New figures highlight the impact of Brora Golf Club on the local community, such is the continued worldwide appeal of the renowned Highland links.
The most northerly golf memorial to prolific designer James Braid in his native Scotland, Brora continues to thrive through record visitor numbers from across the globe and a growing membership.
To date this year, 6,500 visitors have flocked to the stunning links, coming from as far afield as Australia, South Africa, the Bahamas, the US and European countries. Many visitors stay and eat and drink in the east of Sutherland village, providing significant economic impact to a population of only 1,200 inhabitants.
Given Brora is regularly ranked as one of the top links courses in the UK and been highly praised by the legendary Tom Watson as “a wonderful links golf course”, the appeal for guests to the venue and the coastal holiday village is obvious.
Club president Andy Stewart said: “Brora Golf Club is a very special place and I believe the impact the golf course has on the local area has grown significantly in the last few years. We are attracting record numbers of visitors. These visitors are spending money on food, beverage and accommodation which brings much needed money into the local economy and supports businesses and jobs. Many of these businesses in Brora reciprocate through sponsorship within the golf club.
“Brora is increasingly accessible with new flights into Inverness from the UK and across Europe, as well as improved road and rail connections, and we know visitors love coming here.”
The club, established in 1891, also now employs over 20 members of staff and is one of the largest employers in the village behind the Clynelish Distillery.
Bucking national trends, membership at Brora is also up by nine per cent across all categories over the last 12 months – reflecting the local appetite for the course and the international market. Boasting a total membership of 583 individuals, international membership has grown to 82 as the club continues to help put the Highlands on the world map. Over 40 golfers have also taken up Highland membership, which offers the chance for a member of any other Highland golf club to also be a member at Brora for a reduced fee.
“It is fair to say that there are limited opportunities for young people in the area,” added Andy. “The golf club has grown to be one of the larger employers in the region and is committed to providing staff with a great place to work, so we are grateful to have the dedicated staff we have.
“The village support the club strongly through membership numbers, but we are always trying to increase our international appeal. Our Golf Week, which runs from the end of May each year, also proves very popular with members and visitors and we hope to continue to build on our success.”
Part of the ‘Magnificent Seven’ golf clubs that form The James Braid Highland Golf Trail, starting at Boat of Garten in the south to Reay in the far north, Brora is only an hour from Inverness by car.
The club is also part of the Dornoch Firth Golf Pass, together with Royal Dornoch, Tain and Golspie. For the first time, the pass brings together five of the Highland’s finest courses to offer an easy to book golf card for the visitor enabling great discounts throughout the year.
Brora boasts a proud history and enjoys a notable link with five-time Open champions – from Braid, who redesigned the course in 1923, to honorary members Watson and the recently deceased Peter Thomson.
Brora offers the traditional nine holes out, and nine holes back, measuring 6,211 yards off the white tees and a tamer 5,951 yards off the yellows. With a par of 70, it was described by the late Thomson, as “one of the finest natural links courses I have had the pleasure of playing.”
For more information on all membership categories and visitor bookings at Brora, please contact Tony Gill, secretary, on email at: email@example.com