Cruden Bay Golf Club Review
Cruden Bay Golf Club is without doubt one of Scotlands most unique and interesting golfing experiences. The course is situated in stunning coastal dunes about 35kms north of Aberdeen on Scotlands north east coast.
The links was commissioned by the Great North of Scotland Railway Company to compliment the recently built but now defunct Cruden Bay hotel (see photo). The original design was by Old Tom Morris and Archie Simpson and the course opened for play in 1899. In the 1920’s Tom Simpson re- designed much of the course although he did keep the most of original routing.
The best holes include the drivable par four 3rd with its sunken green. The long par three 4th hole which runs along the river at the bottom of the course. There follows the strategic par five 6th hole (see photo) with its burn to complicate the 2nd shot and the drivable par four 8th hole (see photo) rounds out the front nine.
On the back nine there are several wonderful holes including the par five 13th hole and the 14th hole (see photo) with its famous bathtub green. And lastly the 17th hole par four with its large mound in the middle of the fairway which is said to be the burial ground for thousands of slain soliders from the battle between the Scots and Danes in 1012.
But what made Cruden Bay so memorable for me is its combination of blind shots, quirky features, stunning scenery and outright flamboyant style, thanks in great measure to the brilliance of Tom Simpson design genius.
Cruden Bay also has a third nine, the St Olaf which is well worth the couple of extra hours to play.
After our round we relaxed with a pint at the cozy Kilmarnock Arms Hotel.
Aberdeenshire flew under the radar in years past but with the arrival of Trump International Links the area has received a boast in popularity. Together with the phenomenal Royal Aberdeen and the likes of Murcar and the lesser known but superb links of Peterhead, Fraserburgh, Newburgh- on- Ythan.
Most visitors to the area stay in Aberdeen but there are wonderful places to stay up and down the coast including in Cruden Bay itself.
All colour photos by: David J Whyte Linksland