The Best Golf Courses in Aberdeenshire

Golf Ball in the Rough
Golf Ball in the Rough | © aotaro/Flickr

Aberdeenshire is an excellent choice for the golfer; with 165 miles of coastline, and a lot of sand dunes, this is natural golfing habitat. There are some very old courses, including several of the top 10 oldest not just in Scotland, but the world. To help you choose where to play, we have selected seven of the best.

1. Royal Aberdeen

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Royal Aberdeen is one of the courses that has an ancient pedigree, with the Society of Golfers at Aberdeen being founded in 1780, and the Aberdeen Golf Club in 1815. The oldest known written record of a golf hole is also from Aberdeen — in 1625. The ‘Royal’ was added to the name in 1903, although the club received royal patronage from Prince Leopold in 1872. Royal Aberdeen is known as a challenging and true links course, nine holes out through the dunes, nine back along a plateau. When the wind is whipping in from the North Sea, this is a hugely enjoyable course to really test the player.

2. Murcar Links

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The course at Murcar Links was established in 1909 and designed by Royal Aberdeen’s Keeper, Archie Simpson. The course is just to the south of Royal Aberdeen, and was described by the 1999 Open Champion, Paul Lawrie, as ‘as fine a links course as you could wish to play.’ Like its neighbour, Murcar is a true challenge, especially if the wind is blowing, and requires skill and determination on a level many lesser courses do not demand. For the golf aficionado, this course will provide a high degree of joy.

3. Duff House Royal

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Founded in the same year as Murcar, 1909, Duff House Royal received royal patronage in 1925. As with Murcar it was designed by Archie Simpson (with extensive redesign in 1923) and was formally opened with a match between the then Open Champion, J.H. Taylor, and James Braid. The course has an emphasis on natural beauty, and the beautiful parkland offers the player wonderful views, including the River Deveron, the Moray Firth, and the famous Banff Bridge. Then there is Duff House itself, which is often called the finest Georgian house anywhere in the world.

4. Peterhead

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Peterhead Golf Club was established in 1841, and the current ‘Old Course’ opened as nine holes in 1898, designed by two-time British Open Champion, Willie Park Junior. Remodelled into 18 holes in 1908, this is another fine — and challenging — example of a seaside Links course. Until 1925 the course was reached by a ferry boat across the river Ugie, with prospective players paying a penny to cross. The beaches around the course are wonderful, as are the views of the river and the dunes.

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