Played late April 2015, with a terrific ex-club champ on my bag as caddy. 1-2 club wind max, 55 F/12 C. Despite a recent Verticut, three new greens and early Spring turf conditions, I utterly loved this course. Played 36 with a wind shift between rounds so saw all holes both with and into the breeze. The views are stunning. The 4th hole is world class, but underrated is an excellent mix of par 4s (long, medium and short) and two strong par fives that require thought with all three shots. Lots of “siren song” holes and pins, tempting one to try risky shots. Every hole at Cruden is different, and nearly all are memorable -- there is no sameness here. From hole 3 through 8 are a sheer delight, with 4 worthy of its difficult reputation, 6 one of the more difficult par 5 3rd shots I can recall, and 7 a sneaky good par 4. The new 9th is still a wide, dullish plateau but with a nice infinity green. I found the blind 14-16 less difficult than I expected but quite enjoyable (16 has been redone to be less blind and soften the landing area). 17 (with its maddening Viking burial mound) and 18 (mind the hidden water hazard) are quite underrated by other reviewers (as are 1 and 2). In my opinion, not only is it visually dramatic, but this is among the most flat-out FUN golf courses I’ve ever played – beautiful, delightful, quirky, original with a brilliant variety of holes. CB's members and staff were very kind; the pro shop was good the practice facilities useful. Clubhouse food was only okay though.
Date: April 28, 2015