Cruden Bay is one of Scotlands best golf clubs not to have held an Open Championship. Designed by Old Tom Morris in 1899 and redesigned by Tom Simpson in 1926. Cruden Bay offers an experience that is arguably as good as anywhere in the country. (In fact, we will go as far as saying a true masterpiece)
Cruden Bay is a bit different from what is typical of a Scottish Links and actually feels a bit more like the type of links found on Ireland's west coast. Huge dunes guard the golf holes, giving you a feeling that you have the course to yourself and a feeling of great charm in remote seclusion. No way would a course be designed like this these days, But the natural routing through the dunes follows the lie of the land and makes for a thrilling golf test.
Every golf hole on Cruden Bay is fun to play and each hole unique in its challenge.
The third hole is a short 286 yard Par 4 where birdies are common with a punchbowl green, although finding the fairway is a priority.
The Par 4 5th hole is where you reach the dunes' summit and get a good view over the next few holes and is just stunning to view over Cruden Bay.
From the 6th hole, golfers begin to encounter the uniqueness of Cruden Bay over various elevation changes, throw in the occasional blind tee shot, another driveable par 4, and terrain framed any gorse and steep dunes.
Get the cameras at the ready on the 9th tee box where you will have climbed to the highest point of the course and be rewarded with perhaps the most impressive view in golf with a panoramic view of this excellent looking golf course.
I doubt I can think of a more impressive back nine hole as of those at Cruden Bay. You will encounter numerous blind shots and a variety of distances of holes. A perpetual battle with wits but no doubt terrific fun.
The 15th hole is a tremendous Par 3 at nearing 200 yards. Blind from the tee you have to rely on a signpost showing you the green. A humungous dune blocks all views to the green, and you have to rely on your ability to pick your line and commit. I sometimes find that the dislike for blindness and the attraction of what is deemed fair is not justified. In the early 1900s and throughout the golden age of golf course architecture, blind tee shots were something of a delicacy and trusting your senses is truly special.