ABERDEEN, Scotland--For all of the obsession with "craft" beers these days, how about stocking your golf trip with some "craft" courses?
Now that Royal Aberdeen has received more exposure during the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and Trump International Links has secured its spot on many must-play lists, the northeast of Scotland has become a destination with an easily accessible airport and thriving economy. Throw in Cruden Bay 45 minutes north of the city and it's a trifecta of available world-class golf. But if you plan a trip here, don't leave Fraserburgh Golf Club off the list.
About 50 minutes north of Aberdeen, it's the seventh oldest club in the world and the oldest operating under its original name. Founded in 1777, this 6,308 yard links is the perfect compliment to the other courses in the region, which tend to lean toward the "stout" definition. Fraserburgh is no pushover, but its lay-of-the-linksland design is a joy to walk and play. It's also a study in what golf should be using as a model for fun, affordable and playable.
As with many links, the opening and closing holes are on flat, uninspired ground but everything in between has no shortage of movement as the course winds up, down and around Corbie Hill.
Even better, if you play here after the pomp and circumstance of Trump International about 30 minutes down the road—a four-sided Trump Links-branded Rolex clock greets you at A90, the same road that leads to Fraserburgh where the presentation is refreshingly modest but by no means subpar. And do not be alarmed by the lack of a pro shop and greeting staff. Just check in with the bartender upstairs. And after the round enjoy a craft brew to celebrate one of the finer links around.