Isle Of Barra Golf Club – Spectacular Scottish Setting, Rocky-Outcrop Fairways & Square Greens.

I recall visiting Killarney Golf & Fishing Club in Ireland and was shown a note left in the visitor’s book by the legendary Bob Hope.

Hope wrote:  “Loved the golf course, coming back to find the fairways.”

If there was a visitor’s book on hand at Isle of Barra Golf Club my message would be:  “Loved the  location but coming back to find the tees.”

I will explain what I meant by that remark later in this feature piece on our visit to to the most westerly golf course in the United Kingdom and with the golf course lying on the west coast of the Isle of Barra, in the Western Isles of Scotland.

The club, and established in 1922, is situated close to the small village of Cleat, near the Isle Of Barra Hotel and some six miles from Castlebay.

It is a 9-hole course, measuring just four yards short of 3,000 yards and playing a par-34 for the men.

There is two ways to getting to Bara.   You can fly directly from Glasgow with Logan Air and enjoy the unique worldwide experience of landing on Barra Beach.  The other and more common means of travel is on a CalMac ferry from Oban on the Scottish mainland with the crossing taking close to five hours or you can also get a ferry from the island of Eriskay which takes about 40-minutes.

On our visit to Barra we drove to the southern point of the South Uist and drove across the causeway linking South Uist to Eriskay before then driving onto the ferry to Barra.

I also still recall vividly about halfway on the journey to Barra observing this object in the sky to our east and no sooner had I mentioned, ‘Hey, look at this heading towards us’, and one of Her Majesty’s fighter jets flew at very low height over the car ferry and then leaving us with the loud ‘after sound’.

In stark contrast when you do get to Barra it’s very much life in the slow lane.

In finding our way to the golf course you are greeted by the stunning views looking down, as you do, to a beautiful sandy beach laid at Castle Bay along the Atlantic Ocean shoreline, and with Greian Head watching over in the backgrond.

There is no clubhouse other than an old shipping container that serves as a welcome centre to advise the procedure for paying for your round and also where to find scorecards.  There is advice that the greens are protected by solar powered electric fences (to keep the wandering cattle and sheep off the greens) and that care should be taken not to touch the fences.

Barra Golf Course (Photo – www.golfbytourmiss.com)

An old container serves as your welcome to the Isle of Barra Golf Club. (Photo – golfbytourmiss.com)

The visitor’s fee is just £10 while if you wished to become a full member, the fee is just £90 (2019).

Now that’s the easy part and the next, and that is taking to the golf course, is not as simple as you’re used to in driving up to your own club on a Saturday morning to compete in a medal competition.

Map of the Isle of Barra course. (Photo – www.golfbytourmiss.com)

A common theme at the Isle of Barra is that the greens are all cut square and that with each you have to proceed through a gate to make you way onto the putting surface.  This is, of course, to keep the livestock off the greens.

Though in saying that you will find a pentagon-shaped green at the third hole.,

The first hole (see photograph hereunder) is a downhill par-3 of 210-yards, so it’s a test right from the outset in avoiding rocky outcrops as you strive to land you ball anywhere onto the putting surface.

The 1st tee at Isle of Barra (Photo – www.golfbytourmiss.com)

Stunning view off the 1st tee at the Isle of Barra (Photo – www.golfbytourmiss.com)

Isle of Barra Golf Club – the green at the first. Be sure not to step into a cow pattie (Photo – www.golfbytourmiss.com)

Rocky outcrops feature virtually on every hole between tee-to-green and green.

And while it’s assignment not to bounce any shot of the rocky fairways, it’s a task also to then find the next tee box, and hence my opening remark.  While there is a few signs to the next tee, we just seem to get a little lost walking between green and tee.

But for those who travel to the Isle of Barra the scenery is superb and how many can boast they have tackled the most westerly course in the UK.

Hereunder is a selection of further photographs for your enjoyment.

The view off the par-5 second hole at the Isle of Barra Golf club. (Photo – www.golfbytourmiss.com)

Bernie on the green at the par-5 second hole at the Barra Island Golf Club.  Note the flag  (Photo – www.golfbytourmiss.com)

The pentagon-shaped green at the third hole on the Isle of Barra course (Photo – www.golfbytourmiss.com)

 

 

 

 



Comments are closed.