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
TaylorMade
allan mcmillan
I arrived on the first tee on a sunny February afternoon. I was the last man on the course and the starter could not have been more helpful in his advice and encouragement. Playing from the blue tees I could see this magnificent course just as Kyle Phillips had planned it. A feeling of having the place to yourself as you stroll down each well laid out fairway and approach the large but very tricky greens. The clusters of pines were shining around each green as the winter sun illuminated every swale and hollow on this under-rated layout. The sixth hole is a little beauty, with fair but challenging tests around the green. Another favourite of minbe is the long par 4 sixteenth,which hugs the railway line south, where I considered myself as doing well at the end of the day, witht the light slowly fading, to score a 5. The welcome and the facilities back at the clubhouse were excellent, and I will definitely return to play here again.
March 09, 2010
10 / 10
Dundonald
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claes gunnarson
Finally in Scotland! My father in law had just turned 70 and my present for him was a trip to Scotland to discover the home of golf. This was his first time outside Norway playing golf and he was nervous as hell. I booked Dundonald in the afternoon because I think the ondulations are easier to discover with the sunset setting in. It turned out to be a fantastic afternoon and the nerves of my father in law was long gone after having discovered every bunker on the first hole, 5 if I am not wrong. I have played golf for over 30 years at hcp 3 and this round will rank among my 5 best. The holes shaped in way that you don´t want to leave the tee. I just love when you can visualize the way you are gonna play the hole and don´t have to hit and hope for the best. THe fairways were great for being such a young course and the greens were very fast and even although I might have preferred them a litte softer. By the 12th we played the rest of the round in perfect sunset and it felt like heaven. The course is not long for a lowhcper and there are not much heather and water either. But you have to manage you game and put on the Crenshaw feel on the greens. The clubhouse looked somewhat unworthy such a fine course but the service was great. My father in law sunk the last put and was probably many over his hcp but you could tell by the tears in his eyes that he had one his best days of his life. We will be back!
January 18, 2010
10 / 10
Dundonald
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Patrick McGarey
I played on a windy Sunday afternoon in October 2009. The course was pretty crowded, unfortunately including several truly clueless groups shooting high scores and devoting Nicklaus-like attention to each of ~120 shots per man. (Fast play is usually a given on Scottish courses, so this was disturbing. Some firm marshall intervention would have been useful). That aside, the layout is consistently interesting and well worth playing. A great and varied group of par 3s, with nice variety among the par 4s and 5s (short and long, dog-legs, etc.) as well. Not the easiest place to find (several miles inland), and not on a par with classics like Turnberry and Prestwick, but well worth your time if you're playing a number of courses in Ayrshire.
October 14, 2009
8 / 10
Dundonald
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JAS
December 26, 2010
(several miles inland) Eh??? If stood on the 13th tee you turned 90 degs left you would be the width of the railway and 2 Western Gailes fairways from the sea. Fully agree about the consistently interesting though and yes it is well worth playing especially on current green fee specials
Campbell Hall
I played on Saturday before going to watch the Open on Sunday, had mixed feelings about the place. The condition of some of the fairways was poor, I'd put this down the age of the course. The green on 11th was very patchy, if any of the greens at my local course was as bad as that the members would be up in arms. Having said all that the layout is good fun and challenging, I also like the fact the holes are seperated by mounds, giving a feeling of seclusion. It's a good modern take on the traditional links layout, however having played Kingsbarns a few years ago, Dundonald felt like a poor relation. I understand it's up for sale and Loch Lomond have financial problems. It really needs a bit of TLC and investment, a proper club house is surely a must. Not sure who would buy a club surrounded by such quality competiion though?
July 21, 2009
6 / 10
Dundonald
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Shaun
Good course, great back 9 and very attentive service, experience only spoilt by poor quality greens.
June 04, 2009
6 / 10
Dundonald
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Martin Jordan
Dundonald 6th - photo by MPPJDundonald, truth be told, has me in a reviewing quandary. It is, in my opinion, a course of two distinct 9’s with the back 9 being a lot stronger and better than the outward half. Infact, whilst playing the front 9 I was constantly wondering what all the fuss was about. Maybe I was expecting too much because it is Loch Lomond’s sibling, I found it featureless (with the exception of the glorious short sixth) and overlong, a homage if you like to combating modern golfing technology, a bit dull, but it also has to be said, very challenging. This apathy lifted from the 11th tee until the last putt as the last 8 holes saw Dundonald turn from an ugly duckling to a striking swan.

 I could go on at length about each of these holes but I would like to single out 3. The aforementioned 11th which is Dundonald's answer to the postage stamp. A seemingly innocuous 120 yard one shoter but don’t be fooled and don’t be long as a crafty coffin bunker awaits over hits making par from here neigh on impossible. The 17th is a tricky dog-legged par 4 with more strategic bunkers than you can shake a stick at and the 18th, a par 5 with a do or die 3rd shot over a burn which serpentines the green should you chose to take it on. So, in the end, despite my misgivings, Dundonald won me around. I still think that it is a course which will suit big hitters better but it is worth playing for the last 8 holes alone. If I have to enter the Dundonald/Kingsbarns debate then my vote must definitely goes to Fife as Kingsbarns, due to its location has something that Dundonald can never have. That being said I can see both sides of the argument but one thing that can’t be argued is that Dundonald is a quality track which eventually captured my curmudgeon heart. MPPJ
March 17, 2009
8 / 10
Dundonald
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Jim McCann

It was just over three years since I first played here when I took advantage of Dundonald’s very generous winter 2008/9 tee time offer and gave myself the chance to reacquaint myself with the course. I agree with others that the man made dunes look a wee bit artificial in places, but maybe only because they were quite bare on a late February morning and will look better when grasses grow back in the spring.

I also agree with other reviewers that a) this track is tougher than Kingsbarns (especially when the par fives on the front nine are played into the prevailing wind), b) it sometimes feels more about length (even from the member tees) than strategy on the way round and c) the 4th hole is the only one of the par threes that doesn’t quite hit the spot the way the others do.

Dundonald Links - photo by Jim McCann Holes 3 and 9 with water cutting across the fairways are memorable on the front nine but the round really comes to life on the back nine, starting at the par three 11th. From this point on, holes just get stronger and stronger, finishing with a very tough trio that play to stroke index 1, 7 and 5!

After nominating Dundonald as a gem back in November 2005, I can confirm that a couple of concerns then have since been sorted – the drainage of some fairways here is no longer an issue as every single one played to a true, free-draining links standard and the new course yardage book now correctly gives notice of the water hazards at holes 6, 9, 13 and 18 – proving just how responsive to Top100 criticism the nice people at Loch Lomond Golf Club can be!

Jim McCann

February 20, 2009
8 / 10
Dundonald
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Colin Baird
November 06, 2009
With reference to Jim McCann's review: The ditches depicted in the Pro-Guide yardage book were indeed ditches in 2005. But they were dry and simply topographical features. They were neither classified nor marked as hazards. The designation as "WATER HAZARD" is a matter of local rules and did not apply in 2005. Water was introduced into them over the winter of 2005/2006. They have subsequently been designated as hazards in the local rules. All of this was recorded and amended at the earliest opportunity in our regular course review of Dundonald. It was nothing to do with Jim's review or any request from Dundonald (they know that we take care of these matters for them). It is an unfortunate fact that when a course is altered (usually during winter months) the revisions to a course guide have to appear after the work is finished. At Pro-Guide we pride ourselves in continuously updating our guides (several times a year in some cases - 3 times at Dundonald in 2009) unlike most of our competitors whose guides, printed in huge volumes, often languish for years on the counters full of obsolete information and detail. It was Jim's bad luck that he visited Dundonald in the small window between the course modifications and our revision. Colin Baird Chief Course Surveyor and Publishing Director Pro-Guide
Robert Gardner
Dundonald Links Played 13 May 2008 If Kyle Phillips was trying to deliver the essence of a true links course, then for my money he created something much closer to it here than he did at Kingsbarns. I’m told that a lot of earth and sand were moved to create the final layout but the end result is a much more natural looking and superb series of testing holes that require the combination of length, accuracy, finesse and intelligent play that are the hallmarks of great links golf. (Unfortunately I didn’t bring that game with me!) The long par 5 eighteenth is a cracking example of what I mean and must be one of the best finishing holes in golf. The very welcoming and efficient staff and our knowledgeable caddies made it a fantastic experience. It’s not as pretty as Kingsbarns but it’s a better golf course and from that perspective should be rated more highly. Visit it if you can. Dundonald Links has only been open 5 years and I’ll certainly be back because as it matures it will just get better and better.
May 15, 2008
10 / 10
Dundonald
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Allan
November 23, 2008
It is a fantastic links layout which is very natural in feel. The greens are beautifully undulating and challenging, and your strategy on each hole is tested by the meandering burn that winds through the course. Kyle Phillips has truly performed a miracle with this design. The facilities and welcome are also first class!
lodgeboy
A fantastic layout with wonderful staff.
December 31, 2007
10 / 10
Dundonald
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allan mcmillan
It's definitely a challenge and a good addition to the great links golf courses of Ayrshire.Obviously it's not as natural as the neighbouring Gailes courses, but give it time and it will mature into a winner.
December 29, 2007
6 / 10
Dundonald
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