Trump International Golf Links: We thought the iconic links couldn't get any better. We were wrong.
Any golfer who has played 18 holes on Donald Trump’s award-winning links masterpiece in Aberdeenshire knows this golf course is top tier. It guarantees a true test of golf in one of the most spectacular locations in the world and is an absolute must for every golfer.
Eight years after its grand opening, the course, which is woven through undulating sand dunes along the north east coast, has matured beautifully and works seamlessly with the landscape. Visually it is set apart as one of the most breathtaking settings and jaw-dropping tracks in the game. It’s hard to imagine how the aesthetic could be improved and yet renowned course architect, Dr. Martin Hawtree and the greenkeeping crew has been working feverishly over the winter months on an impressive project to naturalise almost 40 riveted fairway bunkers that yet further improve the course aesthetic and also its playability.
The new carefully crafted sand traps now offer a somewhat wider, shallower obstacle, but don’t be fooled into believing this offers a lesser challenge, for these naturalised hazards present an extraordinary challenge that requires skilful accuracy.
Structurally, the old turf walls have been removed from the bunkers and the crest carefully vegetated with marram grasses and other fauna from the course’s natural surroundings to integrate with and complement the surrounding dune system.
Commenting on the naturalised bunkers, Dr. Hawtree said: “The notion of leaving the natural vegetation around the links course bunkers would have been common back at the beginning of the last century, but the majority have been swept away over time by weather and natural use. By introducing this style of bunker to Trump International Golf Links, we are presenting a new playing experience often found on heathland courses throughout the country. I believe we will see this trend re-introduced across the board as time goes on, especially with some of the older links courses as they undergo refurbishment.”
Trump International Golf Links now offers a special mix of riveted and naturalised sand traps providing great challenge and thrill. Pleasingly, the team has taken this into account, paring back some of the marram grass and blending the two styles gradually between tee and green. The result is simply incredible.
A Feast for the Eyes
All courses have their signature hole, one hole which defines what that course means to the thousands of people who have played it. Trump International Golf Links has many. Each presents a different challenge, the degree of difficulty often depending on the wind direction and speed on the day.
The par-5 first hole is a classic example of what designer Dr. Hawtree set out to achieve. From the back tees, the golfer is confronted by what seems to be a wall of mountainous dunes and punishing long grass. But this daunting view is deceiving and what lies ahead is a surprisingly wide fairway.
The second shot, like so many more to follow, offers risk and reward in equal measure. Take on the line of naturalised bunkers and the green opens up invitingly. Opt to lay up short of them and the difficulties multiply.
Each successive hole offers the same kind of breathtaking views and fiendish design. If it was not apparent before, it is now abundantly clear that here is a course which demands thought, courage, respect and unerring accuracy more than ever before. The challenges are never-ending, yet each of them different.
Even those playing from the forward tees find it hard to resist the temptation to stand on the championship tee and absorb the acres of sand dunes and the vast expanse of North Sea waves washing up onto the beach over the coastal dune ridge on the 14th. The course is truly a feast for the eyes.
Bigger and Better
But it’s not just the links that has undergone developments in the past few months. The club has introduced a range of new attractions for golfers and non-golfers alike.
Nestled within the estate’s mature woodland, the opulent five-star Trump MacLeod House & Lodge hotel now offers a boutique Beauty Retreat. Guests can take advance of its outdoor hot tub or treat themselves to a relaxing massage in the newly-appointed treatment rooms.
Just a few minutes’ walk from the hotel lies a new clay shooting school, offering the thrill of shot-making of a different sort. First timers need not be deterred, for the Olympic-standard instructors have even the most inexperienced taking aim.
And this is only the very start of what is to come at the resort this year. On the not- so-distant horizon, Trump International,
Scotland plans to develop The Trump Estate (www.thetrumpestate.com) representing the next major phase of its development plans which includes 500 residential homes and 50 hotel cottages, alongside sports and retail facilities. This is great news for golfers who quite literately want their favourite links course on their doorstep.
Stay, Play & Dine from just £355 per person Package includes:
• 36 holes of golf on our championship golf course.
• One night bed & breakfast in Trump MacLeod House & Lodge.
• Two-course meal in The Dunes Restaurant & Bar.
For further details and to make a reservation, quote booking code GWSP19 and contact: Tel: +44 (0) 1358 743300 (option 1).