The club was formally set up in 1870, but records of golf on the links in Aberdeen go back to 1589, and there are even hints of the game being played in 1565. The club is the sixth oldest in the world, and there are many historical golfing items preserved in the very classic and traditional “Royal” club house (ask for a tour). Before 1888, the club played on the links in Aberdeen, but after overcrowding became a problem, they moved to Balgownie. The club drew up a set of rules early in the history of the game, and in 1783 they were the first to introduce the 5-minute limit on searching for a ball. Recently, they have been firm in preserving the old ways, particularly of dress, and ladies were excluded from the club until 1970. The club published their bicentennial history in 1980, 200 Years of Golf 1780-1980 Aberdeen. The 6604 yard par 71 has a hidden chasm in front of the first green, which sets the mood of these stern links. The ground is uneven, but the landing areas for drivers are more level. After the 6th, the course closes in, compounding the golfing challenge. The north end of the course touches the Mucar GC links. It is usually more difficult to score on the second nine than the first, although the front nine is considered one of the best in links golf because of the great dunes formations. Little is seen of the sea, though it is very close, as is the tradition on the east coast links. Site of the 2005 British Senior Open won by Tom Watson!