City Golf Courses Tee Off for Launch


History was recreated yesterday as photographs from the original Hazlehead No.1 course opening in 1927 were re-enacted as part of the official renaming of the course to the ‘MacKenzie Championship Course’ in recognition of the courses world renowned architect, Dr Alistair Mackenzie.

The photos were taken from the first hole with conditions perfect for replicating history to delighted spectators.

Following presetions and statements from Sport Aberdeen Managing Director Alistair Robertson and Sport Aberdeen Chairman of the Board Fred Dalgarno was the unveiling of an exquisite commemorative plaque, set in a piece of local, beautifully carved granite generously donated by Fyfe Glenrock.

A number of Aberdeen Councillors also attended the launch, highlighting the importance of both the event and the course to the city.

Turning 88 on July 3rd of this year the course has stood the test of time and remains a key venue in the North East for both its historical importance and the challenge it still provides.

Many are unaware that Dr Alister MacKenzie, famous for masterpieces around the world including Augusta National Golf Club which has been at the forefront of some of golf’s greatest triumphs in the Masters also designed the course at Hazlehead.

Geoff Shackleford of the Golf Channel and Golf Digest, who had a statement read during the ceremony, is all too aware of the impact of the architects work around the globe.

“Wherever Alister MacKenzie went he left behind a legacy by creating golf courses that make you want to play.

Having a course associated with his magical touch is the dream of any community and I envy the golfers of Aberdeen having the opportunity to enjoy his work.”

Geoff Shackelford is a writer for Golf World magazine and an editor for Golf Digest as

Niall Carlton made a significant contribution to the 16th revision of the extensive Mackenzie Timeline. The document was painstakingly created and covers the majority of his career from both his work in golf and service during World War 1.

Along with his team, Niall devoted much of his time to discovering more about the head architect by studying various archives.

So far there have been 18 revisions of the Timeline and it is anticipated that a further revision will be published in the near future as more information about MacKenzie becomes available.

The process of compiling and continuing the research to update the Timeline has sparked two additional significant pieces of scholarship: firstly the creation of a detailed list of the golf courses MacKenzie designed, remodelled, or consulted to; and secondly the creation of a bibliography of MacKenzie’s writings, both public writings in the form of newspapers, magazine articles and books, as well as private correspondence, plans, and reports. 

Amongst the dignitaries enjoying the ceremony was former Aberdeen F.C. Captain, Russell Anderson, who was full of praise for the course.

“I used to play here when I was younger and it’s a beautiful setting for a golf course. The organisers deserve praise for the work they’ve done on a course that should be attracting people from out with the city as well as locals.”

 A Stableford Competition was held later in the afternoon to showcase the course with the sun shining over the 13 teams participating.

The competition was a great success, truly highlighting Dr Alister Mackenzie’s magnificent work on a delightful but challenging course.