Dundonald - Ayrshire & Arran - Scotland

Dundonald Links,
Ayr Road,
Gailes,
Irvine,
KA11 5BF,
Scotland


  • +44 (0) 1294 314000


Visit Golfbreaks.com for a golf holiday at Dundonald

Dundonald Links originally set out to be part of a golf and residential complex called Southern Gailes but when that didn’t happen, Loch Lomond Golf Club stepped in to snap up the course for its members in 2003, commissioning Kyle Phillips to put the finishing touches to the design. Dundonald Links European Tour First Qualifying Stage Sept 2010 - photo by Doug

Dundonald translates to “Fort Donald” and fortifications have been located near here dating as far back as 200 BC. A golf course existed on the site in the 1900s but this was later turned into a military station named Dundonald Camp. It was here that D-Day landings were rehearsed during the Second World War.

Lying next to the long established courses of Kilmarnock Barassie, Glasgow Gailes and Western Gailes, Dundonald is obviously situated in prime golfing country. The course yardage can vary from 6,415 to 7,300 yards so it can be played as a comfortable member course or as a championship venue.

Only opened in 2005, Dundonald has since proved to be a links of some repute and was the proud host venue for the 2017 Scottish Open, which Rafa Cabrera-Bello won in a play-off. If you like the pampering that goes with golf at the top tracks then this is the place to enjoy such millionaire’s golf for a relatively modest green fee.

The Dundonald experience begins at the gatehouse when the security man lifts the barrier to let you in – everyone from then on seem to know your name. It’s a mirror of the treatment you get at Loch Lomond, but the course here on the Ayrshire coast is a true links layout and the polar opposite of the private layout on the shores of the famous loch.

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Reviews for Dundonald

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Description: Owned by Loch Lomond Golf Club, Dundonald is their newest addition. Kyle Phillips designed this natural links course and it's destined for life in the Top 100. Rating: 8 out of 10 Reviews: 39
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Matthew Adams
A modern links which looks very good for its youthful age, and should mature nicely. I say modern because the course differs from many older vintage courses found in Ayrshire and other parts of Scotland. The rough is (mercifully) quite short and the fairways reasonably generous. The course set-up promotes an enjoyable and fairly quick Dundonald Golf Course - Photo by reviewerround with many options of how to play each hole. Having a great long game is not vital to a good score. The short game is where the course allows the better player to stand out either with subtly-contoured, compact green complexes like the par 3 6th or the more testosterone-fuelled challenges such as the monster tier bisecting the 13th. I was lucky enough to only find out how tough the bunkering can be on the 17th. The bunker at the rear of par 3 11th in particular resembles an attempt to garner infamy for the course. For the first-timer who doesn’t realize its depth from the course guide, and ends up in it, a re-load from the tee would be advisable. The temporary-build clubhouse was unexpected and out-of-keeping, and along with the paper mill backdrop it may be off-putting to some. If you visit courses for the golf it will not matter to you. The welcome from the staff and in particular the starter is just right. The course has much potential with additional space to grow and upgrade its facilities. Highly recommended.
December 12, 2011
8 / 10
Dundonald
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B.G. Donaldson
Our group played Dundonald in September, the last course on a tour of ten courses in and around Ayrshire. We were very pleased. The course was in excellent shape, the conditions suitably traditional ( a bit of wind, rain, sun - all of which would repeat themselves periodically). We found the course challenging and great fun. While I'm not sure I would rate it ahead of Western Gailes, I would recommend it to anyone who was planning a golf excursion to the area.
November 15, 2011
8 / 10
Dundonald
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CJYL
November 19, 2013
Yes, I'd agree that Western Gailes trumps this one by a long way; Dundonald is okay if you can't get a tee-time on the better courses in the area but links golf has to be played next to the sea - Dundonald/Southern Gailes or call it what you will is just a bit mixed-up and confused as to what it really is. Save up for Troon, Turnberry or Western Gailes instead.
Dan Hare
A very enjoyable, accessible and good value game of golf. It's invidious to compare a course to others simply because of proximity, but since others have done so I will join in ! It's arguably on a par with Glasgow Gailes, but I would disagree with the previous reviewers who put it on the same page as the course over the railway, Western Gailes. One is always conscious of being removed from the sea which for me detracts from a links golf course. Well worth playing, but since it is now a pay and play course the conditioning and slow round that we experienced due to hackers in front inevitably make it a three/four ball. As others have stated, the starter is very hospitable. dan
September 03, 2011
6 / 10
Dundonald
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Chris
November 12, 2011
12 of us played here 10th Nov 2011 and loved it, modern style of links bankings at side of fairways so you can’ see any other holes , tough greens with plenty of pace and not a weak hole on the course, lots of raised greens with well guarded bunkers, great layout, definitely put it on your list you wont be disappointed, we rated this just behind Tunberry Ailsa, but above Western Gailes and Glasgow Gailes.
dan
December 30, 2011
I have to disagree that Dundonald rates above Western Gailes - Glasgow Gailes just maybe. You get changed in a Portakabin (a very nice Portakabin, but still...), there are few classic holes and you can hardly see the sea. No comparison to Western Gailes, its stately club house and some classic sea shore holes with greens nestled in the dunes...
Iain Cathro
Lovely course but spoiled by the neighbouring and unsightly paper mill. If you can try to overlook that the course itself is in magnificent condition with excellent greens. Friendly staff also helped make it a good day's golf.
May 12, 2011
6 / 10
Dundonald
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allan mcmillan
I played Dundonald on the day of the Royal Wedding, being one of the first out on the course.The fairways were running firm as I sent an approach shot to the lower tier of the 1st green. Unfortunately the pin was cut on the upper section, and I found these elevation-cahnge greens tricky and difficult to judge. A bogey was the inevitable result. This did not dampen my enthusiasm for a really well-kept course, and I remedied my score by parring the 2nd. The choice of tees is geared to suit eery levfle of player, and the design of each hole looks superb from the blues.Strategy and caution are both required on many holes, with bunker placements and small burns guarding the fronts of most greens. The closing four holes is as good as you could wish for on a relatively new links course. I parred the long 14th and also the beautiful 16th hole, flanked by dunes, pines and the railway. The closing hole is a real grandstand finish to a tricky green. I came in one under par and delighted with a great day out on Dundonald. The courtesy and friendliness of the starter is worthy of the best Scottish courses, and the rest of the staff are also a credit to Dundonald Links!
May 08, 2011
10 / 10
Dundonald
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allan mcmillan
September 09, 2016

I agree with most of the writers observations. The course did set up well for the Ladies Scottish Open, and will host the Men's next year, when we will see the back tees come into their own, setting a stiff challenge for the professionals.

Hippo
This is a stunning course. At 6,700 yards off the Blue Tees it is a little long which adds to the challenge. The greens are excellent and full of gradient. Pin positions cam vary from gentle to hideous. The bunkers are dangerous. Particularly the 15th. Avoid these at all costs. Each hole is lined by rolling banks that make the holes feel individual and sheltered from the rest of the course. Tee shots vary particularly the par 3s. Today I hit Rescue, 9, 8, 4. The 16th is hard. Very hard. So is the 10th. A real challenge. The burn on 3 and 18 make you think on these par 5s. Having played Glasgow Gailes, Ailsa, Kintyre, St Nicholas and St Cuthbert. This is the biggest challenge and with the exception of Ailsa (obviously) the best lay out and enjoyment. Enjoy.
April 12, 2011
10 / 10
Dundonald
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allan mcmillan
I played Dundonald on a calm, sunny February morning and was bowled over by the beautifully kept fairways and greens. Sure, it is not a traditional or long- established links course, but it is surprisingly good nevertheless, and the value is superb.The starter is a real gent who offers good advice before the round, and I got off to a wonderful score with a 4 at the long first hole with its long narrow green. With ithe burn splitting the fairway in half, the 3rd hole is a real conundrum and makes you think carefully about which club to hit. The par 3 6th is a real gem of a hole, the attractive, sloping green sheltered from the west by small pine trees. I really came to life on the back nine, and enjoyed the long par 5 14th,the short but challenging 15th, and the lovely 16th hole (stroke ind.1) undulating along the side of the ayr - glasgow railway. The food and welcome that awaited me at the end of a great round was fantastic. Well done to all the staff at Dundonald for their professionalism and courtesy!
February 21, 2011
10 / 10
Dundonald
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steve grainger
nice course, however I too, would be of the opinion that it didnt have the mature feel of both Western Gailes and Glasgow Gailes. Off the tee wasnt too much of a challenge and certainly i found it quite a bit easier than Western in particular. Also there is no permanent clubhouse at the moment which lessens the experience. However I would agree with the previous comments about the quality of the par 3's.
September 07, 2010
6 / 10
Dundonald
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Terry Parker
This continuous stretch of land that courts the west coast of Scotland offers a delectable concoction of solid links courses of which Dundonald was the last I had the pleasure of sampling. The immediate vicinity presents an additional three courses all considered to be in Scotland’s top 50, so the competition is indeed profuse. I would deem Glasgow Gailes and Barassie to be overrated, with Western Gailes providing nothing short of heavyweight competition.

Inevitably we have the Loch Lomond brand and dynamism of Kevin Gyle competing against the established tradition and natural wonder of Western Gailes. Off the record, we were informed that the owners are trying to sell the Dundonald. It’s no secret that Loch Lomond is struggling financially and it is likely that they are trying to offload what is considered to be the member’s winter course. Read what you will into these rumours and stories but if the outcome is a £30 green fee (applicable Monday to Friday for post 15:00 tee times) then you won’t catch me complaining.

The course itself is a delight to play. Previous complaints about immaturity can be dismissed as you would never now that Dundonald is a relatively young course. It plays like a dream and seems to naturally unfold as you meander through the fairways and surrounding dunes. The greens are of exceptional quality and struck me as being extremely versatile. The pin positions were rather conservative during my visit but the potential to crank it up a notch was more than evident given the complexity of many of the greens.

You cannot review Dundonal without mentioning the bunkers as it presents some of the fiercest, cavernous, gaping black holes that I have ever come across. Truly daunting and wickedly located. There is a plentiful abundance of potential to hold a EPGA event on this links. Contrary to what some may suggest there is nothing overly contrived about Dundonald. Granted it does not have the sea views of Western Gailes that seem to augment the organic experience but it does not play or feel like a manufactured links.

There are plenty of memorable holes with three of the four par 3’s being of exceptional quality. The 6th. 11th and 16th demand the type of shot that makes me play this beautiful game. As you stand on these Tee’s you are presented with a jaw droopingly inviting shot full of risk and reward. Exactly what a par 3 should offer. I all too easily fell into the trap of grabbing the driver out of the bag and blasting into the unknown when faced with the unfamiliar. There is far more to this course thatn meets the eye and in retrospect I wish I had thought a touch more strategically from the tee and I may of kept the ball in play and carded a half decent score. It’s tough in parts with the back 9 being much harder. I didn’t play anywhere near my handicap but still cannot wait to return. Given time this course will close the perceived gap between its alleged more illustrious neighbour and it will certainly rise up this top 100 list.
July 22, 2010
10 / 10
Dundonald
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Ian Henley
Dundonald is rightfully becoming yet another great course on the Ayrshire coast. It's closest neighbour, Western Gailes is a measure of the very best in the area and this relatively new layout (separated by the railway line), has a youthful maturity exemplified by its testing championship design as well the attention and effort that goes into developing greens and fairways that in time will match any of the great links. We played Western Gailes and Dundonald the same day and you inevitably find yourself drawing comparisons. Whilst Western Gailes has been established for over a 100 years and boasts the coastline vantage point, Dundonald does have 18 holes to rival, if not eclipse the challenge of its neighbour. Some of what Dundonald has created is man made, but the creation of dunes, raised and contoured greens with spectacular bunkering held great interest for the whole round.

The short holes are an excellent mix and it is worth highlighting the 15th - A long carry with a fearsome greenside bunker located deep beneath the raised putting surface. This would grace any open championship track and would be the potential "card wrecker" for any great score coming in. The shortest of the par 3's are the 7th and the 11th. Both are well protected, but the 11th plays straight into the wind (as you head toward the sea). Taking a wedge and lobbing It high in the air is not the shot, but from a tee not much more than a100yards it is hard to tell yourself to do any different!! As you head down the 12th you only see glimpses of the sea, however what the Gailes loses and Dundonald gains is its abundance of pine trees which provide an attractive routing and backdrop to many of the holes. A number of par 4's and 5's are framed beautifully and are toughened by the meandering burn which is a feature of the course. The 2nd, 9th, 14th and 16th capture the pleasure of pine mixed with links with clever use of bunkering along the fairways and around the greens.

As a course we were left feeling that Dundonald rightly commands its place in the Top 100 and compliments the traditional Western Gailes experience. The staff at Dundonald made us feel very welcome and as a package it should be on your play list when visiting the west coast of Scotland. Ian Henley
July 07, 2010
8 / 10
Dundonald
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