Trump Aberdeen is an extreme kind of place – perhaps to be expected, given its proprietor. In beauty and conditioning, it is superb. Perfectly manicured, verdant green fairways meander through golden dunes - the grandest you’ll find in Britain.
The holes generally run North/South along these giant dune slacks – with the exception of the perpendicular Thirteenth. Whilst it doesn’t give the variety of a routing like Cruden Bay or Muirfield, it’s the price you pay to play golf through such amazing landforms.
The dunes are covered with a dense marram, rather than a playable fescue. The fairways are more generous than they appear, but expect a lost ball if you miss them. I don’t think Peter Thomson’s grandmother would have a great deal of success here…
That said, some of the holes are truly spectacular. Time and again you stand on an (often elevated) tee and just marvel at the hole in front of you. From the very first you know you’re somewhere special.
Built as a championship test, the course measures 7400 yards from the back tees. Whilst there are plenty of shorter configurations (at least 5 teeing grounds on each hole!) – you find yourself walking the championship length, and a lot more besides.
I’m not entirely convinced whether Trump Aberdeen is trying to be a great golf course or a great golfing experience. It certainly is the latter, but there are times when I think authenticity and good golf is sacrificed for the showbiz. Take Eighteen as an example. Does it need 18 bunkers to be a good hole? Or does it rather play up to a Hollywood narrative?
It’s worth remembering that it’s still only a young course – it has the potential to be world class and hopefully, as it matures, it will be.