Few Scottish place names are so pleasing to roll off the tongue as that of Machrihanish, and the links themselves don’t let you down either. The Machrihanish golf course is a superbly presented eighteen hole links following the natural contours of the dunes running parallel to the Atlantic and Machrihanish Bay.


Founded 1876
Yardage Championship course, blue tees 6462 yds
Par 70
Golf Digest World Ranking 57th in the world
Handicap Restrictions No handicap restrictions apply



The Course itself

Much is made of the opening hole, ‘the Battery’, which involves driving diagonally and into the relative sanctuary of the fairway. We see this kind of shot enough times on dog-leg holes, and the essence of the question it poses by way of risk and reward is always similar. It’s all about angles. How far dare you pursue length in trying to carve precious yardage off your second by pushing the envelope on the angle off the tee. The twist with the quandary at Machrihanish however, is that the drive is hit over the beach. Not only that, but the beach is actually in play rather than out of bounds. Machrihanish possesses an opening hole that frequently features in any short-list for the world’s best first, and often tops the poll.

It would be wrong to suggest that Machrihanish golf course is all about one hole though. Put simply, it just couldn’t achieve a Golf Digest rating of 57th best course in the world if it were. There are three blind tee shots, fabulous sea views, exciting rugged dunes, and undulating, rippling fairways. It has all the ingredients of a classic links symphony. The only thing its missing is a railway line!

The layout is not just the archetypal template of nine out, and nine back. The fifth is another par four with a fairway like an elephant’s graveyard. The tenth is a clever dogleg par five, and the 15th, a one shotter with real difficulty if the elusive green is missed from the tee

Machrihanish requires you to execute the full repertoire of links shots, from deft lobs to raised targets, right across the spectrum to stubby bump and runs. One of the lesser appreciated aspects of the course however is the sheer variety of green types you’ll encounter. This is where a score can always be built or destroyed of course. Machrihanish has sunken punchbowls, as well as raised plateaus, or flattened dune tops. It’s quite unusual for a links course to emphasise putting, but Machrihanish does so more than most



Buggy hire, Trolleys, Caddies and Clubs

Driving Range Available Yes
Rental Carts Available Yes
Rental Trolleys Yes
Caddies Yes
Rental Clubs Available Yes
Pro Shop Yes


Machrihanish does not insist on formal attire, and smart casual dress is acceptable in the clubhouse.


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