Opened in 1910, the original course was designed by Archie Simpson (who laid out Royal Aberdeen's Balgownie) and it was formally opened when a match was played between two of the great golfing "triumvirate" – J.H. Taylor (the then Open Champion) and James Braid – with Taylor’s score of 75 beating his opponent by three strokes. Both men winning The Open no less than 5 times a piece. The course was later re-designed in 1923 by Dr. Alister MacKenzie.
When Dr. Alister MacKenzie first saw the original course from the Hill o' Doune he recognised the potential. He wrote to the Club in July 1923. His letter concluded: "I have rarely come across a piece of golfing ground which lends itself so well to the construction of an attractive course..."
His words chimed with the then ambitious Committee. He would be the architect of change, his brother Major C.A. MacKenzie, the constructor. All 18 greens were redesigned and remain testament to his talent. The new course was ready for play late in 1924.
MacKenzie was not done yet. He maintained that the ideal course should include:
- Undulating greens and fairways without steep hills
- Few blind shots
- Emphasis on natural beauty, not artificial features
- Always an alternative route for the weaker player
- Yet sufficient test for the low handicap golfer
- Course condition must remain consistently outstanding
We ask you to judge for yourselves if the Club has matched the great man's expectations when you play the course's 6,043 undulating yards! We know you won't be disappointed...
A Royal Heritage
In December, 1923 H.R.H. The Princess Royal Louise expressed a wish to become Patroness of the Club and desired that the Club become Duff House 'Royal' Golf Club.
The Duke and
Duchess of Fife
THE CLUB'S ROYAL HERITAGE
The 6th Earl of Fife, Alexander (1849-1912), was the Founder and Patron of the Golf Club. Aged 40, he astonished his close friend, Edward, Prince of Wales, by seeking to marry his eldest daughter, Louise, who was then just 22. Queen Victoria was delighted and the Earl was granted a Dukedom as befitted his marriage to a Royal Princess. He was given a choice of titles but settled for the ancestral Fife. The marriage took place at Buckingham Palace in 1889.
Their enthusiasm for the Royal and Ancient game was boundless. They even employed a professional for the maintenance of the few holes which surrounded Duff House.
They gifted the house and 140 acres to the communities of Banff and Macduff in 1906 which in turn led to the development of the course and the ultimate ownership of the land by Duff House Royal Golf Club.
In December 1923 HRH The Princess Louise expressed a wish to become Patroness of the Club and desired that the Club become Duff House Royal Golf Club. A year later Dr. MacKenzie worked his magic!
Duff House Royal Golf Club – the only royal golf club where the royal title is used as a suffix and not a prefix. It is believed the reason for the royal title being a suffix to Duff House was a tribute to Louise, who was known as the Princess Royal, not the Royal Princess
Banff is a Royal and Ancient Burgh. Its history stretches back to the tenth century. The former county town of Banffshire, it received its charter as a Royal Burgh from Robert II, King of Scots, in 1372.
The author Neil Paterson described it as a miniature Edinburgh; an old town with stately streets intersected by breakneck lanes; with spires and historical monuments and dignified public buildings; a gracious town with unexpected vistas framed between gables and chimney pots.
Georgian architecture dominates the old town and even Victorian Banff was pleasantly behind the times and carried building in the Georgian style. As a consequence Banff has more listed buildings than any town in the North of Scotland.
Banff's first castle was built to repel Viking invaders and a charter of 1163 AD shows that Malcolm IV was living there at that time. During this period the town was a busy trading centre in the "free hanse" of Northern Scottish burghs, despite not having its own harbour until 1775.
The first recorded Sheriff of Banff was Richard de Strathewan in 1264. By the 15th century Banff was one of three principal towns exporting salmon to the continent of Europe, along with Aberdeen and Montrose