From its dramatically imposing coastline to its picturesque villages and rolling hills, Aberdeenshire boasts some of the finest scenery that Scotland has to offer. And then, of course, there are innumerable golf links to be discovered in the land where the game was invented. Scotland’s cultural heritage is ever more accessible, and it would be possible to spend several months in the Highlands and still not visit every castle, notable garden, historic site and whisky distillery.
Golf connoisseurs had long known the area above Europe’s oil capital, the city of Aberdeen, for a pair of Old World links - Royal Aberdeen and Cruden Bay golf clubs. Now thanks to the Trump organization, it’s development team and British architect Martin Hawtree, the Trump International Golf Links is making the headlines. Scot and former Ryder Cup Captain, Colin Montgomerie, went as far to say "it’s so far one of the best - if not the best - links courses I’ve ever played."
It is not often that a new course makes an impression in a country as blessed with quality courses as Scotland, but this new addition to the Scottish golfing scene is already being talked of as a possible Ryder Cup and even Open Championship venue. At nearly 7,500 yards, the course is long and tricky, not least thanks to nearly 100 bunkers, including 18 on the 18th hole alone. It could well be the new king of all courses in Scotland.
The Trump International Golf Links has certainly brought more attention to this very special corner of the home of golf. It’s neighbours, Royal Aberdeen and Cruden Bay, are now deservedly sharing some of the spotlight.
Royal Aberdeen runs essentially out and back along the North Sea shore at Balgownie. After 126 years, the world’s sixth oldest golf club will host the European Tour’s Scottish Open in 2014. The pros will find that there is no finer outward nine in the game as its cuts its way through some wonderful dunes. The inland nine returns south and is on high ground so it’s more a battle with the elements. The five-minute rule to find your ball was made here in 1783 so maintain your pace! A traditional old Scottish links, it is well bunkered with undulating fairways. It has an excellent balance of holes, tricky par-3s, strong par-4s, and two classic par-5s, with the eighth protected by nine bunkers. The ever-changing wind, tight-protected greens and a magnificent finish makes Royal Aberdeen a test for the very best.
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