Reay GC is a few miles West of Thurso on the North coast of the Scottish mainland and is an 18 Hole links course measuring 5628 yards par 69 from the Yellow Tees. I played the course after my earlier round at Durness GC on 23 August 2012. The wind that had so influenced scoring at Durness had reduced to little more than a breeze and conditions were ideal for a relaxing game on a course that was almost deserted. Reay's fairways are generously wide and with the course in great condition overall, this looked as though it could be a course to savour. The first 6 holes are pretty flat and easy walking, the best being the 6th, a 442 Yard Par 5 that extends to a more meaty 500 yards off the Medal Tee. I'd hit a decent drive and 3 Wood to just short of the green, getting a break by narrowly missing this hidden water hazard en route. The course becomes more hilly from the 7th, a 192 Yard Par 3 played uphill and over a stream that plays far longer than it looks, so take at least one more club than you might otherwise. I was just short with a 3 Wood!
This is the 9th green and a rare good view of the sea. This is a 162 Yard Par 3 and a decent hole at the far end of the course. A wooden bench commemorates a now deceased club member with the epitaph "Hole in one, ya beauty!" I missed the green but settled for par after a good pitch. The Back 9 is good but for every downhill hole another went up and by the closing holes I was regretting my decision not to take a pull trolley and to persevere with an old pair of golf shoes. Carrying my bag certainly helps keep me fit for my caddying work at The Renaissance Club, but I still had some courses to play and was glad to finish Reay just as yet more rain started in earnest.
This is the green at the 18th, a 318 Yard Par 4, slightly uphill. I'd just missed the green in regulation, my ball trickling back into this nasty looking bunker. I got the ball out OK, but over 20 feet away. My single putt from there was pretty good, meaning I'd gone round in 80, net 69 and even net par, with 29 putts. Reay is a good links course with generously wide fairways and is worth a visit. It lacks the drama of Durness, but few courses come near that particular Highland gem.