A Highland Gem
The village of Boat of Garten is located in the highlands of Northern Scotland, on the road less travelled by the unknowing..
In 1898 a golf course was carved out of the thickest forests of silver birch, adjacent to the railway and village itself.
The locals had long known that the course was something special, but when Tom Doak published his 'Confidential Guide to Golf Courses' all those years ago, and sang its praises, Boat of Garten GC was thrust onto the world stage...
The course is a par 70, measuring 5876 yards from the back tees.
The land is hilly.
Although I found it an easy walk, the holes move up and down significantly, and there are quite a number of blind approach shots, or blind drives, where you must hit over a marker and have faith!
A number of the fairways are crowned as well, and a seemingly straight drive ends up well into the rough.
It really is a course where you would benefit enormously from playing more than once.
There are surprises around every corner!
We played on a cool, overcast June day with the heather just about to burst into colour.
I could imagine playing this course on a sunny day with the purple heather in full bloom, and the silver birch backdrop, and being overwhelmed by the beauty of the place...
It is just a gorgeous site for a golf course.
Boat of Garten is not a championship course, but simply a lovely local course in a wonderful setting.
I liked the course, but can imagine it would frustrate some, with those crowned fairways, and so many blind shots.
Among my favourite holes were the short par 4 5th hole with its elevated green surrounded closely by the silver birches on 3 sides, the short 15th, aptly named 'Gully', and hole 17, a mid length par 4 with a delightful green complex.
We had a lovely day, on a lovely course, in a lovely setting...
And if you stay in the area, dine at Anderson's restaurant.
It is a perfect way to finish the day.