Spey Bay GC: Aerial viewSpey Bay Golf Club

Spey Bay Golf Club
Spey Bay Golf Club
Spey Bay Hotel
Spey Bay
Fochabers
Moray, IV32 7PJ

Phone(s): +44 (0) 1343 820424
Fax: +44 (0) 1343 829282
Website: www.speybay.co


This is a visually pleasing undulating links course with a long beach on one side. Measuring 5,726 yards from the tips, Spey Bay Golf Club is a par 70.

Gorse and heather line the fairways here, and the beach creates a natural border on some holes - though it won't come into play unless you're completely wild off the tee.

No. 8 is Spey Bay Golf Club's signature hole. The small green sits atop a hillock, so you better be accurate or risk seeing your ball go tumbling down. This pretty much goes for all the holes at Spey Bay, which requires a thoughtful shot off the tee and a light touch around the greens.

Location: Four and a half miles north of Fochabers on B9104.

Spey Bay Golf Club
4.5 stars out of 5 (based on 6 reviews)
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Aerial view of Spey Bay Golf Club

Golf course details

  • Holes: 18
  • Designed by: Ben Sayers
  • Public/Private: Resort
  • Year opened: 1907
  • Golf Season:
  • Guest Policy: Welcomed, no restrictions
  • Tee times welcomed:
  • Fairways:
  • Greens:

Facilities

  • Pro in house: Yes
  • Driving range: Yes
  • Rental clubs: Yes
  • Rental carts: Yes

Green fees price ranges

  • Week days: £15 - £20
  • Weekends: £20 - £30

Course policies

  • Metal spikes allowed:
  • Dress code:
  • Credit cards accepted:

Length, slope and rating for each tee

Tee Par Length Slope Rating
White 70 6219 yd. 0 0
White 70 5726 yd. 0 0
Red (W) 71 5290 yd. 0 0

Reader Ratings / Reviews

  • Spey Bay Golf Club
    4 stars out of 5
    by Jane
    on August 09th, 2013 07:51
    We had a wonderful day's golf and lunch at Spey Bay Golf Club and would like to thank everyone for their very warm welcome.
  • Spey Bay Golf Club
    4 stars out of 5
    by Martin Cameron
    on April 09th, 2013 05:16
    A Review of Spey Bay Golf Course - April 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.
  • Spey Bay Golf Club
    2.5 stars out of 5
    by Kevin
    on June 02nd, 2012 07:32
    A great test of links golf with the undulating fairways ,wind and spray this requires a good accurate strike .I would recommend players of all abilities to give this a go if you are in the area.
    Well worth it for myself and playing partner.
    Very hospitable staff in the clubhouse
    Thank you
  • Spey Bay Golf Club
    5 stars out of 5
    by Dirk Foerster-Michalke
    on June 18th, 2011 21:43
  • Spey Bay Golf Club
    5 stars out of 5
    by john smith
    on May 31st, 2011 12:30
    best links course i have played in a long time! its a must for real golfers!
  • Spey Bay Golf Club
    5 stars out of 5
    by Sir Dircan MacLeod
    on August 01st, 2009 13:12
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