With origins in the 19th century, Cruden Bay was initially laid out by Old Tom Morris and was revised by Tom Simpson in 1899. The local Slain Castle is reputed to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
Great North of Scotland Railway Company was the original owner of the Cruden Bay Golf Club. The course staged its first professional tournament within a month of opening. Cruden Bay Golf Club seemed destined to be a leading light in Scottish Links Golf, with the presence of golfing luminaries at this opening golf tournament. Among the many leading players of the time who were vying for the £30 first prize, were Harry Vardon (then Open champion), James Braid and Ben Sayers. The event was subsequently won by Vardon.
A traditional links, Cruden Bay offers an abundance of humps, hollows and greens tucked into unimaginable places. A round of golf at Cruden Bay is full of surprises. As befitting the majestic old links course that Cruden Bay is, the layout demands its fair share of blind-shots and even with the modernization that has occurred over the years, the links stands largely as a reminder of the traditional great links courses.
Cruden Bay is a perfect example to modern architects of how the old and new should blend seamlessly.