This course worth playing takes the biscuit, despite the nearby witches!
Round £60. Par 70. Value (out of 5) – 4
The town of Forres sits on the mouth of the Findhorn river about 25 miles north east of Inverness; located on the main A96 Inverness to Aberdeen trunk route, this is an easily accessed course, except for the narrow lanes up to the clubhouse and car park – please don’t try and take a caravan there!
The club, formed in 1889, originally played nearer Findhorn. It moved to playing the current course site, laid out by James Braid, in 1904, and was called Muiryshade Golf Course. It was extended to 18 holes in 1912 by Willie Park, then became Forres CG when, in 1944, the land was bought and gifted to the people of Forres, by Sir Robert McVitie Grant of Logie. Sir Robert made his money by creating the McVitie Digestive biscuit, so it was fitting those that ate the biscuits ended up with the course!
This is a well maintained parkland/highland course at around 6300 yards off white tees and just under 6000 yards from yellow. It is quite undulating, with a number of semi blind and narrow tee shots, especially on the front nine. The course is rather imbalanced with the front nine par of 36 and back nine of 34, but both of similar length. The course has hosted Scottish national competitions, the best measure of its all round standard.
Playing with Fran in excellent sunny conditions the course played shorter than normal with the ball running on its hard fairways. The greens were in great condition and well watered.
There are some really nice holes on the course. The first, a very short par 4 downhill, will temp the longer hitters, but played conservatively should offer a par start even for high handicappers.
Following three further short par 4s, the par 3 fifth hole, “Wee Birkie”, is a cunning par 3, where club selection is all important – miss the green and it’s really difficult to get par – aim for the dead centre of the green here.
After the easier front nine, the 10th hole is a long par 3, with deep slopes to the right of the green and trees to the left and starts the toughest stretch of the course through to the par 4 15th hole. To do well overall, playing bogie golf through this stretch is good for all other than the single figure players. The signature par 4 16th hole, looks more difficult than it is – a decent 200 yard drive takes you to safe territory, leaving a short approach.
This course was actually the site of one of my best competitive rounds ever more than 25 years ago – an 80 in an RAF Scotland golf competition, including being level par for the front 9. It was very fitting therefore that I shot my best round in a long while – an 84, despite hitting my first shot out of bounds!
Oh, and in case you were wondering about the title – the course sits on a wood reputed to be where ‘the three witches’ from Shakespeare’s Macbeth lived – the 7th hole aptly called “Witch Tree”!
Course Type: Highland/Heathland
Par 70 (2 par 5s, 12 par 4s, 4 par 3s)
Moly’s Gross score: 84