Tens of thousands of words have been written about the Trump International course at Balmedie, 12 miles north of Aberdeen, but I can describe this new kid on the golfing block it in just one word…WOW!!
Wow, from the first difficult drive to the last knock kneed putt, the course is quite simply magnificent. I also discovered that none of the many online images do it justice, as nothing comes close to the real thing.
I love the way that the course is designed so you can’t see the following hole. It is like opening 18 spectacular Christmas presents and it reminded me a lot of the back 9 at Hillside, which had a similar effect on me.
Your first task before teeing off is to choose your tee for the day. There are 6 to choose from, (7 on the first), ranging from 7428 to 5215yards. My advice is simple, leave your machismo in the changing room and choose a day which will allow you to enjoy the experience.
We chose to play off the white tees which at 6329 yards, was plenty for us. At this stage I would like to say a special work of thanks to Austin, our starter, who was an absolute star. He was the one who suggested that we played from the whites and his 5 minutes of tips, humour and anecdotes was greatly appreciated and really set the tone for our day. This is the normally the part of any review that I separate the wheat from the chaff. Well I have to rip that script up, because there is no chaff whatsoever at Trump International, just 18 wonderful golf holes.
If I have to single anything out then it would be the par 3’s at 3 and 6, which are unforgettable, and a slight negative would be the bunkering on the home hole, which is a tad excessive. That being said I enjoyed the fact that it was bunker laden in places, as it encourages you to use brains as opposed to brawn and I find that appealing and challenging.
My final bit of advice is not to worry too much about your score. It is Big Boy’s golf and errant shots may be punished.My playing partner and I both have handicap’s in the early teens, but we both scored into 3 figures, which translated into low 20’s in stableford points, but we both agreed that the score didn’t matter it was all about the overall experience, which was simply fantastic.
Martin Hawtree’s task was to create the ‘World’s Greatest Golf Course’. Now, I can’t say for certain if he actually fulfilled the brief, what I can say is he has created a masterpiece, which may just be my new Number 1 course, and one which I feel, is well equipped to host the Open or the Ryder Cup in the coming years.
Date: June 01, 2015