Cruden Bay Golf Club


Cruden Bay Golf Club is located on the East coast of Scotland, 23 miles north of Aberdeen and 8 miles south of Peterhead. Only two hours drive from St Andrews, the “Home of Golf”, this is a must play course whilst in Scotland. 

Cruden Bay itself is a small coastal village with a very storied history. It was here that the Scots under King Malcolm II defeated the Danes in the Battle of Cruden in 1012.  

Cruden Bay’s name comes from the Gaelic phrase ‘Croch Dain’, meaning the ‘Slaughter of Danes’ – 1,000 or so of their bodies are said to be buried in the moguls of the 17th hole. 

It was also here, in 1914, that Norwegian aviator Tryggve Gran set o on his successful quest to become the first person to complete a solo flight across the North Sea. 

 And it was here, in the 1890s, that Bram Stoker wrote much of Dracula as a regular visitor. 

More notable than any of that, however, is the fact that it was here, in the late 18th Century, that some bright spark set aside the land overlooking the beach and the bay for golf.  

A ballot box inscribed ‘Cruden Golf Club 1791’ remains in place today, a nod to the nine-hole course that existed long before the creation of the links course shown here. The links that drew pilgrims to the Bay opened for play in 1899, designed by Old Tom Morris of St Andrews. 

 Tom Simpson and Herbert Fowler later reworked the layout, but much of Old Tom’s original layout and vision remain in place.  Simpson broke every rule and convention with its blind shots, driveable par 4s, monster par 3s, 90 degree doglegs, hidden bunkers, raised greens, plunging tee shots and treacherous burns. 

 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. Cruden Bay remains one of the purest examples of an old-fashioned links. 


Pilgrims making the journey today find a course of rare quality, impressive enough to stand 10th in our ranking of Scotland’s nest yet dubbed quirky by some who nd fault with back to back par 3s and a series of blind shots. 

Ranking it 10th shows our hand, and it’s rare to find a course with such stunning, elevated views of the sea and a sense of seclusion afforded by the towering sandhills.  

The uncertainty of what comes next and lies in store is part of the charm. It offers all the quirks many of us adore about links golf along with some of the most fearsome dunes in Scotland. 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.

Cruden Bay Golf Club is a warm and welcoming club that caters for both members and visiting golfers from across the globe. Experienced pro shop staff, first class bar and catering staff and the club’s administration team ensures a warm welcome and promises that your day playing golf at Cruden Bay will be one to remember.


Gemma Keepin