There are no less than nine courses between the towns of Banchory and Braemar, all within easy reach of your holiday apartment in Ballater. From immaculate 18 hole championship golf courses to quirky nine hole village courses, every one of them has its own unique challenges and is set amidst the spectacular surroundings of the Dee Valley. If golf is your bag, then why not plan a week's golfing holiday playing a different course each day?
Starting downriver, Banchory is a very pretty par 69 18 hole golf course with a total length of 5801 yards. Cleverly situated bunkers, mature native trees and the ever present water hazard of the Dee offer challenges for players of all levels.
Just outside Banchory, Inchmarlo Golf Club is a four star resort at the foot of the Scottish Highlands. The resort offers not one but two courses: the award-winning 18 hole Lairds Course and the beautiful 9 hole Queen’s. There is also a driving range and well-stocked pro shop and an excellent bar and restaurant.
For a completely different golfing experience make your next stop the attractive village of Torphins. This eccentric little 9 hole course is a demanding but enjoyable par 64 with some challenging blind shots to be made. Although officially a 9 hole course there are now 13 different tees playing to 10 different greens so you can mix and match to suit your mood.
To continue your village golfing experience make your way to Lumphanan, where you will find another challenging high quality 9-hole course, (3718 yards / 3400 metres Par 62). The course takes full advantage of the dramatic landscape to create an unforgettable golfing experience with spectacular views of the Deeside countryside.
Returning to the main Deeside road Aboyne golf course enjoys another spectacular setting beside the Loch of Aboyne. Try not to be too distracted from your shots by the dramatic views of Lochnagar and Clachnaben, or by the wildlife round the shores of the loch. The course is a free-draining mixture of parkland and heathland and is usually in very good condition.
A few miles north of Aboyne at Tarland an impeccably maintained 9-hole parkland course offers a challenge for golfers of all abilities. This 5900 yard delight will test you repeatedly while the peaceful setting and stunning scenery complete the recipe for a truly memorable golfing experience.
Ballater's own flat parkland course (18 holes 5638 yards) may seem less interesting at first glance, but the combination of unpretentious challenges and open views of the hills around Ballater make this a worthwhile outing. Weekly tickets are available.
Finally, head for the hills and Braemar. This is the highest 18-hole course in the UK at over 1000ft above sea level, but although it nestles in the foothills of the majestic Cairngorms the course itself is mostly flat, running beside the Clunie Water. It is relatively short at 4,935 yards, but will nonetheless test golfers of any standard. The combination of spectacular scenery and a charming Highland village makes Braemar and its golf course an unmissable part of your holiday golfing experience.