By 1895, The Golfer’s Guide for the United Kingdom was publishing its description of Golspie in the following terms:
“There is an excellent course of nine holes, and with a little time and care and money, will no doubt be made still more worthy of its charming Highland situation.”
In 1905 the course was extended to eighteen holes the formal opening ceremony being undertaken by the Duchess of Sutherland driving off the first hole.
Further ongoing improvements to the course layout were undertaken over many years up to 1921.
Subsequently there was pressure for a major review of the Golspie Golf course and the club invited James Braid who was at the height of his golf course designing fame in 1925 to submit proposals to improve the layout of the course.
Braid’s report carried detailed suggestions for each hole within a framework of offering two options to the Club. The option involved working on the layout as it then existed, adding a substantial number of bunkers and relocating some greens.
The Club took up the option and arranged for the necessary works during 1926. The new greens were to be constructed along the lines set out in the report. The Cup green which had existed in the hollow short of the present-day 13th green was set out where it now lies. Braid’s report aimed to move the Fields green to its present position and set the Tattie Pits tee so that the Tattie Pits influenced drives, rather than second shots. The final change of green was at the Cairngorms, where Braid envisaged a two-tier green behind the previous green. All three holes are still in play in the form set out by Braid.
The course has changed little since the club implemented James Braid’s recommendations the major change in the last five years has been to increase the course length to 6021 yards with a par of 70. This was achieved by lengthening the 1st and 14th holes to par fives without changing the spirit of the course. Toughening of and increasing the bunkers on many holes has also increased the challenge of the course.
The ongoing force of nature that is the adjacent North Sea alongside the 3rd,4th, 5th holes and 6th and 7th tees has necessitated ongoing work the most recent flood of January 2013 arguably has led to gentle improvements to the layout of these holes.
The clubhouse has had a peripatetic existence being sited in varying locations around the course before finally being sited in its current location in 1967 and continues to offer all the benefits of a traditional 19th hole.