Play golf as nature intended at Machrihanish Dunes

Machrihanish Dunes has been called the world’s most environmentally friendly golf course and it’s certainly one of the best.

Teeing off at The Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club, Machrihanish, Kintyre, Argyll.

Photograph by: Paul Tomkins / VisitScotlandTee time at Machrihanish Dunes

The first true links to be built on the west coast of Scotland for more than 100 years, and the only one ever to be designed on a Site of Special Scientific Interest, it is regularly voted among the world’s top 100 must play courses.

Located on just six miles from Campbeltown and overlooking the Atlantic Ocean it has some of the best views in the country. Northern Ireland is little more than 18 miles away and the islands of Gigha, Islay and Jura provide a stunning panoramic background to a challenging day’s golf.

The Kintyre peninsula, immortalised by Paul McCartney in his 1970s hit ‘Mull of Kintyre’ and the Beatles in ‘The Long and Winding Road’, is only 120 miles from Glasgow but might as well be a world away.

Due to its proximity to the Gulf stream the area is an average of eight degrees warmer than Glasgow and even has palm trees growing on the seafront in Campbeltown.

The 7,082 yard, 18-hole links course has been carefully created to be in harmony with the environment. It was not so much built by David McLay Kidd, one of the world’s most influential golf course architects, but ‘adapted’ from an original design by God.

Golf was created for links courses – rough ground bordering the land and the sea – and the aim was always to return the game to where it belongs.

There are some 32,000 golf courses in the world, of which more than 15,000 are in the USA, and just 172 worldwide are real links courses. They are the Champagne of golf.

However unlike a bottle of Dom Pérignon Rose Gold 1996 which at over £35,000 a bottle is the most expensive a round of golf at Machrihanish Dunes costs just £95 a day at peak season.

More on the story of Machrihanish Dunes, along with great images showcasing the course, can be found in Issue 15 of Scotland Correspondent magazine.

  • Full feature in Issue No.15

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