“Not too long ago, there was only “must have” for a new resort – golf. Now, the number of features and amenities almost considered mandatory continues to grow, while qualities such as authenticity, heritage and ties to the local culture are emerging as important characteristics. Golf still ranks near the top in desirable resort attributes, but it’s not the only game in town. Shooting, equestrian, paddle boarding, fishing and the arts are only a few options finding their way into the experience, along with a very different slant on food and wine.”
The Bulletin, an Oregon-based local newspaper, recently featured Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club in their October Sports section. The state of Oregon is where the noted Scottish golf course architect, David McLay Kidd, first made his mark on the world at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. Kidd grew up in the area of Machrihanish, so this project was very personal to him.
In the article, Kidd explains the trials and tribulations he faced while creating this unique course nestled into the Kintyre Peninsula. Machrihanish Dunes was built on a Site of Specific Scientific Interest, meaning they needed the government’s consent to do the little earthmoving required to build the now Top-100 links course.
The article notes that, as a result of these unavoidable obstacles, Kidd’s design has more blind shots than even the most experienced golfers might be used to, along with some very long walks between holes.
The article goes on to note that, while the course, had a few spotty reviews at the beginning, “…time is a great healer. The course managers and the environmentalists have forged a new, more collaborative relationship, leading to extensive changes. Kidd’s father, Jimmy, a noted greenkeeper who has a house in the area, has overseen the building of several new greens, while fairways have been widened and the rough thinned. […] the Dunes is starting to mature in a way that a course built 100 years ago would, with its faults ironed out as they are revealed. ”
This week, Scotland’s national newspaper, The Scotsman, published a wonderful article about The Village at Machrihanish Dunes. The author, Kirsty Mcluckie, spent a weekend at Machrihanish Dunes, enjoying the golf course and raving about the pubs and restaurants. One correction worth noting is that flights run twice daily and not just twice a week as the article errantly stated. Kirsty also mentioned the laid back yet elegant atmosphere at the various dining facilities, noting that they can equally serve a casual, post-game drink, as well as a more refined, locally-sourced dinner.
The article also spoke fondly of the accommodations, praising the rooms for their Scottish touch while maintaining a simplistic modernity with up to date electronics and luxurious bathrooms. The Village and surrounding area was remarked for its natural beauty, making the trip perfect for couples and families alike. This is another wonderful article about Machrihanish dunes, coming on the heels of its honors at this year’s Scottish Golf Tourism Awards.
The Village at Machrihanish Dunes, was honoured to win not one but two coveted Scottish Golf Tourism Awards at Friday night’s 2015 Scottish Golf Tourism Awards held in St. Andrews. These annual awards are voted on by the public and are designed to celebrate the hardest working, most accommodating and friendliest clubs in the sport’s home country. The awards are aimed at rewarding excellence in all aspects of golf tourism.
The Village at Machrihanish Dunes’ first award of the night came when The Ugadale Hotel won “Best Hotel” (21-50 Rooms). According to SGT’s website, this award recognizes “great golfing traditions, a good links course, a golf-friendly staff and superior hotel facilities.” The Ugadale Hotel is known as one of the finest hotels in all of Scotland and has earned four-stars from the Scottish Tourism Board, as well as annually receiving TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence. In 2012, The Ugadale Hotel was honored by the Scottish Hotel Awards as Scotland’s “Golf Hotel of the Year”.
In a land made famous by Paul McCartney’s 1977 ballad lie three courses that make for one of golf’s most soulful links pilgrimages. Chris Bertram heads north.
It would be misleading to suggest there isn’t a little bit of effort required for this long-weekend golf break. If you want your trips to be easy, it probably isn’t for you. On the other hand, if you want character, soul and a sense of adventure, be assured that you will be reliving ‘The Machrihanish Trip’ with your friends for years to come.
Wild, raw, stunning. Just a few words used by Faraway Fairways to describe Machrihanish Dunes, a course they deem the closest in all of Scotland to how the game began. Even though it is a fairly young course, Machrihanish Dunes echoes the very origins of golf. The entire course was built around the landscape and, as a result, it’s constantly changing. Players must adapt to their surroundings as the first golfers would have done in order to tackle this challenging glimpse into the past.
Golfers have a plethora of golf courses to choose from and sometimes one seems as good as the other. But, if you seek a truly authentic golf experience, the choices diminish significantly. Where can you play golf in its purest form, the way it began?
Golf Escapes suggests you head to Scotland’s Machrihanish Dunes, a course that takes you back to the days of Old Tom Morris and tests your muster, making it a ‘must visit’ for golfers.
According to Premier Golf, there are five “modern gem” golf courses in all of Scotland that you must play, and Machrihanish Dunes is honoured to be considered one of them. The courses on the list are described as new masterpieces that look and feel centuries old.
The Village at Machrihanish Dunes, cited as one of the ‘world’s most environmentally responsible’ golf courses announced today that the course has earned GEO (Golf Environmental Organization) recertification. The David McLay Kidd-designed Machrihanish Dunes Golf Course was the first 18-hole course in the UK to receive GEO certification in 2010. The recertification process is based on the same comprehensive protocols as the initial certification, but also takes into account improvements made over time by applying specific criteria following recommendations provided at the previous independent on-site verification.
The Black Sheep Open at Scotland’s Machrihanish Dunes is for golfing insiders, not outsiders. Normally, the black sheep of the family is the one who makes dubious choices. Deciding to compete in the inaugural Black Sheep Open at the Village at Machrihanish Dunes (machrihanishdunes.com) in Scotland on August 29–30, however, seems like a surefire winner. Hebridean black sheep will make a ceremonious return to the David McLay Kidd-designed course for their seasonal lawn-mowing role; starting at £249, competitors get three days/two nights accommodations, a practice round, tournament play, prizes, dinner and Scottish breakfast, an awards luncheon, and more. You can adopt a black sheep for £35—no, you can’t take it home, but you do get a picture and bio of your quadruped plus a voucher for a free round of golf, where you can do a sheep meet-and-greet as he or she grooms the course. And please: Don’t eat any haggis in front of the animal.