The Aberdeen suburb of Peterculter lies on the north bank of the River Dee, less than half an hour’s drive from the city centre. The golf club was formed in 1991, following the acquisition of a riverside tract of land on which local engineer Eddie Lappin laid out the course, routing holes 4, 5 and 10 to 12 alongside the fast flowing waters of the river.
Today, the course measures a reasonable 6,224 yards from the medal tees, playing to a par of 71. With only two of the par four holes measuring in excess of 400 yards in length (at 9 and 13), and four sensibly proportioned par threes (at 3, 8, 10 and 15), it certainly never feels like a hard slog when playing here.
Sandwiched between par fives on the front nine, the most deceptively difficult hole on the outward half is the 365-yard, left doglegged 6th, named “Dee View”. Here, an accurate tee shot from a semi blind tee position is key as a centre-right placement on the fairway will allow the best angle of approach to the green.Some reckon the 187-yard 10th is the “signature hole” at Peterculter with the tee shot on this par three played towards a well-bunkered green that’s backed by the River Dee, with an old ghillie’s hut located on the other river bank to remind golfers of the area’s fishing heritage.
There was still evidence of the damage that Storm Frank had caused on Deeside at the end of 2015 with the bridge over the burn at the 4th, next to the river, being reconstructed by workmen. Indeed, holes 2, 3 and 4 had been out of commission for a couple of weeks to allow for repairs which, nine months after the flooding had occurred, just shows it can take a bit of time for a course to fully recover from severe weather.
The par four 6th (“Dee View”) is easily the best of the front nine holes, laid out on higher ground towards the clubhouse, and the sequence of holes from the 13th to the 16th is another strong stretch, with the 378-yard 14th (“Elders Brig”) the pick of these holes, played uphill to a bunkerless green that sits on top of the slope.
Peterculter didn’t exactly set my pulse racing, especially the holes down by the river where the club has not had its problems to seek in recent months. The round does end on a high note, however, as holes rise gently uphill towards the clubhouse and an interesting home green that lies behind a big swale in front of the putting surface.