Royal Aberdeen Golf Club

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The front nine is one of the best in golf.

The calibre of the course is so good it has been said it could host an Open Championship.

Two contributors to Tom Doak's Confidential Guide put it on par with Carnoustie and Muirfield!

The clubhouse has been called a veritable museum with artefacts from golf and the club's illustrious past.

Member Richie Ramsay won the 2006 US Amateur Championship.

Royal Aberdeen, on the East Coast of Scotland, is the jewel in the crown of golf in the area.

Watch Royal Aberdeen GC Videos

Erik Anders Lang's visit can be seen here

Hidden Links video can be viewed here

Golf Course Review

The Royal Aberdeen Golf Club was founded in 1780, making it the 6th oldest golf club in the world. With the links laid out on the north side of the River Don, the links lie in the dunes backing the North Donmouth Beach overlooking the North Sea. The golf course is bordered by the Murcar Links to the North. The Balgownie Course is a traditional out and back layout. Despite this, the routing is not parallel, but rather, it changes direction on the 2nd, 8th and 9th before the turn. On the inward nine, the course zigzags its way in from the 15th to the 18th.

Architectural Heritage - Balgownie Course

Golf was played nearby on the Queens Links just to the south between the Rivers Dee and Don since 1565! The Society of Aberdeen Golfers was established in 1780 and the name changed to the Aberdeen Golf Club in 1815. For a time the club played at the Kings Links Golf Course, which is still in play, before moving to its current location in 1888.  The original course was laid out by Robert Simpson of Carnoustie and measured 5400 yards. In 1904 the course was lengthened to near 6000 yards. In 1925, James Braid would add 40 plus bunkers but retain the Simpson routing. More recent changes at Royal Aberdeen Golf Club have been made by Donald Steel and Martin Hawtree.

RAGC's Contributions to Golf

The club adopted the rules of golf from Leith and St Andrews but introduced a few of their own which became part of the game we know today. They are:

  • 5-minute limit to look for a lost ball
  • Tee honours
  • The furthest ball from the hole plays first
  • Avoid distracting others while a stroke is being made

Further information on the club and its history can be found in Scott Macpherson's book, Golf's Royal Clubs.

Golf Course Photography

Purchase photography of this course here.


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Visitor Information

Everything you need to know before you go!