Newburgh-on-Ythan Golf Club was nominated as a gem by a number of people, so we visited the club in August 2010 to experience Newburgh. Here are some of the comments we received from nominees: “Beautiful course with views to die for… Some cracking, testing holes and the most amazing views of the dunes, estuary and sea beyond… A great layout that blends the old with the new making this a golf course that should not be missed.” We were very impressed with Newburgh too and endorse it as a worthy Scottish gem.
Additional land on higher ground adjacent to the old course was acquired in 1994, allowing the club to form a new front nine two years later – a round of golf at the modern day Newburgh course really is a game of two contrasting halves.
The front nine holes are laid out on undulating land that rises up from the links located alongside the River Ythan. Holes rise and fall with regularity over this terrain and several of the fairways lead to multi-tiered greens which allow a number of tricky pin positions.
The back nine present old-fashioned links golf at its finest with blind shots, firm fairways, sandy ridges and punchbowl greens aplenty. Holes are intuitively routed around a parcel of sandy soiled ground beside the river estuary with many of the fairways flanked by walls of gorse.It’s a real shame that Newburgh is completely overshadowed by the courses at Royal Aberdeen, Murcar and Cruden Bay as it deserves wider recognition by visiting golfers who drive past on the way to these other places. Following the arrival of the new Trump International Golf Links three miles to the south, it remains to be seen if this little Scottish gem will shine any brighter in the future.
Nothing special. Some good holes but very open and forgiving, quite an easy course for an introduction to links golf before testing yourself on any of the other links courses north of Aberdeen.
What larks, Pip, what larks !
We had spent a couple of hours vainly waiting for the haar to dissipate from Cruden Bay - clear blue skies 1 mile inland, but we were here for links golf, so nipped down the coast to Newburgh where we started in great visibility but the fog soon found us, hence no photos !
It's a very fun game of 2 halves - first 9 heathland style, second 9 marshland links style.
At times in the marshes I would not have been surprised to find Magwitch lurking behind a gorse bush having escaped a convict hulk but instead just found some suicidal dog walkers (similar to Royal Jersey in their lack of awareness and entitlement) and a good honest game of golf.
Decent course in a nice location by the dunes, quite forgiving. The first 9 is quite hilly, the second flat.
I've read and seen many reviews for Newburgh on Ythan, and for me it all depends on what tees you have played the course on. Let me explain...
Newburgh is first of all a tale of two nines - the front nine being the new part of the course, while the back nine takes you back to the original nine hole layout of the course.
The front nine opens with a fairly tough uphill par four, followed by a par 3 which can be anything from 220 yds from the Whites, to 160 yds from the Yellow tees, with a green well protected by bunkers and natural contours... a par-par start would be worth Whatsapping your pals about. On the front 9, the 4th, 6th and 7th have some great tee positions from the Whites... the 7th in particular adding over 100 yards. From the yellows, you may think about driving through the "Funs Gap" as is the name of the hole, but its out of reach for most golfers from the high elevated White tee. You really do have to think your way around the front 9, depending on what direction the wind is coming from.
The back 9 can be brutal, but is awesome, and a true links test with blind tee shots at 12, 13 and 14, and the Ythan Estuary wrapping itself from the 15th hole round to the 18th tee.
Take away a few rabbit holes on the fairways, this course is as good a test, if not better than some of its more illustrious neighbours. If you're in the area, give it a go.
Newburgh-on-Ythan is very much a tale of two halves, but each one is worth listening to.
Dating back to 1888 this delightful links course was originally a nine-hole layout until as recently as 1996 when new land was acquired and a further nine were developed.
The course is situated on the Ythan Estuary, overlooking the North Sea and Sands of Forvie National Nature Reserve; the setting is nothing less than splendid.
The new holes are played today as the front-nine and not only have they bedded down exceptionally well you can just tell that they will get better and better with each passing year. The full course plays 6,423 yards to a par of 72. On our visit we had the extreme pleasure of playing with the Lady Captain, a sheep farmer originally from New Zealand, who previously owned much of the land.
The front nine is significantly more undulating than the inward half and there are some very fine holes. The fourth, named “Drovers”, is memorable because the club have left the old stone walls in the fairway which cattle used to be herded into, before being taken to market in local towns such as Peterhead. A unique hazard if ever I saw one.
The back nine is a traditional links lovers dream. Looking out from the modern, glass-fronted clubhouse, over a sea of gorse, it would appear that the fairways are dead flat, however, nothing could be further from the truth.
Although the land isn’t as rolling as the front-half the terrain is blessed with more natural contours; hollows and humps create gently rippling and undulating fairways. At the 12th, 13th and 14th the land is at its most tempestuous with some blind shots thrown into the mix.
Ed is the founder of Golf Empire – click the link to read his full review.