The game has been played in this area since at least the late 1700s, and there are only five golfing establishments in the world that were established earlier than Royal Aberdeen Golf Club, which came to its present site in 1886. Robert and Archie Simpson, siblings from Carnoustie, designed the first course on this site, and several distinguished figures have carried out renovations. The superb contemporary course follows the North Sea coastline over a bluff composed of massive dunes. In order to stay on the Balgownie Links course, it is necessary to make your way back in the direction of the clubhouse; otherwise you will end up on the Murcar. The back nine is more demanding than the front; the holes play along more raised terrain, which exposes players to a spectacular ocean panorama but also to gusts coming off the shore. The par 3s deserve special mention, as does the excellent final hole.