FYI: My other pictorial threads from this trip can be viewed at the following links:
Royal Dornoch http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40107.0/
The Castle Course http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40204.0/
Crail: Craigshead & Balcombie http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40325.0/
Lundin Links http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40387.0/
Cruden Bay http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40565.0/
Gleneagles - Kings Course http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40675.0/
St. Andrews - Old Course http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,40696.0/
Gullane #1 & #2 http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,41085.0/
Gleneagles - Queens Course http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,41152.0/
Royal Aberdeen - Balgownie Links http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,41498.0/
Carnoustie – Championship Course http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,41834.0/
North Berwick - West Links http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php/topic,42104.0/
*not featured: Nairn, Eden, New, Castle Stuart (tour)
Thanks to an (as always) excellent review of Cruden Bay that was recently posted compliments of Ran Morrisett and Co., I am withholding detailed personal commentary of the course. Generally, I enjoyed CB very much. While it may be quite as interesting around the greens as Royal Dornoch or provide the balanced and measured test of golf administered by Carnoustie of Muirfield’s “championship” courses, every hole is eminently memorable, scenic and engaging. It’s certainly photogenic!!! The only real complaints one is likely to hear concern the “goofy finishing holes,” particularly the bathtub 14th green, blind par 3 15th and semi-blind par 3 16th. It seems that wheels are in motion to “correct” these issues, details of which are discussed at the following link:http://golfclubatlas.com/forum/index.php?topic=22594.0
While that sequence is certainly not “ideal,” it is both unique and exacting – it’s also probably harder to improve upon than one might think. I can only hope that the changes prove themselves worthy. The “new" 13th hole is currently shaped and partially grasses (see photos below). I’m curious to see what becomes of the old 14-16. As the course stands now, it undoubtedly passes my “could play it every day and never grow weary of it” test.
Now for the “meat.”
First, compliments of the venerable Melvin Hunter Morrow, a few morsels of history:
“The first sketch shows the plan of Port Erroll with the new station, hotel and site of the new course. I have rather crudely shown the original course which according to the report was part covered by the new station in 1895.” – MHM
“The second sketch shows the 1896 course before the requirement for the 9 hole St Olaf’s. Note the changes to made to the first Cruden Bay course to accommodate the new 9 hole. Both courses opened in 1899.” -MHM
Relatively current routing, though a new 13th hole (a par 3 going straight towards the sea) is almost complete beyond the current 12th green and 13th tees at the bottom of the map.
Second, a ridiculous number of photos from my 36 holes played on the first of June, 2009.
A panoramic view looking down the 1st hole (par 4, 415 yards), the 2nd beyond and the St. Olaf course running through patches of gorse on the right. Slains Castle sits on the horizon.
Panning right over the 1st tee, 18th green, St. Olaf course and the 5th green and 6th fairway running south along the distant dunes.
… and right again to gaze at the 6thgreen, 7th hole turing towards the coast, and 17th coming back towards the club house.
Looking past the 1st green to the 2nd hole (par 4, 346 yards).
A short but testing approach to the 2nd green and a threesome ahead on the 3rd tee.
The tee shot for the 3rd hole (par 4, 274 yards)
… and the approach to the 3rd green over the crest of fairway.
The gorgeous 4th (par 3, 195 yards) across the waterway from Port Erroll.
The 5th hole(par 4, 455 yards) stretching away from the middle tees parallel to the shore.
A view of the 5th from left of the fairway around 300 yards out.
The obligatory posterior view of yours truly as I watch my tee shot fade a bit too far the right on the 6th (par 5, 525 yards).
The last 150 yards of the 6th as seen from left of the fairway.
A short approach to the 6th from the right edge of the fairway.
The 7th (par 4, 380 yards) fairway wraps left around the prominent dune…
… and up to an elevated green site.
A look back down the 7th to the gargantuassive clubhouse.
The 8th hole (par 4, 257 yards), heading south again. The 9th tees are up to the left on the top of the flattened, gorse-covered hill.
A look back down the 8th, the 16th green short and right of the shelter shack, the 7th green long and left.
From the 9th tee, looking west over the 8th green to the inland fields.
… and north over the starting and finishing holes of the course.
… and south down the 9th hole (par 4, 452 yards) running on top of the hawklaw.
Peeking west again over the inland grape seed fields.
The 9th green approach
Looking north from the 10th tee over the 13th and 14th holes.
… then south over the 13th fairway, 11th green and 12th hole.
… and a bit further inland to see the 10th (par 4, 380 yards).
The 11th (par 3, 147 yards).
A closer view of the perils awaiting shots that miss short and/or right of the 11thor way left of the 10th fairway.
The 12th (par 4, 311 yards) from the tee
…and from behind (taken from the “new 13th” tee).
The fledgling “new 13th” will probably be played with a mid- to long iron by most amateurs players.
The stellar 13th (par 5, 543 yards)
Tee shots may flirt with this burn (which also crosses the 10th and 11th) when the winds are helping, though a mighty blast of 330 yards is required to reach it.
A lay up to the left will open up the 13th green perched diagonally between a small hillock on the right and a rather larger slope to the left.
Try not to be short and right of 13th green.
The 14th (par 4, 389 yards)
The sunken 14th green and vulnerable 15th tee.
Looking down the line of the blind par 3 15th (236 yards! though most will play it from 191).
15th beach view
The 16th (par 3, 180 yards) is played over the 15th, requiring that a bell be rung after players tee off on #16 to signal the go ahead for the group behind.
Another overview of the 15th and 16th greens from the 9th tee.
The 17th (par 4, 424 yards).
The hump in the middle of the 17th fairway (runs from ~170-130 yards from the green)
A swale complicates the approach to the 17th green.
Looking back down the17th.
A view from right of the 18th (par 4, 416 yards)
Long drives will tumble to the lower right portion of the 18th fairway.