Isle of Harris Golf Club
Ran Morrisett states "no course in the world trumps it for raw beauty."
The winner of the Isle of Harris Open receives a Harris Tweed Jacket.
Getting to and from the islands is not easy but with Harris, Barra, and Askernish, it is certainly worth it!
Car ferries leave from Ullapool to Stornoway which will leave you a journey from the north of the island to the south. Another ferry option is from Uig on the Isle to Skye to Tarbet.
Golf Course Review
The Isle of Harris Golf Club is found on the west coast of Scarista Mhor, on the Isle of Harris, Outer Hebrides, Scotland. Known for the turquoise waters of Taransay Sound and Hebridean white sand, you could mistake it for the Caribbean if not for the lack of warmth. The island is known for its most famous export, Harris Tweed!
Isle of Harris Golf Club History
The course dates to 1912 when Alick Marling, a golf professional in Aberdeen, made the journey to layout a 9-hole golf course. It was reported there were 'great golfing possibilities' with 'excellent turf' and an abundance of natural hazards.'
The Harris Golf Club was established in 1930 and the links were played until 1939. After decades of dormancy, the course was reopened in 1985. The early years were difficult but the club has made progress since it was purchased by its members in 2000.
Harris Golf Club Synopsis
The golf club plays on the Scarista Golf Course which measures just 2417 yards. The longest hole is a modest par 5 at just 486 yards. There are three one-shot holes measuring 145, 159, and 182 yards in length respectively - with two, back to back, on holes 7 and 8.
The opening 4 holes and the closing hole are the highlights. There has been a recent re-route of the course with the layout being shown below.
The best hole is the 2nd. A classic Cape tee shot tempts you with the risk and reward of a shorter approach and more level lie if played as a two-shot hole... if you're a big hitter and have the stones, you can attempt an all for nothing direct line. It uses the best of this part of the property and was something I was hoping I would see more on holes 5-9.
The punchbowl green on the 4th is positively the largest bowl I have ever seen. The tee shot is completely blind and green so enormous you are all but guaranteed a green in regulation and a birdie attempt...
Change or Improvements?
In recent years, a new 1st green and back tees have been added on the 8th. The biggest changes came on the 5th hole named Langavat and the 9th hole named Killegray. They were effectively topped, tailed, and now played in reverse. The 5th tees now sit near to where a natural Dell green site used to be... the 9th is now played uphill with the home green being closer to the car park.
Anyone with a passing interest in golf course architecture will also note the under-utilization of the dunes along the most spectacular part of the property - the beach. The old 9th would have played towards the OOB for the best angle into the green, now it plays away from it in the form of the 5th.
Harris GC Conclusion
Upon reading the review on Golf Club Atlas, I was highly anticipating the round. I would have to admit not being enamored with the new 5th and 9th but the expansive 4th green is a marvel and one of the standouts from my trip. It would appear it has been a classic tale of one large step forward and two back. That being said, it was one of the brightest highlights of my trip to the west of Scotland. One of the best 9 hole courses I've played and one I'd happily make the journey to play again...
Isle of Harris GC Reviews
Isle of Harris Golf Club - Videos
WATCH A FLYOVER OF THE ISLE OF HARRIS GOLF COURSE
Featured Architect: Alister MacKenzie
As taken from his book, Golf Architecture, Alister MacKenzie felt the following were essential: The course, where possible, should be arranged in two loops of nine holes. There should be a large proportion of good two-shot holes and at least four one-shot holes. There should be little walking between...