Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club

Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club

Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club
4.5
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Tuesday
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Wednesday
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Thursday
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Saturday
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Sunday
7:00 AM - 9:00 PM
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About
The quintessential seaside Scottish resort, The Village at Machrihanish Dunes is quickly becoming a golf destination to rival the best in the world. Thrilling links golf, luxury accommodation and world-class service await you in this romantic and rugged corner of western Scotland. Experience the U.K. Top-100 Machrihanish Dunes Golf Course, award-winning Ugadale Hotel & Cottages and our newest accommodation, The Royal Hotel at the head of Campbeltown Harbour. From The Village, you have easy access to other world-renowned links courses, including the neighbouring Machrihanish Golf Club, the great courses of Ayrshire and Northern Ireland, The Machrie on Islay, and many more.
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
153 reviews
Excellent
119
Very good
23
Average
9
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Kaj Andersen
United Kingdom59 contributions
The course sits about 6 miles north of Machrihanish town.
American owned I was expecting a large clubhouse and pro shop but all there is is a small building. It does do some food but very little products to choose from, which the modern golfing visitor looks for when visiting.
There is a practice area and also a driving range, the website says it’s free to use when playing the course but we were charged for range balls.
The course itself is like nothing you’ll have ever played before, an insane layout that meanders through the dunes seamlessly. It was absolute joy to play and we would be back again to try in the future.
If your playing then hope for a nice day, not the 40mph wind we had!!
Written June 29, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

rodeoflip123
1 contribution
I played here on a hot day in August. The course was very quiet, and we hardly saw anyone else the whole way around. The staff were amazing, so friendly and welcoming.

The course is something special, never seen anything quite like it. It's links golf, but exaggerated for effect. Some of the greens have comical slopes, which can be used to get the ball close if the pin is in the right position, but must make it near impossible if it's in the wrong position.

There's a lot of blind shots, too. Combine this with seaside rough and the exposed location, and unless you're driving straight, a few balls could easily be lost. Standout holes for me were the 5th (par 3 to a raised green set in the dunes, with a great view down the bay to Machrihanish) and the 17th (blind tee shot to a slight dogleg fairway, then an approach over a watery area to another raised green).

It's a course that you would really have to know well to score well on, but would be great for matchplay.

Well worth a trip.
Written October 13, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

David G
Manchester, UK41 contributions
Friends
....but I'll try. To sum this place up with words and pictures is simply not enough. Without doubt one of the most dramatic landscapes anywhere in world golf it is raw, links golf without apology.

Firstly, don't let any of the reviews on Tripadvisor or elsewhere put you off. I had read many listing negative aspects which had me pretty nervous before playing here and in my opinion few are representative and are wide of the mark. Yes it is a tough track but it is fair. Yes there are walks between some of the greens and tee's but again they were nowhere near as lengthy as some have suggested. You don't need a guide nor a caddy as some recommend but I would say a strokesaver might be wise (just like most courses).

Having become a fan of Machrihanish Golf Club (which is also incredible) my golfing chums and I had decided that on this return we would travel a little further round the coastline (10 mins drive) to tick off another course from the bucket list. I hadn't imagined just how special a trip it would be.

Machrihanish Dunes is gobsmackingly good from beginning to end. Whilst the older (much) Machrihanish Golf Club has a wild and wonderful front nine and a gentler return to the clubhouse on the back nine the Dunes is like your favourite band in concert although rather than play their set saving a couple of the best for the encore the Dunes is a repertoire of Greatest Hits from start to finish.

Granted it is very "linksy" with fairways that mirror the white horses crashing onto the nearby beach, the hills and hummocks roll along every fairway which can mean that your perfect drive can end up far from where you expected. But that's how it should be. The greens too are a challenge which inspire rather than deter.

If you're straight and follow the markers on blind holes you will be absolutely fine on approach. If you gauge the pace and severity of the slopes on the greens you'll be fine on the short stuff. So why all the naysayers giving this place a bad rep? Obviously lower handicappers will find this layout easier but again wouldn't that be apparent anywhere? Those who say that the Dunes is terrifying, unplayable or too hard need to grow a pair and get better. It is a good test for any proficiency.

What were my favourite holes? At the Dunes it's impossible to draw such conclusion. Every single hole is beautiful, daring, romantic and dramatic in a way that i've never come close to on a course before. If feels like it's been there forever which is also remarkable such is it's infancy and testament to those responsible for it's design.

I'm touching fifty and any walk is a walk at my age but strangely I didn't once think about fatigue or aching body as we played, the sheer euphoria of each new challenge buoying me into excited neglect of my senses.

If I had one complaint it would be that the course needs extending. Not in length mind but in the number of holes as I could have played forever given the chance.

So park any doubts, throw away the rule book, the preconceptions and the debate on whether it's worth the journey to the end of the Kintyre peninsula and visit. Play both Machrihanish GC and The Dunes and you'll never, ever regret it.
Written July 18, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

WRCEdinburgh
Edinburgh9 contributions
Friends
Played course Saturday 29th March and the course should simply not be open for play. The course is very waterlogged with standing water effecting the majority of holes. The 14th (i think it was) is not in play, an additional hole has been added between the 18th green and first tee
(which kinda screws up the index) couple this with several temporary greens, the greens in play have no grass coverage, the majority of bunkers are under water and there are many detours from green to next tee to avoid the numerous puddles and the reader can judge just how bad the situation was. It is simply not correct that the owners made no attempt to contact us before our round to warn us of the condition and allow us the opportunity to re arrange our booking and this must be looked into as this lack of respect for clientele will ultimately have repercussions in the form of further negative reviews which will adversely effect future business. Thankfully our 5 hour drive to reach the area was not solely to play the Dunes as we had the Machrihanish booked for Sunday morning. The difference in condition between the courses was remarkable, granted the Machrihanish also has some standing water, however it was very playable, all holes were in play and majority of the course in very good condition which you would expect on what is regarded as the opening weekend of the Scottish golfing season. As an ardent supporter of Scottish golf, i wish no harm to any course or club so please take this review as constructive criticism, invest in customer support and manage the course correctly. I appreciate that heavy rainfall has been experienced over the winter period, however if the course is not fit to play then protect the asset and keep it closed. It may be a hard call but it is the correct call and one that will be respected and appreciated by the majority of true golfers.
Written March 30, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your review dated 30 March, 2014. We pay close attention to everything that our guests have to say, positive or negative, and are grateful that you took the time to share your thoughts with us. I was extremely disappointed to read of the situation you encountered when you visited our golf course in March. It is true that certain areas on our five-year-old golf course suffered during what has been called Scotland’s most severe winter since 1930. The course was pounded with torrential rains, hurricane force winds and salty beach sand which those winds deposited to a depth of three inches on several of our oceanfront greens. The constancy of the storms, compounded by tides so high they almost breached the pier walls in Campbeltown, would not let the course drain, which it normally does very quickly. Our golf course maintenance professionals worked tirelessly to keep the course open, but in the end we took the decision to close the golf course for two weeks. Prior to reopening, we contacted all of our guests, club members and other golfers who were scheduled to play the course to inform them of the less-than-ideal golf course conditions. For some reason, we did not have your contact information, as you were staying at a hotel unknown to us and your round was on a certificate. Irrespective of that, however, you should have been informed of the course’s condition at the time of your arrival at our golf course. For some reason, this didn’t happen in your case. This was an error on our part, and one for which we sincerely apologize. You are correct in saying that all players should be informed before teeing off whenever the course isn’t at its best, and this is in fact our standing policy. All of us at Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club take great pride in the way our golf course is presented, as well as the total experience we offer to players and to our hotel guests. We have enjoyed great success and received overwhelmingly positive feedback from reviewers, but we are also not shy about admitting when we have fallen short. I would just like you to know that we are addressing your concern, and that when it comes to our golf course, hotels and the service we provide, we want them to get better every day – that is our commitment. Fortunately, I’m happy to inform you and all readers of this response that the water has receded. As of today, April 10, all 18 greens are open. We would ask you to note, however, that the four greens which had been covered by the sandstorms and which we rebuilt in February and March will, for a short period of time, play a wee bit slower than the greens that were spared by the storms as they continue to grow in and mature. Over the next two weeks, the maintenance crew will be giving these new greens even more tender loving care than they normally receive, with an eye toward returning them to our high standards very soon. We expect that they will be playing at normal speeds in a matter of weeks, and we are looking forward to a great spring, summer and autumn of world-class links golf at Machrihanish Dunes. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts, and again, our sincere apologies for not informing you of the short-term issues on the course. We hope you will visit us again in the near future and see the difference a few weeks can make. I will promise that you will not be disappointed. Greg Sherwood
Written April 10, 2014
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Peta V
16 contributions
Family
Played The Dunes 9 times during our holiday in Machrihanish. We were extremely lucky with the weather both the lack of wind and the added bonus of glorious sunshine. The course was in beautiful condition and a great challenge. Especially enjoyed the amazing greens and impressive bunkers.
Written September 7, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Golfing-Steve
Lewes, UK544 contributions
Solo
Let's be honest from the outset: I love Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club. Snaking its way through an area of Special Scientific Interest this David McLay designed beauty is a throwback to derring-do days of Victorian golf when players keenly sent their ball flying over giant sand dunes and cavernous bunkers having no idea what lay beyond.

This wind swept part of Scotland's Atlantic shore is no easy place to reach with the Campbelltown flight from Glasgow the quickest route although even that is prone to cancellation given the tempestuous winds that can batter the Kintyre peninsula where Machrihanish and its dunes sit. But make the effort as there is a huge amount to enjoy here.

I have no been lucky enough to play the course three times, once in a howling gale which rendered it almost impossible. The other two occasions the sun shone and the breeze was what is considered inconsequential by west coast standards, but you still have to bring your 'A' game to the party or else simply brings lots and lots of balls and take time out whilst searching to admire the outstanding coastal scenery.

Two good tips are, firstly, to play the back nine first if you can as the front nine holes can be brutally tough depending on which way the wind is blowing, and secondly take a caddy as, not only are these guys extremely personable, they will also give you the line off the tee which is just as vital as the line on the green at Machrihanish Dunes. Then simply enjoy the fabulous views and the wonderful new links you are playing. But remember, at 7,151 yards off the back tees this is no place for the novice golfer, and try to think your way round rather than simply grip and rip. But whichever way you choose you cannot help but enjoy it.

There are now two first rate hotels to stay at close by as well with course owner, US-based Southworth, having lovingly restored both the Ugadale Hotel opposite Machrihanish golf club and also the Royal in Campbeltown. Southworth did not have to spend the time and money it has done on providing such a sensational new course in a remote part of Scotland, but I for one am delighted that it did. This is a very special part of the world and a very special golf course indeed.
Written May 27, 2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Golfing-Steve
Lewes, UK544 contributions
Friends
You can post all the web pages, blog spots and travel reviews you like because when it comes to it word of mouth is still by far the best recommendation. Which is why I persuaded three of my golfing pals from East Sussex to make the long journey to this wind swept part of Western Scotland.

This was the fourth time I have played the Dunes course, the first being shortly after it opened in 2007. Time, like it does on so many courses, has lent a helping hand, as have the design team that have changed the configuration by reversing the two loops of nine holes that architect David McLay Kidd and his team so lovingly created from 275 acres disturbing just seven of them to deliver this first rate property.

The greens are not pacy by any stretch of the imagination but they are true and a number of the more primitive bunkers, created as nature intended as shelter for sheep, have been made slightly less harrowing by rivetting them. New bunkers have also been added just to ensure misplaced shots are properly punished as this is certainly no place for the novice.

One of the most impressive things is the warm welcome one receives from Mach Dunes staff. Peter, the genial starter, is always on hand to explain things to visitors whilst in the small clubhouse Lorna and Jock behind the bar could not be more helpful.

And then we start. We went off the white tees for the first time because I was playing with some big hitting golfers. At just over 6,300 yards it does not sound tough but then you have to factor in the wind which made the 556 yard 8th hole unreachable in three even for our group of power players. I should have made my excuses and pegged the ball up on the old men's tees on the yellows!

We walked and after 18 holes you know that you have been for a solid trek, even if you keep your ball on the fairway, but then there is still so much to enjoy. Kidd has created some monsters but also some delights. The short run from the short par four fifth followed by two very attractive par threes in succession come as a welcome respite although with the par threes going in different direction if the wind does not get you one way it most certainly will the other.

The finish at the Dunes is tough with a par five and two long par fours to negotiate. To my mind, were it not coming so late in the round, I would rate the 17th the toughest hole on the course and stroke one on the card with a yawning chasm, filled with rare orchids where one cannot walk, just short of the green. If you land in it you must drop on the far side and take a penalty.

The best I have ever managed on this beautiful but beastly hole is a double bogey having played what I thought was a dexterous lay up only to see it gather speed and tumble down the slope. This time was no exception and off I went again
with my six, just glad that the nerve wracking affair was over.

But time passes and I know that, before I get too old I shall be back, for one last crack at it because Mach Dunes is like that. A place you should play, enjoy and come back to. One of my friends said, as we wearily trudged back to the clubhouse, 'Well that was terrific and I cannot understand why people have written critical reviews about the place.'

Maybe it was the wrong time of year, and the course can get wet when the storm clouds roll in, but on a fine day, with the larks up and singing their bubbling song and the 'wheep-wheep-wheep' of the Oyster catchers on the shoreline there are few places I would rather be. I do so hope I shall make it there for a fifth time.
Written July 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

beentheretooo
Newport Beach, CA430 contributions
Friends
If you have gone to the trouble of getting to Mach, do not miss this gem. More rugged and quite quirky without being ridiculous. The old is rated higher but I enjoyed this more. The feel is like Cruden Bay
Written June 21, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
We're so glad you made it out to the course during your visit! It's certainly changed and grown into a magnificent links experience over the past decade, rough edges and all. And it never plays the same way twice—so we hope you'll be back to take it on again soon! -Greg Sherwood
Written June 28, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

stuartymucker
United Kingdom74 contributions
Friends
Played Mach Dunes on Sunday 19th November. Course was in fantastic condition, fairways superb, greens unbelievably good.
A true natural links golf course.
A must play if you are a golfer.
Written November 19, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your review, Stuart! Our team works hard to ensure the course is in excellent shape year-round and we're so glad you had the opportunity to experience it. We hope to welcome you again soon! -Greg Sherwood
Written November 22, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

GolfDadBoston_MA
Boston, MA13 contributions
Friends
If you're looking for a true Scottish golf experience, take a ferry from Northern Ireland or Ayrshire (or a flight from Glasgow) to Campbeltown and play Machrihanish Dunes and Machrihanish G.C. Mush more reasonably priced than other premier courses, and your can stay at Ugadale Hotel across from the first tee with water views for great rates/packages. MAch Dunes is like nothing you've ever played, I guarantee. Spectacular scenery and true links golf amongst the dunes.
Written November 2, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
It sounds like you've become an expert at navigating your way around! Thanks for joining us at The Ugadale Hotel and Mach Dunes. From the comfortable accommodations to the beautiful course, we're happy your visit was an enjoyable one. Come see us again soon! -Greg Sherwood
Written November 7, 2017
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club

Machrihanish Dunes Golf Club is open:
  • Sun - Sat 7:00 AM - 9:00 PM