Dundonald Links, one of Scotland’s leading championship golf courses, has been acquired by Darwin Escapes, the operator of 21 lodge resorts, holiday parks and golf courses around the UK.
Dundonald Links, which has hosted the Scottish Open and is considered to be among the top 100 courses in the world, was sold by Loch Lomond Golf Club for £4.5 million.
The club, which is located a few miles from Troon and first opened in 2003, will now join the Darwin Escapes Golf portfolio of courses, which also includes The Springs in Oxfordshire and The KP Club in Yorkshire. Darwin Escapes has recently made a multi-million pound investment to upgrade the clubhouse facilities and course at The Springs and has ambitious plans to transform the clubhouse at Dundonald Links in order to create a state-of-the art facility with high quality leisure and dining options and a market-leading indoor performance centre.
Commenting on the acquisition, Anthony Esse, Chief Executive of Darwin Alternatives, the investment advisor to the Darwin Leisure Development Fund, said: “We are absolutely delighted to announce the addition of Dundonald Links to the Darwin Escapes portfolio. Dundonald is world-renowned for good reason, it is simply a stunning place to play golf, and we plan to make a significant investment to ensure that the clubhouse facilities are worthy of this wonderful course and that Dundonald Links becomes one of the finest golf clubs in the UK. As a keen golfer myself, I can’t wait to work with the highly skilled team and implement the changes needed in order to achieve this.”
Situated in the heart of Ayrshire’s golf coast, just 30 miles from Glasgow, Dundonald Links boasts an 18-hole championship links designed by Kyle Phillips. The course hosted the Scottish Open in 2017 and also the Ladies Scottish Open in 2015 and 2016.
Dundonald Links was opened in 2003 and its design was inspired by the timeless architecture of the great Ayrshire links courses of Royal Troon, Prestwick and Western Gailes. At the time Kyle Phillips said that his intention was to “create a championship Ayrshire links that felt and played as though it was an old, rediscovered course” and Dundonald is now regarded as one of Europe’s “must play” links courses.
Dundonald Links is also well known for its pioneering environmental practices and sits at the forefront of Scotland’s leading position in sustainable golf course management. There is a strong focus on schemes to ensure the natural environment in which Dundonald Links sits is robustly protected and enhanced where possible. This has been recognised with awards such as STRI’s Environmental Golf Course of the Year 2014 and IAGTO’s Sustainable Golf Course of the Year 2015.
Ian Ferguson, Club Manager at Dundonald, says: “I am so pleased that Dundonald Links has been acquired by Darwin as their enthusiasm for this wonderful golf club matches that of myself and all of the team at Dundonald. Their ambitious plans to regenerate the facilities will ensure that Dundonald Links ranks alongside Scotland’s finest courses. I’m sure our members will all welcome the changes that are being planned and I look forward to working with our new owners to implement them.”
Darwin Escapes operates 21 award-winning lodge resorts, holiday parks and golf courses around the UK and is recognised as a pioneering leader which has transformed the face of the UK leisure park industry.