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


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.
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Reviews for Cruden Bay (Championship)

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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: 8.5 out of 10 Reviews: 74
TaylorMade
Chris Jackson
A good links challenge with the best holes on the front 9 but amongst the 18 are a few disappointing holes. Excellent views from the club house but for the price of the green fees you might expect a bit more from the course.
August 03, 2004
8 / 10
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Nick Stratford
I think this course is severely under-rated. It's one of my favourites in the UK, and definitely one of the best in Scotland, probably only behind Muirfield. There is a good mixture of tough and easy par 4's & 5's and probably the most challenging set of par 3's you'd ever hope to play. Love it
July 13, 2004
10 / 10
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Billy
It's a delight to play Cruden Bay - the scene is set from the moment you pull into the car park. The elevated clubhouse provides a wonderful 360 panorama of the course falling away beneath. The holes are varied and exciting, the greens are true and tough to read. In summary this is a must-play golf course...well worth the trip in its own right.
July 12, 2004
8 / 10
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Andy Newmarch
From the moment you arrive in the fabulous new clubhouse and look out through the picture windows overlooking the course, you realise this is a fantastic course. Links golf of top quality in the best setting. Cruden Bay deserves such a high rating in the Top100 easily - great course, warm welcome.PS - Dont forget to use the telescope in the clubhouse, the great views get even closer - Will return soon.
July 06, 2004
8 / 10
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Frank Beard
August 12, 2007
What a golf course - one of the best in the world.