The Machrihanish Golf Club

What we say

The Machrihanish Golf Club offers a wonderful retreat from modern life, featuring some of the most iconic and memorable golf holes you will ever be fortunate enough to play.

It is unlikely you will stand on the first tee of The Machrihanish Golf Club without a huge sense of anticipation.

It’s likely you will have looked forward to playing this links and its famous 1st hole for many years. And what’s more, getting here is a adventure, and that adds to the excitement further.

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Machrihanish won’t let you down though. You will always remember when you played it: the year, the month, the weather and any notable events of the day.

My first time was during the 2004 Open at Royal Troon on a bright, very blustery day interrupted by too many phone calls from the office wondering where I was. It meant the next time there, eight years later, was even more enjoyable. This time it was alongside one of Machrihanish Dunes’ team, who was over from America. I make the point because it is notable how well these two clubs get on, working together to make this a destination rather than competing as so many neighbours foolishly do.

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Machrihanish lags few others in terms of history, with golf first played on the site in 1871, even if it wasn’t until Old Tom Morris extended the course to 18 holes that it was transformed into the links of today.

The stories of Old Tom’s long journey from St Andrews to lay out the links add a nice mystique, but his input is worth more than mere decoration, for one of his decisions was to create a new 1st hole, with a drive hit over the corner of the beautiful sandy beach below the elevated tee.

It is one of the iconic opening tee shots in the game, not just pretty to look at from its lofty position on the edge of the coast, but also a super early strategic question.

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While the sandy bay looks intimidating on first inspection, you soon realise in practice that you can bail out right and indeed virtually find the fairway with a roofed drive. That, though, leaves a seriously exacting, long approach – hence the temptation to take a little risk and aim further left to gain the reward of a mid-iron into the beachside green.

It begins a tremendous start to the links, with holes of great variety and charm. If you asked 10 golfers to rank the likes of the 4th, ‘Jura’, played from tee to green with a valley in between, the aptly-named ‘Punch Bowl’ 5th, and the cunning, sporty par-4 6th, ‘Balaclava’, there would be significant disparity in the orders.

On the back nine the strategic par-5 12th, ‘Long Hole’ might be the stand out, but it is hardly alone.

Were Machrihanish not to end on a modest note with a pair of par 4s compromised by the neighbouring nine-hole course, it would be 10 places higher in our GB&I Top 100 rankings.

It is not, though, probably the kind of place to worry too much about Top 100 lists; it is a rare retreat from the all-consuming nature of modern life.

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  • Course Summary

  • Costs -
  • TG Rating 4 out of 5
  • Players Rating Not yet rated
  • Address
    Machrihanish, , CAMPBELTOWN
  • Tel 01586 810213
  • Website

Course Information

Course 70 par
Course Style -
Green Fees -
Course Length 6,462 yards (5,909 metres)
Holes -
Difficulty -
Course Membership -

Course Features

  • Course has: Bar
  • Course does not have: Buggy Hire
  • Course has: Driving Range
  • Course does not have: Practice Green
  • Course has: Pro Shop
  • Course has: Restaurant
  • Course has: Trolley Hire
  • Course does not have: Dress Code
  • Course has: Club Hire
  • Course does not have: Handicap

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