I’m grateful, to Brian Thomson from Summerhill in Aberdeen for sending in his views on Boat of Garten Golf Club, the course near Inverness which many believe is a must for every golfer.
Hopefully his observations on this 'Garten of Eden for golfers' will encourage other Golfmagic members to submit their own reviews to our growing archive and for which we are offering the chance to win one of two pairs of Stuburt Profile S shoes every month.
Says Brian: "‘The Boat’ with its par of 70 is not the longest course in Scotland, but what it lacks in length it makes up with the magnificent scenery, fairways bordered by silver birch trees which are avenues of gold leaves in the autumn.
He says he first visited the course in 1980 and over the past 25 years has tried to make a pilgrimage at least once a year, to the course 27 miles south of Inverness and easily accessible from the A9.
Having first visited the golf shop run by James Ingram, the first hole (a shortish par-3) lulls you into a false sense of security with its wide fairway. And when you reach the par-6th hole, course ‘begins to show its teeth.’
"It’s a tight right-hand dog-leg lined with trees, while the seventh is a tricky uphill par-4. Just when you thought it was getting easier, the 11th requires an accurate drive to a narrow fairway," says Brian.
The 12th, 13th and 14th have magnificent views of the Cairngorms. "I stood there for at least ten minutes drinking in the view, with its dusting of snow on the mountains and the sunlight catching the different colours."
"In all the years I have played here I have only managed a par twice," he says. "It needs a long, accurate tee shot and a precise uphill approach. It’s a magnificent setting in which to play this game."
Brian admits, it’s a long way too travel for English golfers based in the south, but he highly recommends the effort, especially with so many other great courses nearby to tempt your palate, including Carrbridge, Grantown-on-Spey, Kingussie, Newtonmore, Lossiemouth and Nairn. "The Boat and the courses around Inverness, are a golfing heaven for all you fellow Golfmagic members out there."
We’re offering a pair of Stuburt’s latest Profile S or Lady Combi shoes to Golfmagic members who submit a course review into our system. Each month we will pick two reviews at random (you still have until midnight on November 30 to qualify for this month). We will then identify the winners and a pair of new shoes will be on their way to each of them.
You can submit as many as you like but try to make your appraisal honest, objective and constructive.