A Saturday morning sleep in. Not something we are normally used to back home with Gary going to his daughter’s basketball game (normally at 8am) and David working at the club.
So this was different and appreciated. We have been averaging around 6 hours sleep this far so an 8 hour sleep is exciting.
We are staying at a funky boutique hotel called Malmaison in the oil industry focused town of Aberdeen. The rooms are nice, breakfast great and atmosphere just right. Highly recommended if you are visiting this area.
The coastal city that is the nucleus of the oil industry, Aberdeen, is a really nice looking place. Every house has a facade of beautiful stone that oozes class and well manicured gardens complete the picture.
A mid morning breakfast and then some work and email catch up saw us leave for Royal Aberdeen around 2pm.
If playing Royal Aberdeen get ready for the ride of your life. The front nine holes are carved through moderate sand dunes with as much fairway undulation as we have seen anywhere. Fairways are very narrow (15 metres across in some cases) demanding precision driving and local knowledge on where to hit the ball.
We coped with moderate winds for the whole round (Gary’s 4 iron has never been hit so much) and persistent rain for at least 10 holes. But hey we are used to this now and the Scottish summer is becoming familiar to us.
The course plays out from the clubhouse into the prevailing wind before turning around on the 10th and playing downwind for the remaining holes.
Playing surfaces on fairways and greens and the sand in the bunkers were the best we have seen to date.
We would recommend playing with a member or getting a caddy as we found the fairway landing areas difficult to negotiate with only slightly errant drives ending up in some long and challenging rough.
Scotland is known for wind (and lots of it) and the emerging industry of natural power through wind farms. This was evident at Royal Aberdeen with wind generators being visible on all holes (not overly detracting from the view though).
We were however amazed at how quiet the propellors were even though hey were constantly turning. The sound of the ocean cancelled out any noise of the propellors.
The Aberdeen area is well worth visiting if you are going to the East coast of Scotland as it is only 85 minutes from Carnoustie and 2.5 hours from St. Andrews.
Shot of the day
The 3rd hole is a 200 metre par 3 playing into the prevailing wind. Bunkers protect left and right. Gary’s tee shot started right, fed off the bank and finished 15 feet from the hole. The putt never looked like missing.
Overall birdie tally
Gary (2 birdies, cumulative 36)
David (0 birdies, cumulative 12)
Tomorrow we head south to Carnoustie – one of the most difficult Open venues and scene of Jean van de Velde’s demise in the Open a few years ago. No birdies expected but stay tuned…