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
colin
Same designer as Kingsbarns, same flaws. Worse setting. Actually it's a tougher test than Kingsbarns, and has its moments, but the problems are the same. Over-sized, over sloped greens and a feeling that the whole place is manufactured. Which it is. The par threes are excellent, the bland 4th aside. The 10th and 16th are tough par fours, and the par fives aren't bad. But the over-riding feeling is of the artificiality of the place. The mounds detract from the place. I feel that when designing the course, the architects have been afraid of the admittedly ugly paper mill inland. But in blocking off views with these unnatural 'dunes' they have missed out on some potentially fine views over Western Gailes and out to sea. The lack of any raised tees also restricts the views of the holes themselves. Think of the 7th at Royal Troon, industrial buildings and the airport behind but what a hole! all because the tee has height. Actually, if you want to see what good design is, just go to Royal Troon. If you can't afford there, try any of the other courses, such as Western or Glasgow Gailes, that are better than here.
July 18, 2007
4 / 10
Dundonald
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G McLaughlane
October 12, 2009
Somewhat unfair criticism as you can see neither Western Gailes (apart from the clubhouse)nor the sea due to the Glasgow-Ayr railway line which intervenes on a high embankment for the full length of the course, totally blocking off the suggested views.
cc
March 23, 2010
The embankment is not along the whole course but only parallel with the 13th. And even here, if you stand on the mounds behind the tee or green you have the height to see over to the ocean. You get decent views fom the 12th, the only hole on the course where the artificial 'dunes' are missing from the sides of the hole, and where the golf is played over undulations rather than through them.
C J Y Lawrence
November 19, 2013
If you all want sea-views then Dunbar is the place. The East Links is the Pebble Beach of Scotland with the sea visible from all 18 holes and 8 holes that border the shoreline...and it's a final qualifying track when The Open is in town! So it's a proper Scottish links course measuring 6,600 yds.
W
If your driver is working well here you should score well. There is very little decision making required from the tee, it is driver pretty much all the way. With that in mind (and in spite of the fact that my driver was working and the scoring was good!) this course doesn't get into my top 50. I prefer to stand on a teebox and think about the best way to play the hole ahead. Simply, I prefer strategy and variety over pure 100% ‘Boom’ and other than an excellent set of Par 3s, from the tee the holes felt a bit samey with bulldozed earth banking down either side of the wide fairways.

Credit is warranted as the layout is clever and manages to keep the paperpulp factory pretty much out of the line of vision.. No mean feat for which some praise is deserved! But the course is a modern one and with the exception of a couple of original bunkers from an older Dundonald incarnation, this course feels like it has been built for the corporate (and possibly in time, for a professional tournament) market rather than as a classic links. On this stretch of coast and within a few miles, I can think of at least 5 courses I would rather play, but then perhaps there was never an intention to create a traditional links challenge. Why try and build a classic links in an area where nature has already produced some of the worlds finest!? Dundonald is a bit different, but it feels unnatural and at least as far as I am concerned, and there are many wonderful examples in the UK, a links needs to look and feel natural to the landscape. As yet, Dundonald does not but perhaps it will mature.

Loch Lomond has thrown some serious money at this course and the transformation is staggering with special mention for the drainage which at times during development was a real problem. But the bulldozer’s work is apparent and the manufactured undulations of the greens could be classified as tricked-up. The lack of pace was possibly intentional as an acceleration of Stimp could cause serious problems here for anyone! That said, I really enjoyed a game at Dundonald and it was a treat to experience the Loch Lomond service and hospitality which is absolutely faultless.

This was a fun round on a good golf course which was definitely worth playing, but if visiting the area, the rankings are probably about right. Good enough, but geography dictates that you will always compare Dundonald to its neighbours and right now this is not as good as Western Gailes, Barassie or Glasgow Gailes which are all within hitting distance.
May 31, 2007
6 / 10
Dundonald
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stewart
Kyle Philips did a great job and probably moved a significant amount of earth in creating this course and making it as good as it is on a plot of land that wasn’t as well suited for a fine golf course as that of its famous neighbors. I think many of the sand dunes and mounds were made rather than found, although to Philips’ credit they give the appearance of being natural. In reading the history of Western Gailes I found a section that indicates that in the middle part of the last century there was a course on these premises called Dundonald, so this appears to be the third attempt to have a golf club here and the third time is the charm. I agree with the prior posters that the par threes are outstanding…interesting, tough, and different from one another. The 11th is postage stamp short with danger front and back and a steeply sloping green, while 15 is long (up to 215 yds) with deep bunkering in front and it played even longer with an elevated green and wind in my face. The temporary clubhouse is nicer than you would expect and the guys in the pro shop were very friendly, entertaining me until the end of a morning frost delay.
April 08, 2007
8 / 10
Dundonald
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scott thomson
Was met at gate by smiley pleasent gent welcoming us to dundonald,this was only a start of what turned out to be a very special day in outstanding golf country,Haveing played many links courses from the new course to eyemouth and many in between we singled this out up there with the best of them,Course was in outstanding condition with true rolling greens and a spring still in the fairways even after the monsoon two days before we played ,Every hole is so individual with a touch of its own class .. I walked off the 18th green with a smile that nothing could have shifted ,i had just played a trully special course,from the first hole to the last every hole has been created with its own test of golf,bring all your clubs in the bag cause your going to need every one of them to tame this legend in the making.
November 12, 2006
10 / 10
Dundonald
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Andy
I agree with a lot of what Jim has written on his GEM recommendation - on maturity all links lovers will love this course. When you play here, there is no mistaking the designer … with the enormous undulating greens, Kyle Phillips touch is so evident (similarities to Kingsbarns and The Grove are obvious, nothing wrong with that at all). The Loch Lomond service is pure pleasure – enjoy millionaires golf at Dundonald, right from the off (valet parking, pyramid of balls waiting at the range, soup after nine holes and shoe cleaning at the end). This good golf course will soon become very good – enjoyed the hole variety immensely. The 3rd is cracking par-5 and the 11th is a tough par-3 (very tough in the wind).
April 15, 2006
6 / 10
Dundonald
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Lee Abbey
I can imagine that in three years or so this course will be awesome. At the moment you get a glimpse of how good it is going to be and it's obviously been built with an eye on getting a serious tournament here. The design does have a Kingsbarns feel to it but with none of the aethestic immediacy of that course. It's a tough course from any tee and I'd advice you to play from the yellow equivalent unless you're feeling particular on top of your game. Par threes are a standout - all were good and a couple were excellent. I'd love to come back and play it in a few years when it's properly finished but this course is certainly destined for a Top 100 place.
April 11, 2006
6 / 10
Dundonald
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Darren
What a course! I had the pleasure of playing here last week (March 2006). It was the first high specification modern golf course I have played, and oh yes, I liked it! Make no mistakes, this course has been built to host tour events. Large banks either side of the fairways essentially make each hole private, and you can imagine how the crowds will line the tops of them. The pro allowed us to play off the gold tee’s, so we experienced all 7300 yards of the monster. I was way over my handicap (I play off 5), but loved every minute. A clever design that will be used in years to come. And I’ll be able to say “yep, I played off that same tee that Tiger Woods is now hitting off”. Though his approach shot will be somewhat shorter no doubt.
March 31, 2006
10 / 10
Dundonald
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William Stewart
THIS IS A FANTASTIC NEW COURSE AND I THINK IT IS A BETTER LAY OUT THAN KINGSBARNS.TO ENJOY THE COURSE AT ITS BEST I RECOMMEND YOU PLAY OFF THE TEES THAT SUIT YOUR GAME AT 7300 YARDS OFF THE TIPS IT IS A MONSTER FOR MOST PLAYERS. THERE ARE 4 SETS OF TEES AND THEY ALL BRING THE HAZARDS INTO PLAY. I HAVE PLAYED A LOT OF GOOD COURSES THIS YEAR AND RATE DONDONALD WITH THE BEST OF THESE.
November 09, 2005
8 / 10
Dundonald
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What a great addition to the more famous names along this cracking stretch of Scottish coastline. Dundonald is a monster, especially when the wind blows and with deep pot bunkers and many a burn, scoring can be tough. This is one of the most strategic links courses I’ve come across so you need your thinking cap on. Some brilliant holes, but the par 3s are the best and the 11th is a cracker. It’s only a flick at a little more than 100 yards but it’s hard to get your par here. It’s no wonder this hole is being compared alongside Royal Troon’s famous Postage Stamp. Quality through and through.
November 03, 2005
8 / 10
Dundonald
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