Discover these interesting golf holes to play in Aberdeen
13 December 2019
Golf enthusiast Jordan Fuller of Golf Influence shares his tips and advice on how to improve the game when playing some of his favourite holes in the city.
Aberdeen is home to a rich links golfing scene with wonderfully designed courses carved into its beach front. From north Aberdeen to the Torry Battery, these are a few of the best holes to play across several city courses along with my tips for your game:
Royal Aberdeen Golf Club – 8th hole (Balgownie)
At 147 yards, this short par three teases golfers to attack the pin with a favourable distance. Unfortunately, a miss hit on this hole is sure to find its way into one of ten bunkers protecting the green. The deep bunker hazards create several shots on the hole for golfers without the chance of reward.
A bunker landing has the potential to add four strokes to your hole score. Not only is getting out of the bunkers difficult, one of the other nine bunkers is lurking, waiting to swallow up your out shot. The Scottish winds are no stranger to Royal Aberdeen, making this hole nearly impossible to judge when winds gust through.
If you have the ability, try hitting a low trajectory shot to cut through whipping winds and avoid it from carrying your tee shot far off-line. In addition to clubbing up and hitting a low line drive shot, aim to land on the left side of the green to avoid too much trouble.
Murcar Links Golf Club - 7th hole
This 423 yard and par four hole (nicknamed Serpentine) will make the hair on the back of your neck stand. A marvellous view of the Scottish coast awaits golfers on an elevated tee box overlooking the fairway.
Wedged between the stunning coast on the right and high point hill to the left, the sloped fairway turns left into the green. The difficult scenario golfers face on this hole is a narrow landing zone compounded by a blocked fairway.
A favourable day includes wind coming off the coast across the fairway. This way you can hang a tee shot out the right and let the wind bring it back towards the fairway. Parts of the fairway is sloped from left to right meaning that hitting the right half of the fairway can push your ball into the first cut rough.
Try to angle your shots to land on the left-hand side of the fairway and let the natural fairways slope settle the ball in the middle of the fairway. The approach shot is not nearly as difficult but be cautious to avoid going too short or long. Two bunkers protect the front of the green so club up and go long.
Murcar Links Golf Club - 4th hole
Another notable hole at Murcar Links Golf Club is the fourth, one of the best holes in Aberdeen for golfers that like photography. An elevated tee box sits yards from the sandy shore, amplifying difficulty with a split fairway, leaving golfers a choice - hit driver and bridge the gap or lay up and be safe. At 489 yards, a good tee puts the green in striking distance on your second shot. Whether you lay up or go long on your second shot, there isn’t a lot of trouble golfers can get into unless missing wide left or right as heavy brush and foliage line the fairway. A good strong tee shot bodes well for a manageable birdie.
Balnagask Golf Course - 3rd hole
Adjacent to the Greyhope Bay, Balnagask Golf Course has excellent backdrops of the water and harbour. A particularly interesting hole at Balnagask is not overly difficult but gives golfers a unique perspective of the Torry Battery.
Behind golfers on the third tee box, is the harbour where dozens of vessels come in and out of port at any given weekday. Looking down the fairway, the Girdleness Lighthouse towers above the battery, ever vigilant.
The third hole is a straight shot from the tee box to the landing fairway and then follows a slight and continuous bend to the right. At 408 yards from the men’s tees, this hole is manageable even hitting a 220 yard shot. It is imperative to hit the fairway on your first shot if you plan to hit the green in regulation.
If you have a thicker rough to hit out from, the second shot becomes more difficult. As the hole turns, the second shot requires a longer carry and more precision as the fairway green landing shrinks. Regardless of your tee shot distance, consider going up a club to make sure the carry is enough to land on the middle back of the green, this will protect yourself from the side bunkers or short side chip shot.
King’s Links Golf Course - 2nd hole
One of the best parts of this hole is the view with the entire right-hand side has a perfect view of the coastline. King’s Links Golf Course gives you a chance to score early with this fairly straight 406 yard par four. A wide fairway and minimal bunkers allows golfers to attack the fairway and play the driver confidently.
The front right of the hole has two small pot bunkers that golfers can easily avoid by clubbing up and favouring the left side of the green. A word of caution, the proximity to the coast means winds can be unpredictable and it could be problematic if the wind speeds are gusting and ever-changing.
Those are my highlights of golf in the city, find your perfect course to play in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire over on GolfABDN.com.