Perhaps the word that serves to define the Royal Aberdeen Golf Club is class. This is evident from the moment you access the venerable clubhouse accompanied by the friendly staff of the pro shop and enjoy its traditional and inviting atmosphere.
That feeling is confirmed and increased when one stands on the first tee, right next to the windows of the clubhouse, to face the first drive of the day. In a way, it is a special shot, since one feels scrutinized by the looks, in reality more or less indifferent, of the members inside. Be that as it may, that first hole, which takes us directly to the North Sea, is in itself impressive regardless of the presence of the public of the clubhouse.
This hole marks the tone of the stylish succession of holes that follow: the par 5 2nd features a true tunnel between giant dunes, and the 3rd is a brutal par 3, both aesthetically and for its difficulty.
The holes that follow until the turn can be compared to the best sequence of holes that I have played, including North Berwick, Dornoch or County Down, which can give an idea of its quality. In particular, I enjoyed the 4th, the 8th, a short but dramatic par 3, and the 9th, another tough hole, with a second uphill shot to a green that represents an almost unattainable goal.
From there, the rest of the holes go into something less inspired terrain, but there is still very good golf, until you reach the last 2 holes, which are fantastic: the 17th is a par 3 oriented to the sea, and the 18th is a tough par 4 over broken terrain, capable of breaking cards in the very last moment, as I can witness.
As for the condition of the course, at the time we visited it was almost unbeatable, since the Amateur Championship was held the following week. In any case, I wished that the fairways had not been watered, as those of Murcar, right next door, which appeared much drier and brown.
In all, Royal Aberdeen is one of the most attractive and challenging courses that I have had the pleasure of playing.
M. Azagra, Spain.
Date: September 20, 2018