Royal Aberdeen Golf Club
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Founded in 1780, Royal Aberdeen is the sixth oldest golf club in the world. For the first thirty five years of its existence the club was known as The Society of Golfers at Aberdeen, with membership of the Society being determined by ballot. All applications for admission had to be three months on the table, one dissent being sufficient to reject any candidate. In the clubhouse there is still preserved the original ballot box in which members voted on admission of new members. Inlaid in brass is the date 1780 and the words ‘Yea’ and ‘Nay’ over the holes into which the coloured balls for or against membership were dropped. They were clearly a meticulous group of gentlemen for in 1783 they became the first to introduce the five minute limit on searching for golf balls. A sensible idea, you may think, but one that has caused the modern day Aberdeen golfer much distress. (Even more so that it's now been reduced to three minutes...) The front nine holes on the Balgownie course rank amongst the very best in the world. No two are the same within a natural ecosystem, interspersed with rich turf and tight rolling fairways, that is a sheer delight to behold. The back nine is different in appearance and nature from the seaward holes but every bit the stalwart test and much improved over recent years. Less undulating than the front nine, the remaining holes use blind tee shots, hidden troughs and more difficult putting surfaces to oppose you.