The Aberdeenshire coastline is one of the most beautiful and dramatic in the world. Thanks to Donald Trump, within the sand dunes lies what will surely be one of the best golf courses in the world, measuring 7,423 yards with a par of 72 — and 94 pot bunkers carefully positioned throughout the course.
One of my concerns prior to visiting was whether the dunes would swamp a golfer’s view of the coastline. Not a bit.
In fact, the dunes enhance the visual experience, and the views are stunning. The green on the par-3 No. 3 is so perfectly positioned beside the beach that you feel as if you are putting off it. The tees on the par-5 No. 4 permit you splendid views back to Aberdeen. The par-3 No. 6 allows you to take in sights of sand dunes, heather, orchids and sea.
The No. 14 tees offer dramatic sightlines of the Aberdeenshire coastline, with Slains Castle in the distance. And the dunes slope beautifully into the fairway. When playing your tee shot here, do not be intimidated by what seems a tight landing area. John Bambury, course superintendant, assures me the drive is deceptive, with more room than you expect.
No. 18 is very special, with 18 carefully positioned bunkers from tee to green. The hole encompasses aspects of each of the preceding 17 holes. And each nine is as challenging and enjoyable as the other — there is no easier or more difficult nine. As for signature holes, while many courses have one, Trump International Golf Links has many.
In keeping with the grand walking traditions of golf, motorized carts are not permitted unless you have a documented physical condition. Caddies are available — and encouraged — to afford players a better opportunity to absorb the experience.
I expect the feeling a golfer will have after a testing and exciting round here will stay in his or her heart for a very long time.
At current exchange rates, you can expect to pay approximately $235 on a weekday, $313 on weekends, for green fees.