A superb, old-fashioned and very testing links that is one of Scotland's very best

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club Balgownie Course Review

Green Fee Range: £86-£190

Medal Tee: Par 71 – 6,537 Yards

Visitor Times: Monday & Wednesday – 10:00-11:30 & 14:00-15:30, Tuesday & Thursday – 11:00-12:00 & 14:00-15:30, Friday – 10:00-11:00 & 14:30-15:30, Weekends – after 15:30

Website: www.royalaberdeengolf.com

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club Balgownie Course Review

This is a classic out-and-back Scottish links with narrow and rumpled fairways, sloping greens, testing run-off areas and perilous bunkers.

The front nine delivers one of the finest stretches of links holes to be found anywhere in the world and the back nine provides a thorough test of strategy and ball striking.

Related: Top 100 golf courses UK and Ireland

The course was originally laid out by Archie and Robert Simpson of Carnoustie, before James Braid advised on alterations to the greens and bunkering in 1925.

but Royal Aberdeen is a progressive club and, together with Hawtree & Co, they constantly look to refine a layout that frequently welcomes the biggest championships, most recently the 2018 Amateur Championship.

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club Balgownie Course Review

The 1st strikes out from directly in front of the clubhouse, straight towards the North Sea and a flag seemingly perched right on the shoreline.

The layout then turns into the dunes, following the coastline to the turn.

There’s an eclectic selection of holes that demand power, precision or both.

The course moves slightly inland as the run for home commences. Into the wind, the back nine can be extremely challenging.

Royal Aberdeen's 9th hole

The stretch of long par-4s from the 13th to the 16th is particularly tough. Each of them requires two fine shots if a player is to reach in regulation.

Set over rugged and natural coastal terrain and always maintained in superb condition, Royal Aberdeen is a classic links that’s a joy to play.

Course changes since previous ranking

Nothing significant

Proposed course changes

None planned

Royal Aberdeen Golf Club Balgownie Course Review – Golf Monthly Verdict

Traditional links golf that will test the very best. Regardless of the conditions, this demanding but rewarding game of two halves is always an absolute treat. Architecture and the elements combine to deliver a stern test