Machrihanish (Championship) - Argyll & Bute - Scotland

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


  • +44 (0)1586 810213

  • Margaret Wylie

  • Charles Hunter, Old Tom Morris, J. H. Taylor, Guy Campbell

  • Jennie Dunn

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

This along with Ballybunion Old and Carnoustie are my favourite all time 3 courses.I hear what others say - and agree 18 is weak but that has arisen to the scurge of the modern abge - health and safety. When that green was up wedged between road, club-house and pro-shop it was a far tougher target.That notwithstanding I defy anybody not to marvel at holes 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14 and 16 - and accept that on most days the course, architect and history (1876) have probably beaten you.But come back, learn the course - and enjoy it even more....
6 / 6
Machrihanish (Championship)
August 04, 2008


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Played the course today. Great design; just wish the flight times had allowed us to squeeze in two rounds as knowing your way around will certainly help your score. Greens were true, if a bit slower than I had expected (lots of rain so maybe I am being a bit harsh). Do agree with others. This course has some great holes, somewhat let down by ordinary last couple.
4 / 6
Machrihanish (Championship)
July 11, 2008


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Traveled a fair way, no pun intended ,to play this great course.I think its the quality of greens that makes a course and some being the size of a football pitch you have to be able to putt to make a score. The greens have so much undulation on them it still brings a smile on a cold winters night to reminisce about them.The drive over the Atlantic ocean is not that intimidating but being the 1st of the day it gets the juices flowing straight away.Although 3 days on a fast horse from Glasgow I would really implore you to play it.Great fun!!!!
6 / 6
Machrihanish (Championship)
November 27, 2007


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Good track, although i think the famous drive over the beach at the first is a bit overstated. You could actually get to the fairway with a wedge! The first couple of holes are ok, but after that it really gets going. Holes 3 through 8 are fantastic- rolling links with blind aspects that are fun, but arent quirky enough to get annoying. The two par 5s on the way back are brilliant holes, espescially the 12th, but I have to say the back 9 is a disappointment compared to the front. Maybe I`m being harsh, but the last two holes seem squashed into too confined a space, espescially when you consider how much great territory hasn`t been used here. Would it be heinous to suggest that somebody looks for another hole in the virgin land, and a good finishing hole is made out of 17&18- then maybe it would be as complete a golf course as its near neighbour, Machrie. Regardless of the poor finish, this is a top course, and the clubhouse and pro shop are excellently run by very friendly people. Highly recommended, espescially if you go to Islay as well on the same trip.
5 / 6
Machrihanish (Championship)
August 30, 2007


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One of the best links courses in the world! Probably the least distrurbed Old Tom Morris design links in UK (because it's so isolated it has not hosted many tournaments which require course alterations for crowd management etc..). From the third green you get great sense that your the only player out there even when the course is quite busy. Machrihanish is a must play for core golfers and it's not as far as people say !! (25 minutes from Glasgow, twice a day with BA, for only £45) or an hour from Turnberry on the new Kintyre Express high speed ferry.
6 / 6
Machrihanish (Championship)
February 11, 2007


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Machrihansih was the first course I played in Scotland, and remains one of the best. The opening hole is great, but the real beuty of the links lies between holes 3 and 16. Number 4 is a fantastic par 3, the green being an almost impossible target, number 8 is one of the best par 4's you will find anywhere, and number 10 one of the best par 5's in the country. Buy a day ticket and play as much as you can, as the course is usually quite empty - I managed 54 holes and wanted more! Kem Westdyk, South Africa
6 / 6
Machrihanish (Championship)
October 05, 2006


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Certainly judging by the love in the other comments, this course is not lacking for fans. Count me in, too. Worth savoring, matched by few courses in world for quality of golf, setting, experience and "pleasureable excitement".
6 / 6
Machrihanish (Championship)
October 04, 2006


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Machrihanish is as beautiful and as enjoyable as either Turnberry or Dornoch. The fairways are classic links, the greens the best I have ever played on, undulating, as smooth as silk and firm but receptive and the holes interesting and challenging and yet short enough to be rewarding for the average golfer. The nineteenth hole matched the first eighteen and we enjoyed a long evening of great food, great wine and great craic with members and visitors alike.
6 / 6
Machrihanish (Championship)
July 12, 2006


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I'm a competent 11 handicapper but Machrihanish beat me. Each drive seemed more demanding than the one before (and remember the first!). This is a very difficult golf course but a great experience. Only let down by the last couple of holes (which are very ordinary). Oh,yes, it IS a very long way from anywhere!
4 / 6
Machrihanish (Championship)
February 04, 2006


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Machrihanish ranks in my all-time top 3 golf courses, it is always in fantastic condition . I have played it in fantastic weather conditions as well as in the rain during what felt like a howling gale. The setting is stunning with wonderful views and no matter how you are playing it’s worth taking some time out to savour the view.Although short by modern standards It is a good test of golf and will require good shot making skills to post a score.It’s only drawback is where it is located – it’s not that easy to get to but it is well worth the trip, make a day of by staying in one of the many bed and breakfast places and then being up early to enjoy the course. Well worth a visit, you will not be disappointed.
6 / 6
Machrihanish (Championship)
January 10, 2006


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