The landscape on the west side of Scotland is characterised by long, wooded peninsulas and small islands and Argyle and Bute covers a windswept area that stretches from Ballachulish in the north to Southend at the southern tip of the Mull of Kintyre. It’s here that you’ll find over two dozen courses affiliated to the Argyle and Bute Golf Union, many of them charming little 9-hole tracks, where green fees are left in an honesty box placed near the first tee and golf is played out over moorland fairways that lead to little bunkerless greens.
It’s only fitting that such a romantic region should be the setting for two of the finest courses in the entire golfing world. Machrie was an old Willie Campbell design on the island of Islay and a constant stream of links lovers made the pilgrimage to play this venerable old links, however, things have changed in recent times. The old Machrie course has gone and in its place a new 21st century layout fashioned by D.J. Russell. Old Tom Morris’s Machrihanish, although slightly more accessible that the Machrie, still requires considerable effort to get to but for those who do tee it up here, the golfing reward is immeasurable.
The Machrie and Machrihanish are names that most golfers have heard of, but few will have heard of Ardfin and fewer still will have played it. Ardfin quietly opened in 2017 and this Bob Harrison design on the island of Jura is primed to set the golfing world on fire.
Our Argyll & Bute Best in Region rankings were last updated in November 2019. Click the link to read the story.