Askernish - North Scotland - Scotland

Askernish Golf Club,
Askernish,
South Uist,
Outer Hebrides,
HS8 5SY,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1878 700628

The Askernish course was created by Old Tom Morris back in 1891 but over the years, it fell into disrepair. Some of the course was levelled and used as an airstrip in the 1930s then a 12-hole course was laid out to the north of the original holes but this became a 9-hole affair with 18 tees back in the 1970s.

It was in 2006 that Gordon Irvine (the man responsible for the restoration of Royal Cinque Ports in Deal) embarked on the quest to bring the original course back to life. He, along with architect Martin Ebert and a stack of local volunteers, then spent the next two years transforming the Askernish Machair into an 18-hole layout that most closely resembled the routing of Old Tom’s course.

The first four holes head north from the clubhouse then the next eight, from holes 5 to 12, run in and out of the dunes parallel to the coastline before the last six holes are played slightly more inland, returning back to the start. The outward half has a par of 37 and the back nine are 150 yards shorter with a par of 35.

The restoration project is the focal point of an effort to regenerate the area and it is hoped the evolving course development will attract a growing number of golfers who are curious to discover what the fuss is all about in such a golfing outpost as South Uist in the Outer Hebrides.

Course architect Martin Ebert writes:
The news about the Askernish project seems to be spreading far and wide with growing excitement. The quest to find the Old Tom Morris layout has led to a routing design inspired by the values and construction methods available in the days of 1891 when golf was first played over the classic sand dunes.

The project really will present a course which is a Living Golf Course Museum and is already in play after the official opening in August 2008, the year of the 100th anniversary of Old Tom’s death.

The creation of the course is so similar to the way that the first courses evolved. Golfers just playing the land as it lies with the greenkeepers refining the course as it becomes more popular.

Rudimentary putting conditions to begin with but gradually an improvement of the surfaces by minor levelling and conditioning. Tiny tees which will, over time, need to be made larger. Bunkers formed by the cattle and where the golfers’ divots will wear the grass away.

Golf as it used to be, following in the footsteps of Old Tom Morris…

If the above article is inaccurate, please let us know by clicking here

Write a review

Reviews for Askernish

Average Reviewers Score:
Description: The Askernish golf course was created by Old Tom Morris back in 1891 but over the years, it fell into disrepair. In 2008 the Askernish Golf Club came back to life. Rating: 7.7 out of 10 Reviews: 13
TaylorMade
Andrew Bayne
I played this course in July 2007 before it re-opened and must confess I knew nothing of its history - at the time it was simply called South Uist GC and was only nine holes. There were a number of guys working on the course when I was there and they had started to open up some of the holes from the old Tom Morris course. During the round it dawned on me that the tee boxes related to the nine hole course and the yardages were are wrong but I was most confused during the first few holes- I thought the greenkeepers were having a laugh! - the first tee box indicated a short par 4 and I had to hit a full drive and a full three wood to get greenside. There was then a short par 3 (on the tee box) which was actually a dog leg with about a 300 yard carry on to the green. I was really confused but thoroughly enjoying the weird experience and amazed at the features of the course - it did strike me that this looked more like a championship links rather than a western isles pay and play. The classic moment was arriving on (i think) the 6th tee which said 150yds. The only green I could see was away in the distance sitting on a plateu. By then I had kinda guessed that the yardages on the tee boxes were not to be trusted. This hole faced south and I was hitting into a stiff wind. I absolutely creamed a driver down the middle. I got to my ball and was still about 400yds from the green. I hit my driver again of the deck and it went like a rocket towards the green. I was still about 180 yds short of the green - I hit a full 3 iron and was still 20 yds short. pitched on an holed the putt for a 5. I reckon the hole I played that day was in excess of 650 yards so the tee box was only 500 yds out. As I went on the scenery and layout of the golf course was truly world class. I cannot wait to return an play it now they have reopened the full course. I subsequently found out that the course had been reduced to nine holes and that the RAF had been using it as an airstrip. A truly unexpected gem.
April 01, 2009
8 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
3 people found this review helpful

james wallace
After reading an article about this course I really wanted to play it. Myself and a friend decided to join for £100 and we went up in the middle of September for a week to play the course. Beware it took a 6 hour drive from Chester then a 5 hour ferry trip to the island but it was very enjoyable. Like the comments made below this course is not your manicured greens and flowing fairways but considering this has only been open a couple of months prior to our visit it was a good week of golf. The rough is brutal, the fairways are long but work is being done on them, the greens are as you would expect for being only a couple of months old. However you can tell this course has been designed by a master in Old Tom Morris. We booked a nice self accommodating house 200 yards away from the course, the islanders are very friendly and the views from the 7th, 11th and 12th Tee’s are amazing. This course is going to be one to watch but how much they can improve it will be down to the islanders themselves. Definitely return in a couple of years for another week away.
October 18, 2008
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
3 people found this review helpful

Jim McCann

Forget making the ferry or plane journey to South Uist if you are looking to play a manicured, pristine golf course at Askernish – this is not the place for you as they play elemental golf in the raw here with postage stamp tee boxes, Askernish - Photo by Jim McCannrough and ready fairways and basic, bumpy greens.

I played on the opening day of the new 18-hole course on 22 August 2008, participating in the club’s first Open competition and loved every minute of it - the official opening of the new clubhouse by honorary president Kenny Dalglish, the piping onto the first tee of the inaugural three ball match, the ceremonial first tee shot by the club captain, the evening presentation of prizes at the club’s ceilidh in the local community centre.

What a great day it was, and you know, the course was almost incidental to the proceedings as the day was really all about the islanders and what they have achieved in such a short space of time. It was a very humbling experience and just the place to get your golfing feet back onto the ground after you’ve been playing some of the so-called top tracks.

I only hope architect Martin Ebert never does cash the cheque for £9 that President Ralph Thompson has given him (the sum that Old Tom claimed for his work over 100 years ago) as he surely owes agronomist Gordon Irvine half of it anyway!

I look forward to returning some time to see how things develop here as it’s a real golfing fairy tale that deserves a happy ending…

Jim McCann

September 03, 2008
6 / 10
Reviewer Score:
TaylorMade

Respond to above review
  Was this review helpful?
3 people found this review helpful