“The Hidden Gem of Moray” Hopeman Golf Club, which is situated on the outskirts of the popular and picturesque Moray village of Hopeman, offers the golfer 18 challenging but fair holes set within stunning coastal scenery
Founded in 1802, Hopeman Golf Club lies on the southern shores of the Moray Firth in Scotland. A little over a century after the village was formed, Hopeman Golf Club came into being and its links course has been in use since 1909, only doubling in size to an 18-hole layout in 1995. Moray pro Charles Neaves laid out the original nine holes with another professional from the same club, J. N. McKenzie, adding the additional nine.
Nowadays, the course measures a modest 5,624 yards from the back markers, with gorse and broom fringed fairways playing to a collective par of 68. It’s stating the obvious to say that accuracy, and not power, is all-important here. There’s only one par five on the scorecard (at the 517-yard, left doglegged 4th) and that hole has only been extended to a three-shotter in recent years.
Holes of note include both par threes on the front nine, where the 171-yard 3rd shares a double green with the 6th and the 193-yard 7th plays to a burn-protected green. Short par fours around the turn (at the uphill 9th and downhill 10th) are definite birdie opportunities whilst the 362-yard 11th (“Warren”) must be one of the most rumpled fairways in Scottish golf, with what looks like a herd of small elephants buried in shallow graves beneath the fairway.
Signature hole of the course
Undoubtedly, Hopeman’s signature hole is “The Prieshach,” at the par three 12th. Measuring only 150 yards, the hole plays from an elevated tee position with panoramic views of the Firth to a green nestled over 100 feet below in Clashach Cove. Described by Honorary President Paul Lawrie as one of the best short holes he’s ever played, it’s a little beauty that’s worth paying the green fee for on its own.