WESTERN-ISLES MACHRIHANISH AND ASKERNISH GOLF VACATION

Machrihanish, Machrihanish Dunes, Royal Dornoch, Machrie, Brora, Askernish, Shiskine, Glencruitten, & Durness,

The Western Isles Machrihanish and Askernish Golf Vacation
– The Character of this tour

Duration – 11 nights
Logistics – ‘Point-to-point’ touring structure
Transport – Self-drive works best. Up to six ferries involved. Complex
Mileage – High, but involves a lot of uncongested scenic roads
Travel Class – Premier
Non-Golf offer – Good (Skye, Glencoe, Culloden, ‘the Highlands and Islands’)

In recent years the golf world has started to witness a subtle shift to ever more remote locations as we push the frontiers of the possible. Bandon Dunes, Cabot Links, and Barnbougle Dunes are just three stunning examples. Scotland is no exception and at Faraway Fairways we’re calling this ‘Wilderness Golf’. Despite not having the area of Canada or Australia, Scotland does have the landscape and sense of remoteness. In this case being smaller actually makes it manageable.

The Western-Isles of Scotland are our Shangri-La. They’re isolated, with wild Atlantic facing landscapes of rugged bleak and inspiring beauty. Cruising the Western Isles is the ultimate ‘chill out’ experience for the golfer who wants to travel off the beaten track in a quest for solace and sanctuary. It’s a spiritual calling to the purists who treasure not ticking off bucket lists, but the ethereal game itself. The Western Isles Machrihanish and Askernish golf vacation is a pure collision of landscape, course, and player.

Capturing the essence of Scottish golf, and just what it means, is never easy. In these remote locations, you’ll find remote communities who’ve chiselled their courses out of unpromising landscapes and tendered them with care and dedication. It’s this spirit that encapsulates Scottish golf and which your package golf tour is in pursuit of. American golf write George Peper put it best –

“Someday I hope to bring my grandchildren here to Scotland – not to show them what golf is but what golf isn’t – that it isn’t $200 million resorts and $200,000 membership fees, that it isn’t six hour rounds and three day member-guests, that it isn’t motorized buggies, Cuban cigars, and cashmere headcovers. It’s a game you play simply and honorably, without delay or complaint – where you respect your companions, respect the rules, and respect the ground you walk on. Where on the 18th green you remove your cap and shake hands, maybe just a little humbler and a little wiser than when you began.”

The outer reaches very much conform with this ethos. Here you’ll encounter strange alien concepts like pay and play, or honesty boxes if there is no one around to collect your green fee. So explore the spirit of Scotland in a rich tapestry of history and culture, and seek out the true enduring soul of golf in these remote and largely untouched communities on the periphery of the game’s spiritual homeland.

The Western Isles Machrihanish and Askernish Golf Vacation awaits you

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GOLF NON-GOLF OVERNIGHT
Friday
SHISKINE Isle of Arran Arran
Saturday MACHRIAHNISH DUNES Machriahnish
Sunday MACHRIAHNISH Springbank Distillery Machriahnish
Monday MACHRIE Islay & Jura Islay
Tuesday MACHRIE or ARDFIN (TBA) Islay & Jura Oban
Wednesday GLENCRUITTEN and/ or TRAIGH Glencoe South Uist
Thursday
ASKERNISH South Uist South Uist
Friday ASKERNISH and ISLE OF HARRIS Skye Kyle of Lochalsh
Saturday GAIRLOCH and ULLAPOOL Wester Ross and the NC500 Dornoch
Sunday BRORA and DURNESS Dunrobin Castle Dornoch
Monday ROYAL DORNOCH Culloden Culloden House/ Inverness


 
Click Image to learn more details about the course

Scottish Golf Wilderness Western-Isles
ROYAL DORNOCH
MACHRIHANISH
MACHRIE

11 nights Duration
  • Premier

IMPORTANT NOTE - As golfers, we play outdoors and accept a weather risk. As exploring travellers we also accept potential disruption when visiting less well served wilderness areas. There are more 'moving parts' to this tour than any other that Faraway Fairways offer.

NON GOLF ACTIVITY - Non-golfers get more time for non-golf activity than golfers. An asterisk (*) is used on the ‘Non-Golf’ button in the itineraries to indicate where a golfer could reasonably expect to be able to undertake an activity. Anything left unmarked is only practical for non-golfers to undertake. Check the button called ‘What’s Included’ that appears on the final named day ‘tab’ to see if it’s included in a price.

DISCLAIMER - The content of all tours are sold subject to availability and final confirmation of price. We do not speculatively book hotels in advance. Late bookings might be subject to a market led price increment. The prices displayed are strong indicators of what you would expect to pay but can also fluctuate in line with choices people wish to add or omit. Please check what's included. Prices are per person based on two sharing a twin room, and a party of four sharing transport

Shiskine

Shiskine is a 12 hole gem on the Isle of Arran, long known about but rarely played due to its accessibility. It possesses some of the most spectacular holes in all of Scotland and is wonderous testimony to the harmonious blend of golf and landscape. It’s very much an old school course with plenty of blind shots and elevated tees playing into plunging coves below. The word that keeps coming back time and time again about Shiskine is “fun”. If you have a part-time golfer in your party, or someone who perhaps lacks length off the tee, but can be relied upon to make a clean contact otherwise, Shiskine is where they could join in and play. It’s a really enjoyable and liberating course

Machrihanish

Perched on the western most tip of the Kintyre Peninsula, Machrihanish is wild, remote, windswept and very, beautiful. As you might expect being just 12 miles from North Ireland, the coast shares some Irish traits, notably dramatic high dune systems, whereas the subtle undulations in the fairways are more Scottish. This is pure links theatre. Golf Digest rate Machrihanish the 57th best course in the world. It’s top drawer. It also possesses what many regard as the finest opening tee shot on the planet played over the beach onto the fairway beyond, and daring you to carve off more and more until you perish. It sets the tone for an exhilarating round


Machrihanish Dunes

Scotland is the home of golf (you’ll hear this a few times) but in terms of finding a course that most faithfully observes this heritage we have to turn to something surprisingly modern. If you want to experience a links challenge similar to that which the games pioneers faced, then ‘Mach Dunes’ is it. This is the perfect symbosis of natural landscape and hazard in harmony. The pioneers who took to the links land didn’t have mechanical earth moving machinary. They looked into the landscape, worked with it, and went about conceiving their own challenges, which in time gave way to courses as consensus emerged. Of its 270 acres only 7 have been subject to earth working. The rough is managed by two flocks of roaming sheep with grazing rights, and bunkers are developments of burrowing animals! This is authentic links, and actually genuine.

Machrie

‘The’ Machrie is one of the few examples anywhere in the world of a great traditional links course which has been preserved for 120 years in its purest form. The links turf on which Machrie was built is among the finest in Scotland, and the setting has few equals. Machrie enjoys a reputation for throwing out a different challenge and most notably in the green complexes, which makes it something of a high quality plotters paradise for the strategic golfer. The course is a mix “of raw dunes and romance”, a work of nature and a legacy of golf’s golden age that invites you to step back and sample it for a fleeting afternoon of nostalgia

Traigh

Traigh Golf Course is the most Westerly golf course on the UK mainland. A series of sandy beaches run alongside the course, with stunning views to the Hebridean islands of Eigg and Rum, and the Cuillins of Skye. It is set in one of the most beautiful parts of the West Highlands of Scotland. It is a nine hole course, (par 68), based on a line of grassy hills, with the springy turf. Traigh is a subtle golf course that rewards accurate shotmaking. One of the biggest challenges you might face is loss concentration brought about by scenery and serenity!

“Photo courtesy of www.traighgolf.co.uk”


Glencruitten, Oban

Glencruitten Golf Course, nestling among the hills of Glencruitten Estate is one James Braid’s genuine hidden gems on the outskirts of Oban. At less than 4500 yds, and playing to a par of just 62, it is always going to fall short, but what it lacks in length, it makes up for in fun and spectacle. Flora and fauna abound the course and in the spring and early summer it’s a splash of colour with the pale-blue iridescence of the harebells and the violent patches of yellow of the whins. Mature native Scots pines overlook the layout as part of the ancient Caledonian Forest. With a bit of imagination you might even see echoes of lush forested Caribbean courses about Glencruitten

We schedule Glencruitten as a relaxing evening round at the end of an interesting day.

Askernish

In an era when millionaires plough millions into luxury resorts, Askernish is evidence that the spirit of golf is alive and living on South Uist, a barren windwept island 50 miles off the Scottish Atlantic coast. The original course was designed by Old Tom Morris in 1891, but was lost to neglect. On discovering this, a band of local volunteers formed. They possessed minimal finance or course management expertise, but resolved to restore the links to its original layout using good old amateur endeavour and desire. Against all expectations they not only succeeded, but also built a hugely impressive links. The seventh has started to feature in these composite ‘best 18 holes in Scotland’ lists. This is one of golf’s more warming stories, and the purist surely wants to be a part of it and play Askernish. It stays light at these latitudes in the summer months late into the evening. You really should try and partake in another old Scottish links tradition of ‘golfing in the gloaming’

Isle of Harris

The Isle of Harris golf course at Scarista has justifiably been described “as one of the most picturesque 9-hole courses in the world”. It’s not an idle boast. The links are indeed laid out amongst one of the finest settings in the game of golf. It’s a most beautiful course bordered on one side by the Sound of Taransay, leading onto the Atlantic Ocean, whilst all down the west side of the course stretch the pristine white sands, typical of this part of the Hebrides, and washed by an aqua marine sea.

Although only a nine hole course many of the holes are very demanding with more than a few natural hazards. Among the many famous golfers who have played the course are Nick Faldo. The signed five pound note he deposited into the ‘honest box’ for his green fee is played for today as a club trophy!

Image by Mike O’Shea.
CC by SA 2.0, License [CLICK]


Askernish

In an era when millionaires plough millions into luxury resorts, Askernish is evidence that the spirit of golf is alive and living on South Uist, a barren windwept island 50 miles off the Scottish Atlantic coast. The original course was designed by Old Tom Morris in 1891, but was lost to neglect. On discovering this, a band of local volunteers formed. They possessed minimal finance or course management expertise, but resolved to restore the links to its original layout using good old amateur endeavour and desire. Against all expectations they not only succeeded, but also built a hugely impressive links. The seventh has started to feature in these composite ‘best 18 holes in Scotland’ lists. This is one of golf’s more warming stories, and the purist surely wants to be a part of it and play Askernish. It stays light at these latitudes in the summer months late into the evening. You really should try and partake in another old Scottish links tradition of ‘golfing in the gloaming’

Gairloch

​​Gairloch Golf Club occupies a fabulous location by a beautiful sandy beach with the Minch and the islands of Skye, Harris and Lewis to the west, the mountains of Torridon to the south, and the wilderness of Letterewe to the east. To the north lies Ullapool, the gateway to the Western Isles.​


The 9-hole course set amongst rolling dunes provides an excellent challenge to golfers of all abilities with a testing par for low handicappers but a forgiving nature for the more casual player. In many respects Gairloch embodies the very spirit of wilderness golf. A course lovingly maintained and developed by an enthusiastic local community that just keeps improving

Image by Robin Drayton.
CC by SA 2.0, License [CLICK]


Ullapool

Having only opened as recently as 1998, Ullapool is a relative new-comer to the nine-hole academy f Highland gems, but is already surely one of the most picturesque courses you will find. The course is set on the shores of Loch Broom, directly on the North Coast 500, and offers spectacular views from every hole. The second has established itself as signature hole of the course, with the Ullapool River breaking into the fairway, creating a lateral water hazard on the left. The tee shot needs to clear a bank of gorse bushes which create a drop of 30 feet to the fairway. A rise of 6 feet leads to a green that slopes from back to front, guarded by bunkers on either side at the front.

Image by AlastairG .
CC by SA 2.0, License [CLICK]

Brora

Raw, bleak, yet tranquil with an intoxicating solitude. Brora is as far north as we go. In the summer Arctic terns swoop acrobatically over the beach holes. They’re adopted on the club crest. This is a traditional out and back nine hugging the north sea. The waves are seemingly an omni present companion. You will enjoy the mixture of bent grass and beach sand, burn water and gorse in glorious yellow bloom. Brora is a scenic course but the absence of dunes means that it’s perhaps the relationship with the sea and the wind that you’ll enjoy most! (or ‘remember’ shall we say?). We’ve scratched around for a single word to describe Brora and we think it’s ‘spiritual’. Few courses get quite so close as Brora.

Photo – thanks to Craig Lester


Durness

Durness sits on the northern tip of Scotland. A savagely exposed coastline famed for its steep cliffs facing out towards the biting Arctic. If wilderness golf is the next frontier, than this outpost is qualified. It’s entirely possible to complete this two hour journey without seeing another car, with just the menacing black waters of Loch Shin and Loch More for company. You are indeed, a speck in this truly wild landscape. The golf course is only a nine holes (for now) but each tee has two options allowing you to play it as eighteen. Durness was rated Scotland’s second best nine hole course. It’s not a gimmick. It’s also worth bearing in mind that in the summer months, at this latitude, it’s possible to play until 11 o’clock. Anyone who makes the journey to Durness is appreciated and guaranteed a warm welcome

Durness GC members supply the club with their photographic images.
This one is believed to have been taken by Alistair Morrison and permission for use granted by Lucy McKay

Royal Dornoch

Golf Digest rated Royal Dornoch the highest of Scotland’s many worthy candidates. The Championship course represented a paradigm in design that endures today. The ‘bump-and-run‘ was the traditional shot to mitigate a links wind. Elevated plinth greens were introduced and ringed with fiendish pot-bunkers to guard them from any such commando approach. Without completely taking the traditional ‘stock shot’ out of the equation, a degree of risk was added. Dornoch therefore challenges you to go the aerial route, and ride the wind. Iron play is the key to the course. The greens are accommodating if you can find them though. The rationale is simple: hit a good approach shot and you should be rewarded. Hit a bad one, and you pay the penalty. Tom Watson said of Dornoch “the most fun I’ve ever had on a golf course”.

Time to say Goodbye

Time, as they say, waits for no man, and sadly we’re no exception. Your itinerary is due to finish in Inverness, which will leave you with a little bit of decision as to whether to fly to London and connect onward, or to drive the three and a half hours south to Edinburgh or Glasgow?

Either way however, we’re afraid it’s time to bid you farewell, a safe and comfortable return and hope you enjoyed your stay, and will consider returning soon. Those of you going across the Atlantic will now get the benefits of flying east to west as you land a mere two hours after you took off!

Don’t forget to stay in touch through our blog, email, or the social networks, as we update information. Once again, thank you

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