Cruden Bay (Championship) - North East Scotland - Scotland

Cruden Bay Golf Club,
Aulton Road,
Cruden Bay,
Aberdeenshire,
AB42 0NN,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1779 812285

  • Golf Club Website

  • 23 miles N of Aberdeen

  • Welcome weekdays – advisable to contact in advance


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Cruden Bay

Some say golf was played at Cruden Bay way back in the 18th century. An authenticated ballot box with the inscription "Cruden Golf Club 1791" exists, but Cruden Bay Golf Club wasn’t formed until more than 100 years later. Old Tom Morris and Archie Simpson laid out the course for the Great North of Scotland Railway Company (GNSR) and it opened for play in 1899. In 1926, Tom Simpson and Herbert Fowler redeveloped the layout leaving many of the original greensites and routing intact. Little has since changed.

Cruden Bay HotelThe railway company used pink granite to build a luxurious hotel at Cruden Bay, which was nicknamed “the Palace in the Sandhills”. They hoped for the same success as at Gleneagles, but sadly, in 1952, the hotel was demolished. Money was tight in the 1950s and the club and course almost fell by the wayside until three local businessmen stepped in to save Cruden Bay from extinction. A new clubhouse was built in 1961 on the same spot as the hotel but that, too, has disappeared, making way for the present 1998 clubhouse.

Cruden Bay is an inspirational golf course, regarded by some as quirky and considered by others as a masterpiece. Either way, this is a thrilling place to play golf because the designers used the original lie of the land to fantastic effect. Rugged linksland, pebble-dashed with sand dunes as high as three-storey buildings. Elevated tees cut high into the dunes, humped and hollowed fairways bumping their way along to punchbowl greens, nestling in attractive dells. And all set against the backdrop of the steely North Sea.

The 193-yard par three 4th hole is called Port Erroll and is described in A Century of Golf at Cruden Bay as follows: “Thus named because the Water of Cruden runs along the left side of the fairway, with the old fishing village of Port Erroll on the opposite bank. The harbour is itself visible in the near distance. This is one of Simpson’s best par threes and one of Cruden Bay’s best holes. Playing straight towards the sea (and often into the wind) from an elevated tee carved out of one imposing sandhill across a deep grassy hollow to an elevated green carved out of the facing sandhill. The tee shot must carry straight and all the way to the green – it is serious business, indeed.”

Tarald suggested we mention that on July 30th 1914, heroic pilot Trygve Gran took off near the 3rd or 4th holes at Cruden Bay and flew from Scotland to Norway, becoming the first person to fly across the North Sea.
Cruden Bay winds its way in a figure of eight through towering dunes. Many of the holes are secluded from each other by the sandhills, enabling that wonderful feeling of intimacy. There are panoramic sea views, a stunning beach, driveable par fours, blind drives, back-to-back par threes. That’s entertainment.
If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Cruden Bay (Championship)

Average Reviewers Score:
Description: Cruden Bay is an inspirational golf course, regarded by some as quirky and considered by others as a masterpiece. Either way, this is a thrilling place to play golf because the designers used the original lie of the land to fantastic effect. Rating: 8.6 out of 10 Reviews: 66
TaylorMade
Allan
Cruden Bay should be played by all golfers once. Even if it's just to see the view from the clubhouse across the links land below, for it is truly how you would want golf in heaven to look. Well was it heaven on the course, well perhaps yes and no. I had enough interest to make the first round totally enjoyable, but on the second round, I started to question a few of the holes. Not that any are bad, it's just that a few holes don't stand to the quality of the rest. I guess you can say that of most courses, but I mention it as this is obviously a Cruden Bay review. Many will agree, many will pour scorn, but if you still need convincing, read the opening two lines again. The view truly is magnificent.
June 04, 2012
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

adt moir
I was a member here in the 80's for several years...recently I had heard the course had lost a bit of it's links feel but having played it last week 'the Bay' is back to it's best Firm,fast and with many upgrades to bunkering,green run offs and new tees,it is looking top notch If you haven't played it for a while,come back...you will see a big difference
April 07, 2012
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

John
Cruden Bay is a very enjoyable course and in very good condition. Palyed 2/4/12 and really enjoyed my round. I would definately advise a stroke saver and/or playing with someone familiar to the course as there are alot of places where local knowledge will come in handy. Not a place for belting it, you'll have to think and choose your shots accordingly. Very playable and very pretty.
April 03, 2012
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Dan Hare
Having been snowed off in 2010, we were delighted to play here this April! I was fully expecting to love Cruden Bay with its stunning location and quirky design, but I was also very pleasantly surprised with the Southern loop that you cant see from the club house. I differ with sdodd in that the 15th was fun and we found both tee shots, but the 14th for me was the highlight with a wonderful green position giving you the chance to play a unique (in my experience) running, gathering approach shot. So pleased to have finally played it, would absolutely love to play it again ! dan
July 26, 2011
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Gary Wilde
I have played in the 4 Day Open this week which has been a thoroughly enjoyable experience in glorious weather. The people involved with the organisation of the event were delightful and it will be a pleasure to return in future years. My favourite spot on the course was standing on the fifth tee on the towering dune looking at the fairway below.
July 15, 2011
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Eric Veenhuyzen
Cruden Bay is a magnificent place to be and to play. The fairways may not be as narrow as on some other link courses, but still challenging enough. Of course the holes in the far south corner where you can hear the howling seals are spectacular. Beautiful scenery and a pleasure to be.
June 16, 2011
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

David Hasson
I fell in love with this course. It has real character and unsurpassed views. Very challenging without being overly punishing, a fantastic day out and one for which I'll make the long journey for next year too.
September 15, 2010
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Jorn Greve
Simply one of the best classic links you will ever play. Totally disagree to the critical reviews. Make the long way and you will be rewarded. Add the great Royal Aberdeen and you cant get more value for your money. Fantastic!
September 13, 2010
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Len Palmer
At long last I got to play Cruden Bay and now can't wait to return. Those who criticise the course have no golfing soul - the whole experience is wonderful from the moment you arrive to take in the views of the course and the sea set out below you. You think it can't get better but when you reach the 10th tee it does. Quirky in places - yes, but this is golf the way it was meant to be played !!!
August 24, 2010
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful

Graham Stuart
It is my good fortune to have recently become a Country Member at Cruden Bay and, quite simply, it is a wonderful course if you like your links in the dunes / valleys style (e.g. Prestwick, Turnberry, Royal Aberdeen). Only two of the holes are less than excellent (the 8th and 9th), with the two stetches from 1-6 and 10-16 being filled with all that links golf is about (blinds shots, massive dunes, punishing rough, winding burns, quirky layouts etc). Can't wait to head up again in a few weeks!
July 12, 2010
10 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
0 people found this review helpful