Spey Valley Golf | Speyside Malt Whisky

Newtonmore Golf Club

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 Spey Valley golf course in Newtonmore
Spey Valley golf and Speyside malt whisky are both much favoured by tourists to the Highlands of Scotland. However, in the context of golf and malt, the precise whereabouts and boundaries of Spey Valley, Strathspey, Speyside and Greater Speyside can be confusing, particularly so for visitors to the Highlands who would like to play at the most affordable Spey Valley golf course near Aviemore.

A Strath is simply a broad valley and Strathspey follows the River Spey from Laggan to Newtonmore and Kingussie, and continues down the length of the district of Badenoch and Strathspey, passing through Aviemore golf course to Grantown-on-Spey, and taking in several other Spey Valley golf courses on the way.

For the purpose of playing golf, Spey Valley is largely synonymous with Strathspey. Indeed the term Spey Valley appears to be an anglicised form of Strathspey so its usage can sometimes be confusing or even controversial.

So, in the upper reaches of the river Spey, which are within the Cairngorms National Park, Speyside golf can be taken as synonymous with both Strathspey and Spey Valley golf. But Speyside extends northwards well beyond the boundary of the National Park following the river from Grantown and through Moray to meet the Moray Firth at Spey Bay. While the term Speyside is closely associated with the marketing of locally produced malt whisky, the distilleries are many and their locations cover a wide area of Moray which is more commonly referred to as Greater Speyside or as Scotland's Speyside Golf and Whisky Trail.

The village of Aviemore has existed since the 1600s but long remained a small enclave until the coming of the railways in the late 1800s when the village became a railway junction with connections to Perth, Inverness and Forres. Railway stations were provided at Newtonmore and other villages in the Spey Valley. The railways brought a vast improvement in accessibility for tourists and the area became increasingly popular as a holiday destination. In the 1890s several excellent 18 hole golf courses were established to provide Spey Valley golf in Aviemore environs including the Speyside villages Newtonmore, Kingussie and Boat of Garten. As may be seen on our Spey Valley golf webcam, Newtonmore golf course, with its riverside setting and mountain views, is a classic of that era and well worthy of inclusion in your Aviemore golf tour.

A second major phase of tourist expansion took place in the 1960s following the development of pony trekking in Newtonmore and the opening of the first Cairngorm Mountain chairlift for skiers in 1961. Since then Aviemore has grown to become a major player in the Scottish tourist industry and the village has become a Spey Valley golf resort and busy Highland tourist centre with a diversity of popular outdoor activities and attractions.

It was not until 2006 that Aviemore acquired its own 18 hole course, named the Spey Valley Golf Course, and built by the Macdonald Hotel Group. While natural terrain had previously been used to develop golf courses in the area, it took three years and much mechanical earth-moving to ‘sculpt’ the new Spey Valley golf course from native heathland and create a 7000 yard course to modern championship standards. Necessarily, the costs of such excavations and re-plantings are met from green fees with prices which are significantly higher than is the norm for older and cheaper Aviemore golf and Spey Valley golf clubs.

So visitors planning an Aviemore golf tour are spoiled for choice. They have the brand new Spey Valley golf course on their door-step plus several more mature and very beautiful 18 hole courses within a 10-20 minute drive. All local courses are open to non-members and accept the Cairngorms Golf Pass which provides up to 30% discount on green fees. Visitors to Newtonmore Golf Club in the Spey Valley are also very welcome to participate in our open golf competitions and in our golf week in Aug 6-13.

At Newtonmore Golf Club, our Spey Valley green fees and Aviemore golf offers for rounds and competitions are very competitive, our golf course reviews and ratings are positive, local accommodation is good, and altogether Newtonmore makes an excellent choice of Spey Valley golf resort for your Aviemore golf tour, for your golf breaks or holidays, or for your Highlands golf society visit.

So bring your clubs, book your tee time and make for the best Speyside golf and whisky tour near Aviemore. Your golf group or golf society will be very welcome for a Spey Valley golf day at Newtonmore Golf Club too. Please contact us if you require golf lessons or golf club hire during your golf break in Aviemore.