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Royal Aberdeen (9)

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club in Aberdeen, Scotland, was founded in 1780 and claims to be the sixth oldest golf club in the world. It was founded as the Society of Golfers at Aberdeen, and became the Aberdeen Golf Club in 1815 subsequently receiving royal patronage in 1903.

The course runs essentially out and back along the North Sea shore. The outward nine (which is

acknowledged as one of the finest in links golf anywhere in the world) cuts its way through some wonderful dune formation. The inland nine returns south over the flatter plateau. A traditional old Scottish links, it is

well-bunkered with undulating fairways. It has an excellent balance of holes, strong par 4’s, tricky par 3’s and two classic par 5’s, with the 8th (signature hole) protected by nine bunkers. The ever-changing wind,

tight-protected greens and a magnificent finish makes Balgownie a test for the very best. It was highly praised by participants in the 2005 Senior British Open.

The best front nine in Scotland with penal rough and punishing bunkers requiring a well-controlled ball flight in a strong wind. This is an awesome layout, in great nick. Big dunes, fine green complexes.

Royal Aberdeen golf course is one of the true greats of links golf, the game has been played on this site since 1589, with the club itself being formed in 1870. The course, however, looks like it has been there forever. With nine holes out and nine back, it is the archetypal links, and though James Braid was employed to work on the bunkering, very little has been altered from Archie Simpson’s original design. That means holes that thunder through the natural tunnels in the dunes, particularly on a front nine that is a real tour de force.

Balgownie was constructed by the Simpson brothers, remodelled by James Braid and has recently been

revised by Donald Steel. An archetypal and exacting links, the course runs out through heather and whins along the North Sea shore, before returning to the clubhouse. The golf course staged the 2005 British      

Seniors’ Open. A historical club, Royal Aberdeen is said to be the birthplace of the five-minute lost ball rule.