Machrihanish Dunes opened for play on Tuesday following hard on the heels of Castle Stuart in the Highlands which opened on 13 July. With over 550 golf courses Scotland is already one of the world’s leading golf destinations but both new courses are set to be major attractions in their own right.
Machrihanish Dunes (www.thewaygolfbegan.com) promises to be a real links experience true to ‘The Way Golf Began’.
The site featured 23 “natural holes”. Course architect and Scotsman David McLay Kidd, internationally acclaimed for his design of Bandon Dunes in Oregon and the The Castle Course at St Andrews, chose his 18 favourites to make up the inspired routing for Machrihanish Dunes. Measuring 7,175 yards, Machrihanish Dunes features six greens and five tees at the ocean’s edge.
“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,” says David McLay Kidd. “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.”
Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club is the first golf course to have been built on a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSi) since the days of “Old Tom” himself. It is also the first 18-hole links golf course to be built on the west coast of Scotland in 100 years. Set hard against the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, Machrihanish Dunes shares breathtaking views with the adjacent Machrihanish Golf Club links laid out by “Old Tom” Morris in 1879, one of Scotland’s classic and most revered links.
Machrihanish Dunes is not the only golf course to have joined the family this year. Castle Stuart Golf Links (www.castlestuartgolf.com) opened just a few days ago. As Turnberry is to Ayrshire and Gleneagles is to Perthshire, Castle Stuart has been conceived to be for the Highlands. The championship links course overlooks the Moray Firth and well-known landmarks that are synonymous with Inverness and the Black Isle – Kessock Bridge and Chanonry Lighthouse – and promises visual experience unlike any other in golf.
Designed by Mark Parsinen and Gil Hanse wide fairways afford multiple lines of play, large green complexes characterised by simple yet dominating shapes with run of the ball always a consideration. Undulating terrain and angles of play create key elements of course defence. It is a thinking man‘s golf experience with player length not an unmitigated advantage.
Machrihanish Dunes and Castle Stuart Golf Links alongside with the other over 550 members of the Scottish golfing arena give visitors a fantastic platform to design their perfect golf break in Scotland. To learn more about the latest packages and offers go to: www.visitscotland.com/perfectgolf