Murcar Golf Club could well have been called Berryhill, Black Dog or Seaton had the members who attended the original formative meeting of the club so voted and were it not for the casting vote of the Chairman. Founded in 1908, it was Archie Simpson from nearby Royal Aberdeen Golf Club who was asked to provide his guidance and expertise on a suitable layout. By June of 1909, Murcar Links was open for play on a stretch of fabulous links land that runs alongside the North Sea about five miles north of Aberdeen City towards Peterhead. Demand was such from the outset that Murcar was the first club of its kind to allow golf to be played on a Sunday. In the 1930s, James Braid and George Smith made alterations to the golf course, but details of precisely what was changed are not recorded.
Demand for golf at Murcar increased at the start of the 20th century and was unquestionably aided by the clubs’ agreement with the Seaton Brick and Tile Co. allowing them the use of their tramcar on the adjacent Light Railway which also ran through Royal Aberdeen, past the clubhouse at Murcar and on to dissect the golf course. The agreement lasted until 1924 when the owners went into liquidation, but the golf club bought out the railway, and it continued to run until 1949 at which time the car and public transport were more developed. The club is a mere 15-minute drive from Aberdeen Airport, 10-minutes from Royal Aberdeen and Trump International Golf Links and 20-minutes from Cruden Bay.
The standout hole at Murcar and the Pro’s favorite hole is unquestionably the 423yard, par four, 7th, known as ‘Serpentine.’ Played from an elevated tee box, a burn twists its way across the fairway on a couple of occasions making club selection a challenge. A vast bank of gorse awaits anything wayward and left off the tee, and thick rough lies to the right. The fairway then narrows significantly as it negotiates both of these hazards, and the gorse infringes from the left. Two deep pot bunkers lie left and right of a reasonably sized green, but the wind that gusts up off the North Sea can have a significant influence in extending the length of this hole. Walking off with a four here is an achievement in itself.
Evidence of the growing reputation of Murcar Links is evident by the fact that in 2005 it hosted qualifying for the British Seniors Open, and in 2018, the qualifying rounds for the 123rd Amateur Championships. In 2013 it held the European Boys Team Championships, and in 2014 it hosted the Northern Open sponsored by Paul Lawrie. Murcar’s place in history is well established, and its future looks bright. Any golf trip to the northeast of Scotland must include a round at this incredibly friendly and welcoming golf club.