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Spey Bay Golf Club

Address Spey Bay Golf Club, The Links, Tugnet, Spey Bay, Fochabers, Moray, IV32 7PL
Telephone 01343 820424 / 07826748071
Website www.speybay.co
Email info@speybay.co
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Holes 18-hole links course
Yardage 6220
SSS 70
Visitors All welcome
Offers available at this course Greenfree 2 for 1 Golf Voucher Scheme
Societies Prior contact required
Green Fees
Weekdays C / Weekends D
Course Designer Ben Sayers originally designed this course
Est 1907
Location 7m W of Buckie, off A96 at fochabers and follow B9014
Map
Facilities
• Corporate hospitality days available
• Conference facilities available
About the Course Spey Bay is a picturesque, undulating links course with gorse and heather.
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Course
Reviews

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Great natural course....what a pleasure to play on such a track with no silly features,just golf as it should be on a so natural links course. Lovely turf,interesting Swales and hollows,beautiful whins in bloom,peace and quiet,no hordes of visiting parties,great views and a feeling of playing on an original real course ,not stupidly manufactured to be something it isn't. Thoroughly recommended for the golfer not just chasing the named courses but wishing to experience a real course.-and great value too !!
Very friendly reception from clubhouse staff and non pretentious sensibly priced food.
Mark: 8
Value For Money: Good
Golf Spieler July 19, 2015

Loved it! I was staying in Buckie, for a weekend get away. Traveling up from Derby. The week before after a round of golf I was telling a friend in the local pub about my trip the following week and that I intended to fit a round in on a links course. A chap and his wife overheard our conversation and suggested that i find a course called Spey Bay, that it was close to Buckie. They said it was a traditional links course and that one hole in-particular a par 3 was so difficult even Tiger Woods might struggle to play it. That was it I was intrigued. At first sight pulling into the car park and seeing the club house it seemed the most unpretentious golf club I have ever seen. First impressions were true. Very friendly staff, who seemed almost as excited about my playing the course for the first time as I was. Especially since my girlfriend totally new to golf and never having before even set foot on a golf course was caddying for me. Happy with my drive off the 1st tee, upon reaching my ball, looking ahead to towards the green was a revelation as to what the future holes would have to offer and for the most part until walking off the 18th green that notion held in my mind was true to form. Although I knew the distance from ball to green for that second shot a collusion of illusion and natural trickery was enough for me even with a yardage book to hand, not to trust the information imparted there and so i promptly chose a club in reference to what information my eyes were telling me, and with a clean strike of the ball ended up well short of the green and with the natural obstacles lurking on the fairway my third shot to the green was wrought with difficulty. What an exciting start. I knew from that second shot without hesitation that this course would present a physical and intellectual challenge, that would require some spacial awareness too in order to factor in the wind that was so prevalent. As said the course more than lived up to that expectation, the par 3 mentioned by the couple in my local pub was actually the 8th hole. They were right. If one could envisage a green so perfectly arranged so as to prevent a little white ball from sitting atop it when hit from a tee, this is it. A truly unique challenge, one that would draw you back over and over again. If it were a philosophical problem to ponder upon it could form a lifetime of thought and discovery, and just maybe that might not be enough. Overall I thought this course the best value for money I have ever experienced on a golf course. It is challenging often uniquely. My only regret is that I was only staying in Buckie for the weekend, I would have liked to have pit my wits against the course each day that I was there. I am sure if I had really pushed the point, my girlfriend probably would have let me. But if I had done so, upon returning home and not experiencing any of the other things north eastern Scotland has to offer, I think I would have been made never to forget that decision. But still nice thought!!!
Mark: 8
Value For Money: Good
Simon Cook October 29, 2013

The true appreciation of a golf course should only be judged on the experience of your journey from the 1st tee to the 18th green and with all due respect, the rest is just cake decoration.
In Spey Bay's case this is a wonderful journey. The undulating firm fescue fairways with gorse and heather in abundance and views over the Moray Firth, all play their part in this 'sleeping beauty' of a classic natural links.
The layout resembles the Old Course at St Andrews with seven holes out, the loop, and then seven back in. Yes it's short and now reduced to a par 70 with small greens but rarely does it enjoy a calm day, which ensures that the skills you acquire playing here will stand you in good stead to play anywhere.
The course opens with three par 4's which introduce you to the one of Spey Bays best features, the fescue clad shingle banks which you must plot your way across. The long 1st hole at 427 yards affords the luxury of a wide open drive which then leads you down to the green and enthusiasts of fine links turf will already be appreciating what awaits them. Holes two and three are shorter but full of character, aim for the Bin Hill in the distance and you'll be fine, the only downside is that they are possibly too tight for their position on the score card. For reasons that will become very clear I'll comment on the 4th 6th 12th and 13th later. The 5th, stroke index 1, which says it all, has a much more open drive than in years gone by but with a very undulating fairway and approach to the small green can prove very tricky with a long iron, the layout is more typically suited to a par 5. The 7th offers you a wide open drive, the first for a while and there is an interesting slope leading onto the green that can catch you out. In the summer this dries out and can insure that your next shot is from the gully at the back of the green. Some would arguably call the 8th the signature hole at Spey Bay, when you experience the 138 yard par 3 named Plateau the only advice I can give you here is keep your head down on your second shot. Signature hole or not you will not forget it. The 2nd hole at Royal Dornoch is tricky but nothing compared to Spey Bay's 8th. Onto the 9th which comes with a change in direction heading back to the clubhouse, a short par 5 aptly named the Valley with out-of-bounds on the left and gorse on the right. On the card it looks like a birdie chance, but be glad of a five and walk to the 10th tee adding up your first nine, anything under forty and you're doing well.
The 10th completes the loop and then the tricky 11th, so typical of the shorter par 4s at Spey Bay, on the card it appears simple but treated it with a lack of respect and you will be left wondering where it all went wrong. The 14th, my favourite, was originally 300 yards and has been greatly improved with the addition of 105 yards making this a wonderful par 4, stroke index 2, with a fairway that would grace any Open Championship venue, a flattish green situated between two shingle banks that is normally approached from at an angle across the banks. You will see what I mean when you play it yourself. I always feel when playing a course for the first time the same as when watching a good film, I'm hoping for a really good ending, and Spey Bay delivers this with the last four holes, none of which are give aways, and into the prevailing wind will show you what you're made of, so I'll not spoil the ending and leave you to discover this for yourself.
The four holes that I left out of the previous paragraph were not part of the original layout planned by Ben Sayers in 1907. The original layout unfortunately had to be hastily altered due to coastal erosion in the late 1980's. This erosion caused the loss of the entire 11th hole and 13th green and forced the removal of the 4th & 6th holes. The subsequent alterations resulted in four completely new holes. The new 6th hole is so out of character for Spey Bay it begs the question why Ben Sayers's original 6th hole is not reinstated albeit with a subtle change up at the green. This hole was brilliant in design, driving the ball towards the Moray Firth, as so desired and incorporated by Mark Parsinen and Gil Hanse when designing Castle Stuart. The original 6th traversed the two large fescue clad shingle banks, yes short by modern standards at 304 yards but it would take a brave man nowadays to stand up with the modern driving equipment and attempt to reach the green or even to find the fairway that was cosseted by the awaiting gorse. The long 12th is the only new hole that comes close to being worthy of its place on Spey Bay. The unimpressive par 3, 13th is hopefully to be extended to a 300+ yard par 4 which should see the new green being situated on the fairway of the original 13th hole. With these alterations and a simple transfer of the Par 3, 4th back onto its original line, albeit shorter, would bring the course back closer to the original layout.
The only points of criticism I would mention, other than the new holes enforced by the coastal erosion is that the first six holes are too tight and unforgiving and that the first hole is about 30 - 40 yards too long. All too often the paying visitor or first time Open competitor is beaten before he has had a chance to reach the 7th tee, this does not encourage a hasty return. Also the majority of the greens are flat, however the 8th, 9th and 15th are not and watch out for the subtle ridge through the 18th green, a masterful touch by someone, long ago.
Historically the lack of money available to maintain this course has actually helped to preserve its natural condition, no automatic watering system or expensive fertilizer budget. Yes more money would help with course alterations and the demands for Greenkeeping machinery, maintenance and in the overall upkeep, but the present Greenkeeper, Barry Cruickshank, has already worked wonders on a shoestring budget to rescue the greens during the 2011/12 seasons back to a very good putting surface. A local businessman has recently purchased the property which grants him the lease of the golf course, so hopefully this will be the start of great things for Spey Bay, never has a course deserved it more.
No fancy ponds, no striped fairways to show which direction to play, no buggy tracks, no huge meaningless bunkers and no hiding behind the delusions of grandeur that come with a magnificent new clubhouse, just golf as it was intended to be played.
Mark: 9
Value For Money: Good
Martin Cameron April 9, 2013

Played this course on the 6th May 2012 and it was a delight. A true links course with some great holes backed up by the views and quietness. A very reasonably priced course with enough challenges to keep all level of player entertained. The staff were friendly and helpful and our touring party had a truly enjoyable mornings golf.
Mark: 8
Value For Money: Good
Graeme Ritchie May 7, 2012

A fantastic natural links course on a superb location.glorious views,tranquillity,golf as it should be.This has to be the best £20 we have spent in years and far better value than many of the many other courses we have played.I guarantee you won't be disappointed.
Value For Money: Good
Mark: 8
Gol Fspieler May 4, 2011






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