Cruden Bay Golf Club - Championship Course
Cruden Bay Golf Course creates unique challenges, demanding the skills of power, placement and fine judgment. The golf course is set against a backdrop of subtly contoured greens and panoramic views.
Designed by Old Tom Morris and opened in 1899, Cruden Bay was redesigned to the current layout by Tom Simpson and Herbert Fowler in 1926. The golf course offers an internationally famous golfing experience, old-fashioned links golf at its best.
|Red (W)||73||5726 yards||74.4||138|
|Green (W)||71||5320 yards||72.0||129|
|Blue M: 72.8/131||416||357||367||196||509||531||458||250||462||3546||392||150||311||571||431||195||172||422||419||3063||6609|
|White M: 71.1/125||416||331||268||196||463||517||393||250||415||3249||374||150||311||571||400||195||172||422||419||3014||6263|
|Yellow M: 69.4/118||403||309||268||142||463||498||369||220||398||3070||339||142||295||534||371||195||172||383||376||2807||5877|
|Red W: 74.4/138||390||309||252||142||463||498||348||208||415||3025||339||138||278||487||359||195||165||374||366||2701||5726|
Worth the drive if you're visiting Aberdeen, quite a hike north of St. Andrews/Carnoustie and 2 hours east of Inverness. Caught this course on a perfect day. No caddy was offered nor did I need one, you just hit it at the aiming sticks and there are only a few blind shots anyway. Greens are boring and my one complaint would be their speed was inconsistent green-to-green, but with that said course conditions were immaculate and you do NOT get the snooty attitude that other top courses can give off. I played exactly to my handicap having never seen the course before so I was ecstatic. Wind would clearly make the trek harder, but again I caught it on a benign day. Play later in the day and off-season to keep costs down, as I did.
Play it twice!
Cruden Bay is Amazing! The first course we played on a group trip of 7 golf courses. SO many unique and quirky holes that you will need to play it twice (like us) to have an idea of how to play it. Multiple blind tee shots..but the View from atop the 9th tee on a dune over 100 feet high is AMAZING! The par 3 4th hole feels iconic to me with its views of the town to the left and boats in the riverbed. Course conditions were spectacular though we felt the taller fescue near the fairways could have been cut down a tad and would have helped speed up play. Greens are firm but true so play for the fronts (or shorter!) and let it release. We got lucky and didnt have too much wind..and temps stayed above 67 most of the day! I played in shorts and underarmor.
The staff was amazing as well. They accommodated us by pushing our afternoon times back which allowed up to grab lunch between rounds. They had a table reserved for us in the restaurant and the food and service was fast and well priced.
On Scotland must play list
The Aberdeen area is usually not one of the first choices for visiting golfers. But Cruden Bay should definitely be on your must play list if you've done (or don't need to) the Open rotation. It had been 17 years since we had last played it and I had forgotten what an interesting links it is.
Boasting a setting very similar to Royal Dornoch with elevation changes and great sea views (view from 9th tee is spectacular), it has a collection of holes that range from classic to quirky. Changes to the course in the past few years have improved the layout (#9 as an example). The greens were a bit slow even for Scotland, but overall course conditions were good.
Don't Let the Length Fool You
I don't think I've ever given a course straight fives on Golf Advisor, but Cruden Bay definitely deserves it. It is a very special place. The topography and scenery are breathtaking, and the course has just enough quirkiness to be fun without being gimmicky.
The scorecard suggests that it's a relatively short course, but don't let that fool you. Elevation changes lengthen the course, and if the rain and wind are going, then that's going to lengthen the course by a few thousand yards.
Pack your camera for the ninth tee. You're not likely to get a view like that again anytime soon.
Another typical links course. Worth the stop. Great view from the clubhouse.
Wonderful blend of holes
We played Cruden Bay in the late afternoon, on the back end of a 36-hole day. My expectations were high, and some of my writing colleagues had told me that they thought Cruden Bay was one of the best courses in Scotland. It didn't disappoint, even though the course was slightly soggy after a miserable summer season. (Not much they can do about that!) What really struck me about this place was the great diversity of holes -- some long, some short, some wide open, some blind. I could have done without the uphill climb to the ninth tee that felt like I was scaling Mount Everest, but the drivable par-4 eighth -- and the easy birdie -- made the trek slightly more palatable. Overall, this course definitely passed the walk-in-the-park test. Make sure you play here.
Such a treat
Had been to Scotland several times and had heard great things about Cruden Bay so I was very much looking forward to this round. It did not disappoint.
We were guided around the course by a club member, who was a great host and extremely helpful with pointing out some of the course quirks.
I found the place charming and loved many of the features. The views on the water are spectacular and it's fun to play. The dogleg left par-3 was different than anything I'd seen before, but if you hit a good shot you're rewarded. Nothing wrong with that.
This will continue to stay on my list of places to play each time I return to the area. Good times.
Joy among the Dunes
Cruden Bay is another Scottish Links Classic. Played 36 on a day ticket. I was paired up with an American and German on the first round and 2 locals he second round. You don't really have a choice of whom you are with, but playing with members was a treat. The staff is very accommodating and nice in the pro-shop. They adjusted my second round as dictated by the finish of the first so I didn't have to wait around for 2 hours. Eat in the clubhouse or at least spend some time up there; some of the best views in Scotland with Slains' Castle menacing in the distance. Cruden Bay is another course which will let you choose your own tees, so low handicappers can play the backs if they want.
The golf is first rate. I have discovered that I like the classic, quirky courses more than the modern Scottish courses. Cruden Bay is among my favorites. There are a couple of half par holes which make the round. And a couple of blind shots, but not many. The walk to the ninth tee is worth it as the links is below, much like the 7th tee box at Dornoch. Specifically, the first couple of holes take you away from the clubhouse and towards the dunes. They are good, but the fun begins with the fourth hole. An excellent par 3 with a green set on a bluff. Miss is short and the options are numerous. The par 5 sixth has a burn in front and dog legs towards the end. Anything from a 3 to a snowman is possible on this one. The seventh is a dog leg that has an open tee shot, but the fairway narrows on the approach to an uphill green. The 8th hole is a drivable par 4 and your best chance at birdie, however a poor drive can lead to a bogie. I really enjoyed the 10th hole which plays downhill and has a burn. The quirky holes which you will love or hate are the 14th and 15th. The 14th has a sunken green which is a blind approach and the 15th is a blind long par three complete with a pully system to ring a bell.
Over all Cruden Bay is one of my favorites in Scotland which makes it one of my favorites period. The golf amongst the Dunes is first rate. Bunkers are well positioned and the course is routed so that your drive needs to find the correct side of the fairway or the second shot difficulty is raised. Good variety in par 3s as far as length and direction, same can be said for the par 4s and the two par fives are high quality. Take in the outstanding setting and you have another must play in Scotland.
A new and improved Cruden Bay
Cruden Bay, designed by Old Tom Morris with help from Archie Simpson, dates back to the 19th century. Any time there are changes to a historic course like Cruden Bay, it's a big deal. The club took the proper step to modernize three holes within the past year - the ninth, 10th and 16th holes - making a good links even more special. The ninth and 10th holes provide spectacular views as memorable as Turnberry. Two blind shots - the approach on no. 14 and the tee shot on the par-3 15th - can be maddening to first timers, but that's the rub of playing such a unique links.
One of my top 3 in Scotland
Had the pleasure if playing Cruden Bay in the company of a local Doctor and a friend of his visiting from the States. A very pleasant afternoon spent on a beautiful links golf course. The course opens up with the first few holes up on the plateau heading towards town before turning into the dunes. This is links golf at its best, holes winding through the tall dunes, you feel like you're routed by thousands of years of erosion, not Old Tom Morris' design. Do not hesitate, you must absolutely play this golf course!
Sometimes the history on a piece of land is so profound, that its ancient cries of glory or anguish continue to resound
Sometimes the history on a piece of land is so profound, that its ancient cries of glory or anguish continue to resound. Such were my sensibilities touched at Cruden Bay. By golf standards, the course has been here a long time (dating back to the original Old Tom Morris design of 1899, but some evidence exists that golf was played across these links even centuries before that) and has been updated and remodeled accordingly. The land is sweeping and marked by massive sand dunes, some three-stories high, hard on Cruden Bay with the course settling among it’s surroundings, rather than in contrast to it. Over 1,000 years before, this was the site of the one of the most significant and ferocious battles of the era known variously as the “Battle of the Danes,” or depending upon your perspective, the “Slaughter of the Danes.” This much is fact, the battle raged for days with the Scots emerging victorious, yet they so much respected the courage of their adversaries that it is said they built a chapel on the site to commemorate them (no trace exists today). Among the places that the past and present meet at Cruden Bay is the par 5, 6th hole, measuring 529 yards. The perched green is reachable in two, but an effort that comes up short will tumble down into the “Bluidy Burn (Bloody Burn)” for it ran red with the blood of the fallen for days during and after the battle and still to this day marks the end of glory unfulfilled.