Reays truly remarkable feature is that from every hole you can see the sea, the Pentland Firth. Nestling in Sandside Bay there are excellent views to 'Beinn Ratha' and rolling hillsides. The geographical location means the course is very rarely closed even throughout a highland winter.
The Reay course at 5831 yards has the unique distinction of opening and closing, with a par three. Not a popular start on any course and at Reay the 235 yards can be quite damaging to a medal score if you catch the trouble on the right of the tee but, safely negotiated, the next seven holes are interesting, varied and the best on the course. Two are par fives, the 4th (at 581 yards) always a three-shotter and the 6th, named "Braid’s Choice" after comments by James Braid the renowned golf course architect who laid the original 12 holes had played it and remarked on its quality.
The 581 yd. par five 4th hole "Sahara" requires a solid tee shot and fairway wood to set up an approach to a sheltered green protected by a burn. The 196 yd. par three 7th "Pilkington" is a beautiful short hole played across "Reay" burn to a raised green. The two tiered 18th protected by it’s greenside bunkers provides a formidable finishing hole. A modern clubhouse provides picturesque views overlooking the whole course and where a warm welcome can be assured to all visitors.
The club’s leading players have voted the par 3 seventh as not only the best hole on the course but perhaps one of the most testing in the country. The tee and green, some 190 yards distant, are about the same level, but between them there is a burn, and over it a steep escarpment to the green – this gives the impression of closeness but do not be deceived, the 198 yards is all carry and there is no relief from being short.
Reay is a stunning links course on the Northern most coast of Scotland. It has a rich and diverse botanical interest, as well as being a scenic and challenging test of golf. It is the key to the unique character of the course that its naturalness is retained and cherished. There is a wide range of wildlife found on the course and a great number of species of wild plants.
It was a great delight to visit Reay Golf Club and admire a links that is as natural as any that I have ever seen. In a different location, it would enjoy wide acclaim. It is a wonderful example of a classic links with typically wiry turf, a fast running character, a glorious setting and excellent green positions. It must be preserved, at all costs, for its authentic value".
Donald Steele, International Golf Course Architect, June 16th 1998.
The above quotation from a world authority on links golf succinctly encapsulates the character of the course on which we have the privilege to play.
The surrounding area boasts good standards of accommodation and food. A list of recommended establishments can be found by using the links in the border.
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