Established in 1859, golf was played on the Golspie Links prior to the formation of Golspie Golf Club. The Club itself grew out of the Sutherland Golfing Society. The Field magazine of the time carried regular reports of the Society's golfing events. The edition of October 1878 refers to a competition for a silver medal presented by Dr Gunn of the Indian Army where, despite the unfavourable weather on September 21st of that year, 17 competitors took part.
Subsequently it was in the Spring of 1889 that the members of the Sutherland Golf Society who lived in Golspie decided to form the Golspie Golf Club. By 1895, The Golfer's Guide for the United Kingdom was publishing its description of Golspie in the following terms:
In 1905 the course was extended to eighteen holes culminating with the club inviting James Braid, who was at the height of his golf course designing fame in 1925, to submit proposals to improve the layout of the course. Braid's report carried detailed suggestions for each hole and involved working on the layout as it then existed, adding a substantial number of bunkers and relocating some greens.
Goldspie is consistently ranked as one of the top 50 golf course in Scotland and yet it remains one of the true hidden links of the country. Unlike it’s Highlands cousin courses, the terrain at Golspie is not exclusively links in nature. The course has a links section, a heathland section, and a parkland section and although the routing flows well, each section is recognizably different. Holes one through eight are links and run alongside the North Sea. Hole eight through eleven are heathland and could be mistaken for a course south of London. Twelve through eighteen are parkland with hints of links golf on the final three holes. This is quite the combination of holes!
At a touch over 6,000 yards in length, Golspie does not intimidate the visiting golfer in terms of yardage from tee to green but it does require a fair number of strategic ball placement to score well.
As is always the case in the Scottish Highlands, the terrain is rugged, the weather can be testing, and the bounces are unpredictable but the one thing you can be certain of is a warm welcome and great hospitality that will make a trip to this hidden gem a memorable experience.