Teeing off under the shadow of Pittodrie Stadium, home to Aberdeen Football Club, you play straight towards the North Sea, albeit hidden out of sight, before skirting along the foot of a dune ridge, running adjacent to the beach, across some delightfully robust linksland.
Kings Links is a real hidden gem that serves up some classic links golf and although there are parts of the course that don’t quite shine as brightly as the holes closest to the sea this is an enjoyable test of the ground game for the most part.
The opening four holes on this endearing 6,333 yard, par 71 layout are particularly strong and highly strategic. A drive at the first must favour the left half of the fairway for a view of the green, which is hidden behind a dune, whilst the same side must be sought at the next for the best angle of attack. The short third is a cunning drop-shot hole where luck of the bounce will likely dictate how long your birdie putt may be and then you turn and play the long fourth which again is traditional links golf with a semi-dell green.
Holes five and six are by no means poor holes and are still played along good golfing turf but we then turn inland to tackle the long seventh and this is much more meadow-like in appearance and its playing characteristics. However, it doesn’t take long to return to the better terrain which is edged closer to with two decent two-shotters that take us to the turn.
Indeed we find ourselves at the far end of a compact property and now enjoy a couple of thrilling holes back along and on top of the large dune ridge. The 183-yard 10th is a beauty to a table top green whilst the next is a tumbling par four with a blind drive. Both holes maximise the natural land exceptionally well to provide exciting golf.
The remaining third of the course also has many positives and keeps the momentum of the round going with differing approaches to the 13th and 14th that are both excellent. The former is to a wide plateau green whilst the latter has more of a gathering nature. The 17th is a scary hole in so much that it plays perilously close to a main road (slicers beware!) and the 18th is a stout par-three of almost 200-yards.
I really enjoyed Kings Links and the challenge that it presented. Not only is it exceptional value at only £15.25 per round but it serves up a real treat of simple, yet beguiling, links golf. The fairways on this very easy walking layout were tinged brown on my visit in September 2016 and the greens ran exceptionally true.
Bravo Sport Aberdeen for presenting a fine course in the true spirit of links golf. Now get to work on neighbouring Balnagask!
Following a 4:00am alarm call we’d already driven for more than six hours and covered over 350 road miles before boarding a ferry at Oban sailing to Lochboisdale.
The Halifax Golf Club, often better known as Ogden, is a course that divides opinion.