Golf makes for great escapism. No matter what’s going on in the ‘real’ world, a few hours with your phone in your golf bag can be wonderfully cathartic. The members of Peterhead have it even better than most. Park your car and cross the narrow footbridge over the River Ugie to the club.
Peterhead is another that used to be 9 holes before being extended. The result is roughly 9 of the holes are amazing - true links golf in dramatic links land - but the other 9 are less engaging.
Unfortunately, this is where the round starts. That said, the first is an interesting hole in its own right. Driving over the River, the hole plays along the bank - a fun start, albeit one with a parkland feel. The next few holes are forgettable, and the round really comes alive on the Seventh tee.
Here, you enter the dune slacks - and the next few are exceptional. Eight (photo 4) is a splendid par 5, and Nine a beautiful bunkerless par 4. Ten is a great par 3, and the far corner of the property (photo 1). I must admit - looking onwards to the virgin dune land beyond, I wished we could just keep going.
There are more great holes on the way back in, as well as some that admittedly are rather bland. While it is the run around the far corner that normally gets the plaudits, I’d also like to mention the fun short par 4 Seventeenth.
313 yards, it’s a dogleg down to the left - two rather buxom mounds short of the green make it blind. Reminiscent of the green defence of Thirteen at nearby Fraserburgh - or more generally to Perfection at the West Links. Lovely hole.
Overall, I thought Peterhead was very good. Underrated, and well worth playing. Like Cullen - it’s somewhere I wish the original 9 hole routing was still available for play - but the good golf more than makes up for the plain. It’s only down the road from Cruden Bay - well worth combining the two.