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 Kidddesigned 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. [View PDF]
Machrihanish Dunes once again had the honour of gracing the cover of Golf World’s 2014 “definitive ranking by the people that know” of the Top 100 Golf Courses in all of Britain & Ireland. Machrihanish Dunes as well as our neighbours at Machrihanish Golf Club are once again pleased to be recognised as one of the world’s great golf courses.
Tucked away on the Mull of Kintyre, Machrihanish Dunes offers everything that is brilliant about seaside links golf. This is the new kid on the block, having only opened in 2009, but it is brilliant – think wild and rolling – and getting better with every year.
The stunning four-star development on the Mull of Kintyre, which only opened in 2009, came out on top in the magazine’s Scotland’s Best Experience competition, run in conjunction with the national tourism organisation, VisitScotland. Readers were asked to nominate the Scottish golf club or resort that they believe offers the best day out for visitors, with Machrihanish Dunes finishing comfortably on top of the standings.
Scotland, the Home of Golf, is blessed with dozens of superb options for your next golf getaway – places with illustrious names, historic pedigrees, and unforgettable links golf courses.
But when it came time to select the one golf resort in Scotland that offered the very best of everything, the members of Golf Tourism Scotland chose one that had been open just four years: The Village at Machrihanish Dunes.
In November 2013, Machrihanish Dunes earned the coveted GTS Gold Standard Award for ‘Best Resort Experience’, beating off high-calibre competition from such notable names as Gleneagles and Turnberry.
So what makes Machrihanish Dunes so special? For a start, its location.
Machrihanish Dunes is situated on Scotland’s west coast, on the primordial Kintyre Peninsula – right next door to famed Machrihanish Golf Club.
Old Tom Morris, designer of that beloved course, proclaimed that “the Almighty had golf in his e’e when he made this place,” and with two superb courses on offer there now, it was only a matter of time before the world discovered what a magnificent golf setting it is.
The GB&I Top 100 David McLay Kidd-designed links at Machrihanish Dunes features five tees and six greens at the ocean’s edge. It has been called “The world’s most natural golf course” for its raw, minimalist design. As Kidd said upon the completion of the course: “This is purist golf. You’re going to get some good bounces and some bad bounces. You’re going to see some fascinating views. You’re going to see things you’ve never seen before – things you never thought possible on a golf course before. But it is nature, just the way I found it.” The course, which played host to the 2013 International Pairs competition, has earned rave reviews from golfers of all standards – and from all corners of the world. It’s authentic links golf, with blind shots, vexing bunkers and greens that will challenge every part of your short game.
The most important ingredient in any buddies trip is the mix of players. But after that, it’s the destination. We recently surveyed Golf Digest subscribers to find out their favorite destinations for buddies-golf getaways. Here are the top-36 places they’re hoping to visit again this year.