Cruden Bay Golf Vacations

By Jim & Barbara Nicol

Cruden Bay's most fashionable days were between the two World Wars. But after the war its fate, like Turnberry and others, was in doubt. The course was bought in 1950, thus saving one of the most authentic examples of true linksland and keeping Cruden Bay firmly on the map. One of its greatest charms is its remote seclusion and the feeling that you have it to yourself. Even if crowded you'd hardly know as the dunes cleverly hide one hole from the other. Pete Dye considers Crudens Bay and Prestwick to be his favorites in Scotland.

The 1st hole calls for a well placed drive and a good second to an angled, well-bunkered green. There is a huge plateau on the 2nd, and a punch-bowl green at the 3rd - a hole of 286 yards where the good players seek a birdie. The elevated 5th tee introduces you to a fairway running between the highest dunes, and the par 5 6th demands a difficult pitch over a green guarded by a devilish bunker. The 8th has varied from a long par 3 to a short par 4 with a green made difficult to hit by the land falling away to the right. The longest hole at 550 yards, the 13th contains a burn crossing the fairway about halfway down and the green hidden by a large bank. The 14th is lovely, with the sea on the right, huge gorse bank to the left, and a second over the red and white post to a green in a dell. The majestic 18th, a favorite of Cruden Bay architect Tom Simpson, finds out-of-bounds on the left, a burn running across the fairway and a rumpled fairway culminating in a diagonal ridge in front of the green. This hole calls for cunning and judgment.

Golf at Cruden Bay keeps you on your toes with a variety of decisions to make and shots to match if even modest success is to be claimed. The course is a perpetual battle of wits, but is is also unmistakably fun to play. *

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