Old-school links charm with a twist, the elevation changes and dunes throw up the most wonderful, panoramic views. Burns, bunkers and bumps will test every element of your game

Cruden Bay Golf Club Championship Course Review

Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 – 69
Previous Rankings
2019/20 – 71
2017/18 – 76
2015/16 – 89
2013/14 – 89
2011/12 – 89
2009/10 – 88

Summer Green Fees

Round – £145wd, £160we, Day – £190wd

Visitors: welcome every day subject to availability

Medal Tee: Par 70 – 6,609 Yards

www.crudenbaygolfclub.co.uk

Changes since previous ranking

The first hole has a new championship tee and a repositioned fairway bunker.

The par-3 fourth beside the river

 Cruden Bay Golf Club Championship Course Review

The excellent and widely admired Championship Course at Cruden Bay is more than just a traditional links with a strong heritage. In some ways, it has a quite different feel with its elevation changes and dunes that throw up the most wonderful, panoramic views.

In 1894 the Great North of Scotland Railway Company commissioned the building of a course at Cruden Bay to accompany its hotel that was being constructed at the same time. The course, designed by Old Tom Morris and Archie Simpson, and the hotel were opened in 1899.

The club formed the following year, and the course was subsequently upgraded by Tom Simpson and Herbert Fowler in 1926. They largely kept the original greens and routing, and more recently there have been a few more changes, particularly at the 9th and 16th, which have only improved a course that was already hugely enjoyable from start to finish.

The eighth hole (Photo: David J Whyte)

The opening three holes head in an easterly direction towards the river which runs alongside the very attractive 4th, and the course then hurtles its way southwards with a succession of interesting and entertaining holes. There are three potentially driveable par 4s at 3, 8 and 12, four varied and attractive short holes, and two par 5s where water will determine your strategy. Unless playing from the very back tees, length is not the issue at Cruden Bay, but there are plenty of burns, bunkers and bumps to test every element of your game.

Fun Factor

The one thing on which everyone seems to agree is that whatever adjectives you use to describe it, one of them will always be fun. It has all that is great and challenging about an old-fashioned links combined with a variety that will draw comparisons with many different courses. There are plateau greens, undulating fairways, blind shots, streams and gorse.

Out amongst the sandhills, with the call of skylarks drifting on the breeze, the real world seems rather distant. This is golfing escapism at its best.

The short fourteenth (Photo: David J Whyte)

Assessor Feedback

I do not subscribe to the notion that it is too unusual to be a good course. I wish more courses were as interesting, challenging and beautiful as this.

GM Verdict

Old-school links charm with a twist, the elevation changes and dunes throw up the most wonderful, panoramic views. Burns, bunkers and bumps will test every element of your game