Elements of James Braid’s original design being restored at Scotscraig GC


Elements of James Braid’s original design being restored at Scotscraig GC
Sean Dudley
By Sean Dudley

Scotscraig Golf Club is undertaking a project that will return the course layout to its original specifications.

Founded in 1817, Scotscraig is the 13th oldest golf club in the world. Its current course dates back to 1888, and was redesigned by James Braid in 1923.

The new project will see the course’s greenside and fairway bunkers restored to their original size.

Other elements of the project include the redesign, rebuild and expansion of the fourth green and its associated sandtrap. This work has now been completed as part of the project’s first phase, which also included the rebuilding of 21 greenside bunkers across the course. 

The project’s second stage will see the rebuilding of 26 fairway and approach bunkers.

The project is scheduled for completion before Scotscraig Golf Club’s bicentennial celebrations, which will take place next year.

“Although the work is extensive, we are also mindful of the club’s history and what the course looked like in years gone by,” said George Anderson, Scotscraig’s vice captain. “At the same time, we are undertaking a modern development to maintain the challenge of the layout. Scotscraig is a championship course with an extraordinary history and an exciting future. These changes are designed to celebrate the past and prepare the club for what lies ahead.”

The alterations to the course are being overseen by Scotscraig’s course manager Chris Barnard.

“The objective was to move Scotscraig forward, so this year we’ve concentrated on reinstating all the green-side bunkers in advance of the bicentenary year, and then we’ll move on to the fairway bunkers,” Barnard said. “These are big changes and the members are desperate to get on and play them.”

The course’s fairways have also been cut, meaning narrower landing areas the closer players get to the greens. More fescue grasses have also been assimilated into the putting services, while the club has also adopted a new fleet of greenkeeping machinery.

Barnard added: “We’re trying to mould the course into something that is playable for both members and visitors and is fair, yet is still a good test for tournaments and low handicappers.”