Occupying an impressive stretch of coastal dunes along Scotland’s North Coast, Murcar is an unassuming golf club located beside the famous Balgownie links of Royal Aberdeen. Designed in 1909 by Royal Aberdeen’s head professional Archie Simpson, the links was slightly altered during the 1930’s by James Braid and George Smith but remains very true to Simpson’s original form.
The front nine, set mostly within the heaviest dunes, is the standout. After a couple of solid narrow holes it explodes at the brilliant 3rd with its crashing fairway partly obscured and tumbling down to a gorgeous bowl green that abuts the 10th at Royal Aberdeen. The left side of the fairway falls away heavily, while the right side is lined by thick gorse and provides the preferred angle but does mean an approach with only limited visibility. Other cracking holes include the short but deadly 5th and the superb 7th which is a mighty par four squeezed between a gorse covered dune and marshy bog land, its oblique fairway cut by a burn and rewarding those who bravely drive close to the hazard. The 8th through 10th, 15th and short 16th are also very good.
Murcar may be a little short and a rung down from the quality of its illustrious neighbor, but a stack of great driving holes, nice green complexes and narrow bumpy fairways make it a very interesting challenge and tremendous fun to play.