Golf World Expert Review
A luxurious hotel, built from pink Peterhead granite, helped place Cruden Bay on the map in the period between the World Wars. Sadly, the hotel never reopened after 1945, but the course survived having been brought for £2,750 five years later. Ranked 88th in Golf World's list of the top 100 courses in 2004, and up to 50th in 2006, Cruden Bay remains one of the purest examples of an old-fashioned links.
Ask any golf course designer to talk of their inspirations and the chances are the name of Cruden Bay will crop up within a matter of seconds. Nothing unusual there you might think; it’s a spectacular course in a glorious natural location. But Cruden’s real appeal is that in redesigning Old Tom’s original layout, Tom Simpson broke every rule and convention going. Blind shots, driveable par 4s, monster par 3s, 90˚ doglegs, hidden bunkers, raised greens, plunging tee shots, treacherous burns... the course is a constant source of surprise and wonder and has encouraged generations of architects to seek out the unusual and unique features of a site. For that alone we should all be thankful. But this is no freak show or curiosity. It’s just one of the most memorable and enjoyable links courses you’ll ever have the chance to play and I defy anyone not to love it.