Golf Club

Moray Golf Club has two championship golf courses. The better known Old Course was designed over 100 years ago by Old Tom Morris, one of Scotland's greatest and most famous golf architects and himself a multiple winner of the British Open Championship.

The New Course, a mere infant in Scottish golf, now in only its fourth decade, was designed by three-time Open champion Sir Henry Cotton.

Both golf courses -- the Old Course and the New Course -- are classic Scottish links courses set along the sea in northeast Scotland.

The Moray golf courses sit at the edge of the sea.
Both golf courses -- the Old and the New -- hug the Moray coast.

The Old Course

The Moray Old Course is truly a great links with plenty of those intimidating revetted bunkers that seem to dot so many of the great Scottish links and a plentiful supply of the beautiful but deadly (for golf balls) gorse. Some holes allow you to hit a gentle pitch shot to throw the ball onto the green. But other holes demand a precise chip and run, or a putt from far off the green. These shots are traditional ways to play on links courses and so typical of golfing in Scotland. If you don't have these shots in your bag you won't score well on these links courses. As former Masters and five times Open Champion Tom Watson, said - "...it took me a number of years and visits to Scotland before I caught on that links golf was the really traditional way to play the game, and above all, that it was fun!".

The greens are firm and fast and always in good shape. They are not overly undulating like some greens, the breaks are more subtle. But you will need a keen eye to get your line. And when you do, stay with it and don't change your mind over the ball.

There are only two par 5s on this 6,995 yard golf course. And, with a par of 71, that makes it a long course -- especially the par 4s. And that's one of my problems with this golf course. It's too long! Some of the par 4s would be better par 5s, especially for the mid-handicappers like me. There are seven of them over 400 yards. Some are WAY over 400 yards. Here are the distances of the par 4s from the medal tees: 418, 452, 474, 429, 423, 453, 408. I don't know about you, but I simply can't reach most of these holes in two. And with a wind in my face, they are all par 5s.

There are enough up-side-down greens to keep you honest. Do all you can to hold them because it's the devil to get back on them if you've rolled off. The signature hole - the 18th -- is somewhat like that. If you roll off the left side of this green you'll be in Hells Bunker. And believe me, it's named Hells Bunker for a reason. Do all you can to stay out., you don't want to go to hell!

Many feel the Old Course is one of the finest links courses in all of Scotland. But try to keep your mind on what you're doing and not get caught up in the beautiful scenery that is all around you.

The Moray Old Course is certainly worth a high rating. But as I said on the home page of Golf Nook, I write these reviews from the perspective of a mid-handicap golfer. I'm not long off the tee. Few mid-handicappers are. And even if I could hit 250 yard drives I'd still be reaching for a fairway wood for my second shot on many of these holes. So the length of the par 4s makes this golf course play a bit too long for me. But that doesn't stop me from being able to appreciate the layout.

Golf Nook Rating -- PAR (leaning toward BIRDIE!)

www.moraygolf.co.uk

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The New Course

The Moray New Course is also a fine test of golf, with many of the holes running alongside the Old Course's holes and sharing its topography. At 6008 yards it's about 900 yards shorter than it's older sibling. But the tighter fairways and smaller greens make for a nice round of golf. If you get a chance, make a day of it and play them both.

Golf Nook Rating -- PAR

www.moraygolf.co.uk

Clubhouse of Moray Golf Club is on top of the hill.

Special note --
Every summer the Moray Golf Club sponsors a 5-day open. It is one of the largest amateur tournaments in Scotland with hundreds of golfers from all over the world competing. If you're interested, check it out at http://www.moraygolf.co.uk/events.php?id=71

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For What to Do All Day see www,belivat.co.uk/activities.html.