Machrihanish (Championship) - Argyll & Bute - Scotland

Machrihanish Golf Club,
Machrihanish,
Campbeltown,
Argyll,
PA28 6PT,
Scotland


  • +44 (0)1586 810213

The small village of Machrihanish is situated on the western side of the remote Kintyre Peninsula; this is where the sky is big, the sunsets are dramatic and the air has been warmed by the Gulf Stream. Nearby Campbeltown was once the whisky capital of the world, but today only the Springbank distillery remains in full operation.

In 1876, the Kintyre Golf Club was founded; and in November of that year, Charles Hunter, the Prestwick professional, rearranged the course and extended it to twelve holes. Old Tom Morris then left his stamp on the links in 1879. The members felt that Kintyre was too ordinary a name for such a special golf course, so they changed it to the resonant Machrihanish in 1888.

The course was modified again in 1914 by J.H. Taylor and Sir Guy Campbell made further alterations when several holes around the turn were lost due to development work at the Campbeltown airport site next door.

This links must be one of the most natural, romantic and most enjoyable places to play golf in the whole of the British Isles. It’s not long, grand or a championship course, but it is sheer fun. It’s got an outstanding front nine and a thrilling start. The first, called “Battery”, is one of the best opening holes in golf, a teasing 423-yard par four with an elevated tee on the edge of the shore. The fairway hugs the beach and we must drive diagonally across it. How heroic can we afford to be with our very first tee shot? The beach is in play, not out-of bounds. But dare we play our second shot from amongst the seashells?

Machrihanish is not just about one great opening hole – the front nine is exceptional and the entire experience is magical. The greens are firm, fast, true and are positioned in the most varied of locations. Some are sunk in punchbowls whilst others are on a raised plateau or flattened dune tops. There are blind tee shots, fabulous sea views, undulating rippling fairways and exciting rugged dunes.

You have to make an extra special effort to get to Machrihanish, but it is worth it. The welcome is extraordinarily friendly and the golf is extraordinary. Expect to leave this place with a broad smile on your face... additionally, the results of a Top 100 survey suggest that Machrihanish is one of the best value golf courses in Britain..

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Reviews for Machrihanish (Championship)

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Description: Machrihanish Golf Club must be one of the most natural, romantic and enjoyable places to play golf in the whole of the British Isles. It’s not long, but it's sheer fun... Rating: 5.4 out of 6 Reviews: 44
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Dan Hare
Visited Machrihanish in late March on a breezy sunny day.Still lots of ground water leading to some unanticipated forced carries! The pro was very welcoming and on top of the excellent value shoulder season green fee gave us discount vouchers to return once the flooding had receded. A super course, and only a couple of workaday holes coming back keep it from a six ball for me. Outstanding.
April 21, 2014
5 / 6
Machrihanish (Championship)
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HarveyMushman
Pure Magic.....
April 19, 2014
6 / 6
Machrihanish (Championship)
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Fraser
A classic links course with all the required ingredients: stiff breeze, undulating fairways, occasional blind shots and firm fairways. Additional attractions to the standard mix are the opening tee shot over the beach, the nearby Dunes course and the excellent Ugadale Hotel and Cottages overlooking the first tee. Its a long drive from Glasgow, but a spectacular one and well worth the trip for a long weekend of excellent links golf.
September 26, 2013
5 / 6
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Rhys Gwynllyw
I first came to Machrihanish in 2003 and have been an (almost) annual visitor ever since. The course itself is sublime as is the welcome we receive at the club, both by the staff and the members. It is as 'far from the madding crowd' as it was ten years ago. The 5th is my all-time favourite hole, a great dogleg whose route is in-between the dunes. Indeed, most of the holes are visually stunning. Unlike some comments on this site, I  like the 17th ; maybe not as aesthetically pleasing as the preceding holes but  it is a definite potential card wrecker and deserves respect. It's great to meet visitors from all over the globe who share my enjoyment of this special place.
August 30, 2013
6 / 6
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david warrick
Played this course on beautiful May day, and overall rather disappointed, given its reputation. The good points - superb greens, friendly members, good service. The main negative - far too many blind shots, both tee shots and approaches. Some blind shots are unavoidable, especially on links courses, but don`t think I`ve played a course with so many blind shots or poor perspectives. It negates one of the most interesting aspects of golf which is playing the layout as you see it. The holes through the high dunes are interesting but as said too many blind shots. Of the other holes, some are rather bland, especially 17 and 18. The fairways are mainly quite generous and overall course probably not that difficult. DW
June 17, 2013
4 / 6
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Brian Donaldson
June 17, 2013
Reading this review prompted me to go back to my own brief six-ball review posted September, 2011. I understand that courses become very personal, and we are all entitled to our own opinions, but Machrihanish remains one of my favorite courses, and I have been fortunate to play many great courses in the US, Scotland and Ireland. I imagine the difference between my rating and this one has to do with the acceptance of blind shots as part of the links experience. To me, it's integral to the layout and how we manage our way around the course. I certainly concur with the reviewer regarding the excellence of the course conditions, the members we met (some of whom caddied for us) and the service. I only hope that one day I can return to Machrihanish.
David Russell
Just back from Machrihanish. Played yesterday in a gale and driving hail...ouch! Even with winter greens and appalling conditions it wasn't hard to see just how good this course is. So many cracking holes cut through the dune formations which are just amazing. Looking over at the summer greens made me die to come back and play the course at it's peak. Built on plateaus and with wicked undulations the art of putting I'm sure really comes into it's own. Next time I'll be flying though. It took me all of 2 hours drive just to get off the Kintyre peninsula and another 2 to get back to Edinburgh.
February 19, 2012
5 / 6
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MG
February 20, 2012
I couldn't agree more. Played the course on 14/02/12 in gale force winds and enjoyed every minute of it. 18 winter greens and tees was rather disappointing but completly understandable considering the amount of rain the Kintyre peninsula has been subjected to over the past few months. I'd be happy to walk back to Machrihanish to get to play the fabled 1st off the Summer tees to the full green.
B.G. Donaldson
We spent a glorious day at Machrihanish - 36 holes on as good a day as one could ask for - sunny and mild. Our experience was enhanced by our four caddies in the morning round, all members and two former captains. From the memorable first tee shot over the Atlantic until the finish (and, yes, the 18th is a bit mundane) we found a course that was beautiful and superbly conditioned. Ken Campbell and his staff were most welcoming. It is well worth anyone's time to make the trip to Machrihanish.
September 15, 2011
6 / 6
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John Brady
Having heard so much about Machrihanish, I first played it over a weekend in early 2010, and have returned 4 times since. It's a long drive from Glasgow (3 hours) for a day trip but well worth it, best to make a weekend of it. First comment I would add is that the course is always in fantastic condition, the only other "always" is that there is a stiff breeze but having played the course 10 times this year, the direction/speed always varies which makes it such a different game of golf you play every time you play. 1st tee is just the best; no golf course will beat it. Going over the beach is risk and reward but very fair. Everyone will have their favourite hole and I have heard numerous discussions about what is the best, I don't get involved, simply because, other than the last 2 holes, you can put up a fantastic case for any of the 1st 16 holes, they are all that good. Don't take my comment re last 2 holes as a criticism. They are still great holes, just not as good as the rest. 17 has OB on left, rough on right, narrow fairway so still a stiff test. Last hole runs parallel with 1st on right and OB on left. As such, it let's you wind up and go for an outrageous draw to try and drive the green. You also have the advantage that you can see the clubhouse on the 17th tee, for the 1st time since the 3rd tee, so you are close to a refreshing beer, or two.I've read the comments re OBs coming into play. The only 2 holes which OBs can bite you are the last 2 holes. If you are OB anywhere else then you can't complain as you need to hit a right stinker to catch them. I have played numerous courses all over the UK, Spain, and Portugal etc. Machrihanish is number 1, absolutely no doubt about it. Anyone who visits Scotland, as well as all UK golfers, need to play it.
October 13, 2010
6 / 6
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Tom Moore
In mid-June I made my 3'rd trip to Machrihanish in the last 20 years. The weather had been dry and the course was running. The course is very, very good. The turf was fine even in such dry conditions. There are a couple of criiticisms: the course has several internal out of bounds--on the front as well as the back. Also, on an approach to a blind green on the front nine, the aiming pole is not remotely accurate. My strongest impression was that Mach is changing---with more tourism and Machrihanish Dunes now open, I got the feeling that many of the members and townspeople may have preferred the old Machrihanish. Twenty years ago, the American author Bamberger wrote in To the Linksland about the magic of the place---I don't know if he would still find it today.
July 12, 2010
5 / 6
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Dewi Henderson
July 12, 2010
Since Machrihanish is my favourite golf course I thought I'd comment on the negative aspects of the above review. I'm glad the reviewer thought the course was "very, very good" and agree that some people have an issue with the increased tourism the course receives (opinion seems to be divided on this one). I was a bit confused by the reviewer stating that the course has "several internal out of bounds". Only on two of the holes on the course have I been aware of OB coming into play - the 3rd and the 17th (the OB on the 18th is for extreme snap hookers only). If you define an "internal OOB" as one that partitions a part of the course from another part of the SAME course then there are no internal OOB. On the 3rd the OB delimits the course from the practice area and is a mild OB since the fairway is wide and generous. On the 17th the OB forms the boundary between the old course and the Pans course. This OB is a toughie and, although some people may consider it artificial, I like the challenge of the narrow fairway with trouble left and trouble right! To state "several internal out of bounds" is inaccurate in my opinion. For the "aiming pole" referred to by the reviewer (presumably for either the 3rd or the 7th hole) for approach shots, such poles should be taken with a pinch of salt anyway - their accuracy (as an alignment guide) depends on where the approach is taken from (as in the parallax effect in physics!). I find both poles to be very useful as (only) a reference guide when approaching these greens.
Dewi Henderson
July 12, 2010
In my above response I refer twice to the 3rd hole when I actually meant the (excellent) 2nd hole. Sorry!
charles reppke
August 06, 2010
I was interested to read this review and the response from dewi .I am a member at machrihanish having been brought up playing the course.I recall that mr bamberger particularly commented on the welcome and the interest that members had in how visitors found the course and how they had played.The course is certainly better known these days and is easier to get to but the essential aspects remain' the wonderful links course and the local members still take the same interest in visitor reaction to the course that so captured the imagination and respect of michale bamberger all those years ago.I believe that were he to return today he would still adhere to his conclusion that if he could only play one course for the rest of his life it would be machrihanish .
kcbritton
Make the drive and just go play it. It is one of the most stunning drives I have ever made to include Big Sur. Once you get there, it is even better than the drive. Plan to play it at least twice. It has so many bumps and rolls, you need a second round just to begin to understand the course. It is simply one of the all time best courses I have played.
July 09, 2010
6 / 6
Machrihanish (Championship)
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