History in the making
When the Laird’s course was voted Best New British Course by Golf Links magazine it was the culmination of many years’ hard work. Bill Robertson, the title’s editor, said it was “a true Highland treasure” and set to become “one of Scotland’s outstanding new inland courses”. The journey towards this accolade started more than a decade earlier when Paul Lawrie opened the Inchmarlo Golf Club in 1994.
The Inchmarlo Estate site had been selected due to the area’s unspoilt countryside and stunning surroundings. The heather-topped mountains protected by a blanket of trees provided the ideal haven for wildlife and fauna, and the perfect setting for golf. The blissfully untainted landscape became the stage for a bold and testing 9 hole course designed by renowned golf course architect Graeme Webster. Opened in 1997, the beguiling parkland course (known as the Queen’s Course) embodied Royal Deeside golf by utilising the dramatic views and natural waterways - all but two of the holes feature a water hazard.
Shortly after, preparatory work started on the Laird’s 18 hole Course. This ambitious project, again masterminded by Graeme, would use the spectacular twists and turns of the undulating countryside to create a golf course characterised by breath-taking tee vistas and inviting two-tier greens. “There was splendid movement in the ground and it became evident very quickly that this would be an exciting course,” says Graeme. July 2001 saw the opening of the course. Indeed within only five years of the Laird’s Course coming into play, it had achieved a Silver Award in the HSBC Regional Course Rankings presented by the prestigious Golf Monthly magazine.