Rᴏʏᴀʟ Aʙᴇʀᴅᴇᴇɴ GC

Originally formed as the Society of Aberdeen Golfers, the club is one of the oldest in the world. They moved from their original common-land course to the Balgownie Links in 1888.

The first tee is so close to the clubhouse you can almost feel the scrutiny of the members in the bar. The First tumbles down to a green perched on a cliff above the glistening North Sea.

The quality of the front 9 here is well known, and in my opinion, entirely warranted. It’s varied golf of unrelenting quality. Two through Six are all of the same high standard, but Eight is one of the standout par 3s of Scotland. Only 140 yards, 10 bunkers await a misplaced shot. The optimist will be looking for a 2, while the realist would always be happy with a 3…

Nine is my personal pick of the front. Playing from the top of the dunes, the fairway is set obliquely to the teeing line. It rounds off a special opening 9.

The back 9 plays on the higher ground back towards the clubhouse - with little protection from the prevailing wind, it’s a thorough examination of your game. Whilst it doesn’t quite maintain the heady heights of the front, it’s still excellent golf. The particular highlights are Seventeen and Eighteen – one of the strongest finishes you’ll find.

Royal Aberdeen is a special place. A grand old club with a truly welcoming membership and spectacular links. Sitting in the stately bar after your round you can fully appreciate the history and traditions – as well as take your turn safely judging the lucky golfers teeing off on that iconic first tee…

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