Our next couple of days will be spent exploring the golfing treasures of Aberdeen on the north east coast of Scotland. The Donald has planned an enormous 3000 acre development in the area for which the centerpiece is a new Martin Hawtree designed links course they opened last summer. Hawtree is a British designer of repute who has done most of the renovation work to update British Open rota venues over the last decade. This property has a good 800 acres of some of the most awesome dunes land you will ever see and Mr. Hawtree did not disappoint. Despite having it’s reputation sullied by the boorishness of it’s patron this is a first class links venue that has, in it’s first year, already climbed into the top 100 list of golf architects.
In typical Donald fashion everything you see or read is about him…though he does manage to credit the designer in a back handed Donald way in this dedication plaque on the way to the first tee.
Like everything here the practice facility is first class. This short game area replicates every links short game exigency…..a must stop before heading to the course.
Stepping onto the first tee is a jaw dropping experience. The scale of the dunes is just startling. You feel like Dorothy at stepping onto the Yellow Brick Road with a set of Mizunos.
The last 100 yard approach on the Par 5 first…..looks like a Macy’s Christmas window at the flagship store at Herald’s Square.
The green on the Par 3 third blends the rawness of the seaside dunes with the artistic flow of the heaving links terrain. It is impossible to distinguish where the fairway ends and the green begins.
How about this unique string of pearls bunker arrangement up the face of the approach hill on the Par 5 fourth.
The short Par 4 fifth is an architectural work of art. The elements of threat are sublimely composed but the palpable fear you feel standing on this tee is very real.
This hide-n-seek mid-iron Par 3 would feel right at home at Pat Ruddy’s European Club in Ireland.
The Donald accessorizes well. The stone bridges traversing the burns have an indigenous feel.
Even the recycle bins have crests on them.
Another aesthetically pleasing green complex ends the outward half….but you best have the full array of ground based recovery shots to save a par.
The Donald knows how to piss people off. In a country known for the finest metal forging capabilities, Donald had all of his signs made in the USA and shipped across the pond…way to support the local economy.
The visual from the back tee the Par 4 fourteenth brings to mind the splendor of Ballybunion or Enniscrone in Ireland. It is like a bungee cord drop from this pulpit tee to the sprawling fairway below.
Navigating the approach to this green up the hill between an office park of dunes is just as mind bending.
Leave it to Donald to finish your day with a 651 yard five par (from the back tee).
The view from the high tee shows you the steeplechase you have to run between the 18 bunkers on the final leg to the house.
How about this Wack-A-Mole look on your approach to the home hole.
(Click here to follow our trail to Day 6a at Cruden Bay Golf Club)
For more detail click to see the Trump International Golf Links Review