Review for Machrihanish (Championship)

Reviewer Score:


Bagpipes, haggis and kilts are synonymous with Scottish culture and tradition and Machrihanish is one of the most traditional and quintessentially Scottish courses I have ever played. Prestwick, North Berwick and, of course, St Andrews are also traditional but the remote location of Machrihanish somehow takes the authentic shortbread biscuit. Much has been written about the opening hole that is a daunting prospect, especially from the back tee, which sits in splendid isolation under the rear window of the Pro shop. From here, the long sweep of the beach looks formidable and I am sure many balls have ended up on the shore. When I played here this autumn, the course was quiet and it felt not only remote but also rather eerie. The first 16 holes firmly hold your attention and back-to-back par threes at 15 and 16 are a talking point. A few blind shots did not detract from my enjoyment and the challenge was supreme. Most courses do not possess 18 great holes and the same is true of Machrihanish. The closing two holes unfortunately come at the wrong time and left me slightly disappointed as I putted out on the last, they seem somewhat out of character with the first sixteen. This is certainly one of the most natural courses I’ve played where most things feel right and I think if Machrihanish finished as strongly as it started it would be hard to fault.

Date: November 13, 2009

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