Brora Golf Club now 'optimistic for future' after influx of new members

Brora Golf Club’s success in welcoming 135 new members from across the world has been hailed as “one of the positives” in Scottish golf in a challenging year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fears had been expressed about the future of Brora Golf Club due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but a bright future is now on the cards
Fears had been expressed about the future of Brora Golf Club due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but a bright future is now on the cards

The Highland links was the first Scottish golf club to express fears that it “might not exist” beyond a closure of courses earlier in the year due to the pandemic dramatically hitting their expected visitor income this year.

However, a dedicated campaign across various platforms helped attract an influx of new members from as far afield as Australia, Japan, the US, Sweden and Switzerland.

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Among them is owner of The Machrie Hotel & Golf Links, Gavyn Davies, who has been a long-time admirer of the James Braid-designed venue.

“Brora is hugely special and different, I think, from many other Scottish links,” said Davies. “It’s got a sort of atmosphere and a magic to it.

I think it’s a very fine golf course, as well. It’s got everything that one of the original Scottish links should have and I was really alarmed when the virus hit.”

Davies, who has had his own challenges at the stunning Machrie on the island of Islay due to the pandemic, added: “Brora’s survival is one of the positives of 2020 and I’m relieved for all of the members, who must have been severely concerned.

“I know there are lots of courses around Brora, but I’m sure the Brora membership would have been devastated, actually. It’s a big thing to go out of your life if you lose your golf club.”

Brora now look forward to celebrating their 130th anniversary next year and president Andy Stewart is confident for the future.

“It’s been a hugely challenging year for everyone across the world and Brora, as a club, has been no different,” he said.

“The club is so important to the local community and we are pleased to have rallied together to meet the challenges we have faced.

“Tony Gill, our general manager, and our PGA pro, Malcolm Murray, have worked particularly hard to encourage new members to join.

“Now, thanks to the support of 135 new members and other acts of kindness from across the world, we are optimistic for our future.”

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