In Scotland, true links golf courses are not created, they are born of the land. More than 130 years ago, Old Tom Morris recognized the potential for great golf here in this rugged, romantic corner of Scotland, saying: “The Almichty Maun hae had gowf in his e’e when he made this place.”
And now, with the mighty Atlantic providing a dramatic backdrop, today’s golfers can enjoy the game as it was meant to be played. Here you will experience, possibly for the first time, golf the way it began. This is the true essence of the game at its most basic: golfer against the elements, golfer against himself and golfer against a wholly natural course that is never stagnant. The joy of the game in its oldest and purest form – links golf – lies in adapting to the precise conditions of time and place. The ever-changing linksland at Machrihanish Dunes gives you a rare opportunity to create and craft golf shots you might never have imagined playing before. Machrihanish Dunes encourages thought, creativity and imagination. For the golfer who accepts the invitation, the reward is a truly unforgettable experience.
The 7,082 yard, 18-hole links course flows effortlessly to, from and along the sea, inviting you to step back in time to the days when Old Tom Morris laid out the neighboring links and Willie Campbell plotted the Machrie Golf Links on the nearby island of Islay – visible from Machrihanish Dunes. The routing, as well as the positioning of its tees and greens, was dictated by the lay of the land – and the presence of several endangered species of flora and fauna. Machrihanish Dunes is the only course ever created on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Because of the fragility of this pristine coastal environment and in order to preserve for all time the unmatched natural beauty of the site, the course was built and will be maintained with the lightest touch possible. Of the 259 acres on which the course sits, only seven – yes, seven – were disturbed during the construction of the course. Only the tees and greens were shaped. The fairways upon which golfers tread are just as they were found, only mown shorter.
Machrihanish Dunes is a course that mirrors David McLay Kidd’s love of the land and his ability to derive the fullest reward from its potential. Kidd may have described his efforts at Machrihanish Dunes best when he said:
We followed the lie of the land and unlike most courses around the world, we did not lay out the course and make the land change with it, we designed each hole around the natural terrain. For maintenance we will do a little mowing, but will mostly rely on the wandering sheep to keep the fescue in check – just like the old courses used to do. We are returning golf to how it should be played; no longer is it a gentle walk in a garden, it will be a full-fledged mountaineering expedition at this course.
The 18-hole journey features no less than six greens and five tees at the ocean’s edge. Highly trained course guides and caddies will be your accomplices as you make your way through your round. You would do well to heed the advice they offer!
We offer this iconic course featuring either the historic Royal Hotel in Campbelltown or the beautifully refurbished Ugadale Hotel, across the road from the first tee!