Newmachar (Hawkshill) - North East Scotland - Scotland

Newmachar Golf Club,
Swailend,
Newmachar,
Aberdeen,
AB21 7UU,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1651 863002

  • Alasdair Macgregor

  • Dave Thomas

  • Andrew Cooper

Located close to the centre of Aberdeen, Newmachar is one of the most progressive golf clubs in this area of Scotland, boasting two exceptional 18-hole courses. Dave Thomas designed all 36 holes here at Newmachar and the Swailend opened for play in the summer of 1997, with the Hawkshill opening in the autumn of 1990. In common with all his designs, well-shaped and prominent bunkering is a key feature.

The Swailend course is the shorter and easier test of golf at Newmachar, measuring 6,388 yards from the back tees against a par of 72. The course is set on gently rolling ground and its look and feel is changing year by year as the thousands of saplings which were planted back in 1997 are beginning to put down their roots.

The Hawkshill took more than ten years to evolve from the first steering committee meeting in 1979 to its opening. Land had to be acquired (leased from the local Council) and planning permission granted before 135 acres of arable fields, rough grazing, heathland and bog were transformed into 18 golf holes over a four year period, beginning in the summer of 1986.

There is nothing easy about the Hawkshill, which measures 6,730 yards from the back tees. With par set at 72 and the SSS set at 74, the story is clear: this is definitely one of Aberdeen's most challenging courses. A watery grave waits on five holes (1, 9, 10, 13 and 17), and, of course, Thomas's clever bunkering is also there to catch you out.

Despite its youth, the Hawkshill looks and feels more mature than its tender years, mainly due to the stately pine and birch trees, which flank the fairways. For us, it's these wooded holes that provide the most enjoyment and it's here on these fairways that it's easy to draw a parallel with the Rosemount or Lansdowne courses at Blairgowrie.

Newmachar is an excellent golf club with a tremendous clubhouse and two contrasting but complementary courses. A day's golf here will not only be memorable, but will represent fantastic value for money. Save your best golf for the Hawkshill course, though. You'll need it.

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Newmachar (Hawkshill)

Av. Reviewers Score:
Description: Newmachar is one of the most progressive golf clubs in this area of Scotland, boasting two exceptional 18-hole courses, Swailend and Hawkshill... Rating: 5 out of 6 Reviews: 11

Played this course recently and its a tough tough place to play, if your used to american golf courses or the ones they play on tour like i have been playing last few years this will be a challange. tiger woods or mickelson would loose so many balls here lol, so tight off the tee although i did play off the tee good, yardages seem longer than the card says i.e the 433 yard 7th i think it is played for me a driver 5 irons i hooked 5 iron in trees as caught a soggy lie and when i hit a divot it went left, lol very soggy this year as had lots of rain. greens in great conditions considering thou. i shot 81 here then went to play st andrews old week after and shot 67 so that explains what can happen in hawkshill, you can rack up big numbers if you go for too much you need to know the course really and definatly get yardage book so hard without one.
4 / 6
Newmachar (Hawkshill)
July 14, 2012


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Glad to see the Newmachar bandwagon rolling. I can only reinforce the case for a much higher placing in the next Top 100. Hawkshill is in my top 25 Scottish courses (out of 300 or so that I've played). Tall, mature trees abound, there is plenty of water to keep you honest (the fun begins right from the start with a decision to be made at the 1st!). With so many outstanding holes it is hard to pick the best but 9, 10 and 13 are the stand-outs for me. Newmachar Hawkshill is the type of course I would not expect to like - modern,parkland, etc. But I dont just like it , I love it! If a comparison has to be made, the Blairgowrie courses - Rosemount and Lansdowne - are the most similar to here and I have no hesitation in ranking Hawkshill above both of them.
5 / 6
Newmachar (Hawkshill)
January 05, 2012


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful
Respond to above review
I don’t know if I should be contacting a damned good lawyer as Jim McCann, not for the first time, has stolen my script. You see, I am the playing partner that he is referring to in his review below. I am also sometimes known as his "parkland pal" so I know he likes my ‘expert’ opinion on all things non links. In my opinion Hawkshill is not on a par with the likes of Blairgowrie and Letham Grange and Dalmahoy . It is better!!! Newmachar (Hawkshill) - Photo by MPPJAnd by a considerable margin in one case. I am no great fan of Dave Thomas designs but in this case it's hats off to Mr Thomas because he has done a superb job here with the greenside bunkering as good as I have seen anywhere. I would advise any first time player to purchase a strokesaver, if not, make sure that you have a wander up to look at the first green because it isn’t obvious from further back that the water runs the full breadth of the fairway. I didn’t check, and for all I know my ball is now in Jacques Cousteau's Pro V1 collection. The 2nd gives you the first indication of lies ahead, tumbling tight tree lined fairways culminating at narrow bunker laden greens, it is just wonderful. The 9th and 10th break this trend and then it is more of the same on the inward half with 11, 13, 14 and 16( where the greenside bunkering has to be seen to be believed) the best of an already high quality back 9. I really enjoyed my round at Newmachar and like Newburgh, it was an unexpected pleasure and in no way, in my opinion, boring or monotonous. I would love to return to the Hawkshill in the near future and not as a warm up or an after thought to the many celebrated courses in the area. This is a course that should be considered as a first choice venue destination if you are in the area, and one, that deserves to be far higher up in any Scottish top 100 list. MPPJ
5 / 6
Newmachar (Hawkshill)
September 14, 2010


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Newmachar (Hawkshill) - Photo by Jim McCannAlmost eight years after I last played here, I returned to where I remember having been spat up and chewed out by the course during one of my first Gents Opens. Am I glad I made the return trip? You better believe it as I became reacquainted with one of the best modern inland tracks in the country (even though I couldn’t see this first time around).

Don’t allow the swanky styling of the holes around the clubhouse put you off the Hawkshill. The manicured landscaping with rock garden and ponds might upset your golfing sensibilities a tad, allowing you to imagine that you’ve somehow just stepped onto a South Carolina resort (assuming the sun is shining overhead) but dispel all such thoughts as the rest of the course serves up Scottish inland golf at its very best - I’m not knocking holes 1, 9, 10 and 17 actually, as they fit in beautifully with the other 14 on the card, offering a little aquatic variation to a very good layout.

Let me say at the outset that there’s absolutely no way the Hawkshill should be languishing around the lower reaches of the Scottish Top 100 listings; certainly not when it drew comparison from my playing partner and I with the likes of Blairgowrie (Rosemount), Letham Grange (Old) and Dalmahoy (East). Yes, the Hawkshill IS that good – big, bold, and beautifully presented with many of the fairways laid out on lovely, springy heathland turf.

Not everybody likes Dave Thomas bunkering but the sand traps here are the features that provide the aforementioned big and bold design elements to the layout and they are, in general, simply stunning. Just don’t expect to play too many bump and run shots as many of the greens are protected by enormous sand pits.

The short par four 3rd is a case in point with a massive frontal sand hazard and I think it’s one of the best looking holes that I’ve played in a long time. The 170-yard 6th is another great hole on the front nine. With maturity, this hole could easily, in time, be mistaken for any of the great par threes to be found on the heathland courses of Berkshire. I’m not a big fan of the ultra narrow 8th hole but overall, it’s a very strong outward half to the round.

Holes 11 to 14 are four fine par fours with the 399-yard 13th a real killer due to an expanse of water that runs along the right side of a very narrow fairway. There are no weak holes on the inward half though I was maybe a wee bit disappointed by the excessive mounding around the 18th, as if excess fill from the nearby ponds had been spread around here. That gripe aside, the Hawkshill is a very fine course that will surely rise through the rankings once it becomes better known to a wider audience of golfers who appreciate good golfing venues. Jim McCann
5 / 6
Newmachar (Hawkshill)
August 19, 2010


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
2 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Challenging course and in good condition on the two occasions I've played here but this is not a 6-ball course in my opinion. The design is a classic Dave Thomas affair which is long and heavily bunkered and frankly less than inspriational. Don't get me wrong, it's not a bad track and I suspect it should be considered a good course but in my book it's boring and monotonous.
3 / 6
Newmachar (Hawkshill)
June 05, 2009


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Having played this course on many occassions it never fails to disappoint. The Hawkshill course has got to be one of, if not the toughest course i have played (St George's, Rye and Birkdale are u p there) Off the white tees, the course is long... It's now over 6700 yards and still as tight as ever. new tees and a couple of added bunkers have made this course more challenging that what it was in recent years...! The greens are a little bumpy (may 2008), but you can tell from the continuous work from the greenkeepers that they will be very good in the coming weeks / season ahead. I'd recommend this course to anyone who is in the area and keen to put their golf to the test.
6 / 6
Newmachar (Hawkshill)
May 16, 2008


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Newmachar - Hawkshill is one of the toughest i have played but it is also one of the most enjoyable. The Par is 72 & SSS 74 and every hole presents a different challenge with water coming into play on 7 holes. At over 6700 yards off the back tees it presents a stern test & a full bag of balls is a must. Playing to your handicap round Hawkshill is an achievment. The facitlites are excellent with a big driving range and the par 72 Swailend Course is fast maturing into an excellent track. Well worth the visit
6 / 6
Newmachar (Hawkshill)
May 16, 2008


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful
Respond to above review
if you want a test of golf then the Hawkshill is definatley the course to play. I've played many courses in the North East and in my opinion this is the best. Presentation is great and every hole is different and challenging. You really can't afford to lose concentration. Water features imaculately presented, mature tree lined fairways....fantastic. Would definately reccomend it to all.
6 / 6
Newmachar (Hawkshill)
November 08, 2006


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
Without doubt one of the best inland courses in Scotland, let alone the north east. The Hawkshill is a challenging course that makes you think your way round, although no matter your final score it offers an enjoyable experience in pleasant surroundings.From arrival the practice facilities are excellent, with a driving range, pitching and chipping green and practice putting green all available for use to help get you properly prepared.The course on the occasions I have played it, has always be well presented and evidently very well maintained. Recent improvements to pathing have help enhance the presentation of the course.The test of the course lies in USGA standard undulating greens, tree lined holes and water features on 5 different holes.There are many pleasant holes to enjoy, the 320 yard fifth is a hole of beauty, a treelined dog leg where placement off the tee with an iron/fairway wood is vital and the water protected 140 yard par 3 ninth culminates a very enjoyable opening 9 holes.Holes 2 thru 5 require careful consideration when drawing a club from the bag on each tee. With the driver often not being considered.This consideration to placement coupled with ease on the eye is continued through the back nine, with the short but dangerous par 4 10th and tricky13th worth a notable mention as stand out holes.Once finished the modern clubhouse offers a great view to watch fellow golfers tackling the 9th, 10th and 18th. Good facilities and very friendly staff both in the clubhouse and in the pro shop.If visiting the north east, I'd highly recommend you pay Newmachar - Hawkshill a visit.
6 / 6
Newmachar (Hawkshill)
May 19, 2006


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
0 people found this review helpful
Respond to above review
I entered the Newmachar Open and played the Hawkshill course in September 2002. There are good practice facilities adjacent to the clubhouse with a driving range available for warming up. It is obvious from the hole contouring around the opening holes that both courses here are very new and very modern in design with water brought heavily into play. The Hawkshill course is a tough track, with trees, sand and water hazards in play at many of the holes. There are not too many places where you can ease up - this place will keep you on your toes throughout. The clubhouse is on two levels with locker room below and big lounge and function room upstairs. Don't come here looking for a walk in the park as the Hawkshill is not set up for golfers out for a leisurely stroll! James McCann
3 / 6
Newmachar (Hawkshill)
January 24, 2005


Was this review helpful? Yes / No
1 person found this review helpful
Respond to above review