Ayrshire & the West
When golfers think of Scotland's west their first thoughts are usually of the Ayrshire coast and the legendary links of Prestwick, Turnberry and Royal Troon. But further west is the Kintyre Peninsular, made famous by Paul McCartney's "Mull of Kintyre" and hundreds of islands offering stunning scenery and the choice of many superb whiskeys.
Half the fun is just getting to Kintyre with the choice of a 3 hour drive up and around Loch Lomond which offers magnificent views, the ferry from Ardrossan to Campbeltown and the lastly there are regular flights to the area from Glasgow.
There are several fine links on the Kintyre Peninsular including Machrihanish Golf Club which traces its history back 1876 with Old Tom Morris leaving his mark on the design. This was recently join by Machrihanish Dunes design by David McLay Kidd in SSSI which has lead to a very natural links. The lesser known but equally fun Dunverty Golf Club also offers a wonderful golfing experience and its captivating vista's makes it a memorable experience.
There are several very fine places to stay in the area including Ugadale & Royal Hotels. The later of which is to be found in the village of Campbeltown which is also home to the famous Springbank Whiskey Distillery Even further west lies the islands of Islay and Jura with Machrie Golf Club under going extensive renovations which promise to provide an improved version of what was already a splendid links and a new course being built on the sparsely inhabited Jura island. A trip to Kintyre offers so much more then great golf.
Course Profiles and Map
Machrihanish Golf Club
Prestwick Golf Club
Dunaverty Golf Club
The Machrie Golf Club
Shiskine Golf & Tennis Club
Machrihanish DunesMachrihanish Dunes 7,082 yard Par 72, Machrihanish Dunes is modern classic designed by David McLay Kidd of Bandon Dunes fame. The links was built in a "Site of Special Scientific Interest" (SSSI) with only the greens and tees being shaped and the fairways were mown down to the required height for play but still retained all the original humps and hollows. This ensures that the links has a wonderful natural feeling of how golf has been played over the centuries.
Machrihanish Golf ClubMachrihanish Golf Club 6462 yards Par 70, Famous for its daunting tee shot over the beach on the 1st hole Machrihanish has great pedigree having had Old Tom Morris influence the design. Recently rated in the top 100 best golf courses in the world this is one links not to be missed.
Prestwick Golf ClubPrestwick Golf Club 6,908 yards Par 71, Prestwick is the birth place to the Open championship which was first played over the links in 1860 and there after 24 times with the last being held in 1925 due to logistical issues. Famous for its association with Old Tom Morris who designed the original course in 1851 and was the 'Keeper of the green' until 1864. By 1882 18 holes had become the standard and the course was extended by then professional Charles Hunter. Not only is the club full of history but a wonderful example of links that is not to be missed.
Dunaverty Golf ClubDunaverty Golf Club 4799 yards Par 66, Dunaverty Golf Club is situated by the village of Southend in a glorious setting on the south coast of the Kintyre peninsula. The springy turf on the undulating fairways and one of the best sets of greens in Scotland provide a great test for all levels of golfers. A spectacular view over Sanda Island to the south, Ailsa Craig and Ayrshire to the east and Northern Ireland to the south west will only add to a wonderful test of golf.
The Machrie Golf ClubThe Machrie Golf Links 6324 yards Par 71, The Machrie is set in the sand dunes of the island of Islay and was designed in 1891 by Willie Campbell. The links has a new owner and has been undergoing a major rebuild and promises to be an improved version of what was already a very good course.
Shiskine Golf & Tennis ClubShiskine Golf & Tennis Club 2996yards Par 42 (12 hole course), About as quirky as golf can get the 12 holes Shiskine Golf & Tennis Club offers an unique experience to say the least. On the western side of Arran the links features several blind shots and at one point you plan up a step ridge to a hole called the Crows Nest! For golfers who like there golf to be fun this is your place.