Dundonald Links Golf Course: Review, Green Fees, Tee Times and Key Info

Under new ownership, Dundonald Links Golf Course in Ayrshire has stepped up several gears to provide a brilliant experience both on and off the course

Dundonald Links Golf Course
Beware the fearsome pot bunkers on the par-3 eleventh at Dundonald Links
(Image credit: Mark Alexander)

Dundonald Links Key Information

Top 100 Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24

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AddressAyr Road, Gailes, Ayrshire, KA11 5BF
Phone01294 314000
Websitedundonaldlinks.com
Email reservations@dundonaldlinks.com
GFs£195 (£155 Resident) peak season
Visitor TimesAny day subject to reservation
ParMen 72, Women 72
SlopeWhite/M 130, Red/W 134
Opened2005
ArchitectKyle Phillips
Golf Monthly Verdict

Dundonald Links - Hole 6

(Image credit: Mark Alexander)

This modern, championship links is actually on historic golfing territory and manages to combine a more traditional setting with a newer look and feel. Since the new owners arrived, everything here has stepped up a gear or two making this an excellent course either just for a game or for golfing stopover.

Reasons To Play Dundonald Links

– A challenging and memorable links that has hosted the Scottish Open

– A complete golfing destination with an excellent new clubhouse, accommodation and practice facilities

– Part of an extremely strong golf offering on the Ayrshire coast

Rankings

UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 99

The modern Dundonald Links golf course on the exposed Ayrshire coast has all the components to challenge every facet of a golfer's game. Immediately surrounded by the excellent Top 100 and Next 100 courses at Western Gailes, Glasgow Gailes and Kilmarnock Barassie, it is in prime Open Championship and historic links territory and manages to stand up with its neighbours as one of the best golf courses in Scotland due to the variety and challenge on offer.

Originally known as Southern Gailes, golf here actually dates back to 1911. However, the land was claimed as a military camp during WWII, following which it lay dormant for decades. It was bought in 2003 by Loch Lomond whose members wanted a playable winter escape from their immaculate parkland course.

Kyle Phillips, designer of The Grove,  was taken on board to complete what has since matured into a superb and challenging links with a decidedly contemporary feel. At many links courses, the strength of the design and golfing examination is in the whole rather than in individual holes. Here, it is in both. There are many memorable holes such as the testing par-3 6th where anything short or left may find the burn, and the par-4 13th which hugs the railway line and where there is another ditch waiting short of the two-tiered green.

Phillips has a reputation for stylish and strategic bunkering, and this is a feature from start to finish. As with all links golf, the direction and strength of the wind will have a substantial influence on your game here.

With so many feature holes throughout the course, picking a stand-out is tricky but the closing hole is  a peach. Depending on the wind, some may be able to reach this lovely, sweeping par 5 in two. There is a burn that sneaks its way in from the left and then clasps the right side of the green, and it makes for a thrilling climax.

The new clubhouse and on-site accommodation have raised the game here to an entirely new level and make this a brilliant place to stay and play.

Dundonald Links - Hole 10

Looking back from behind the tenth green

(Image credit: Mark Alexander)

What The Top 100 Panel Said

Andrew Oliver UK&I Top 100 panel
Andrew Oliver

The vast majority of the work here in the last 18 months has been focussed on a new clubhouse and lodges and they are nothing short of spectacular. A first-class resort experience with plenty to keep golfers (and non golfers) happy.

James Pinkstone UK&I Top 100 panel
James Pinkstone

The course does not disappoint. The greens are easily the best in the area, there is top-class bunkering and there are other hazards like streams crossing the fairways and run-offs to catch you out. Dundonald is a modern links of the highest quality, but with a more understated reputation.

Cameron Roy
Cameron Roy

A thoroughly enjoyable day out. From booking to leaving everything was first class. Extremely friendly staff couldn’t do enough for you. The enjoyable and playable course coupled with the superb facilities mean that a day out here is one to be savoured. A modern links where you are made to feel like a rock star.

Dundonald Links Location

Dundonald Links Green Fees

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18 holes£155Resident, to Oct 15th
18 holes£195Visitor
18 holes£75Resident, Oct 17th to Dec 31st
18 holes£95Visitor, Oct 17th to Dec 31st

Dundonald Links Scorecard

Dundonald Links Scorecard

(Image credit: Rob Smith)

Best Courses Near To Dundonald Links

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WESTERN GAILES

Western Gailes is an extremely strong links with plenty of interesting design features that is positioned inside the Top 50. It is one of those courses that everyone seems to enjoy, and has more than enough character to delight and test the most discerning golfer.

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GAILES LINKS

With the members of Glasgow Golf Club seeking a winter, seaside alternative, Gailes Links was opened in 1892. It was redesigned in 1912 by Willie Park Junior and is a classic and subtle links that has been used for many important events.

Best Places To Stay Near Dundonald Links

Dundonald Links - Book now via Booking.com

The newly-opened on site hotel is receiving rave reviews and is the ideal place to stay when visiting this golfing hotspot.

The Gailes Hotel & Spa - Book now via Booking.com

This modern accommodation with contemporary restaurant is only a 10-minute drive from Prestwick Airport. The Coast Restaurant provides a relaxed setting to enjoy a wide range of dishes created with the finest locally sourced ingredients. 

Dundonald Links Gallery

Historical Top 100 Rankings UK&I

  • 2023/24 99

Frequently Asked Questions

Who designed Dundonald Links?

American Kyle Phillips is one of the most successful and revered golf course architects of recent years with other Top 100 designs at Kingsbarns and The Grove.

Has Dundonald Links staged any important championships?

Rafa Cabrera-Bello won the 2017 Scottish Open here, and this year it will stage the 2023 Women’s Scottish Open.

Rob Smith
Contributing Editor

Rob Smith has been playing golf for over 45 years and been a contributing editor for Golf Monthly since 2012. He specialises in course reviews and travel, and has played more than 1,200 courses in almost 50 countries. In 2021, he played all 21 courses in East Lothian in 13 days. Last year, his tally was 81, 32 of them for the first time. One of Rob's primary roles is helping to prepare the Top 100 and Next 100 Courses of the UK&I, of which he has played all but seven and a half... i.e. not the new 9 at Carne! Of those missing, some are already booked for 2024. He has been a member of Tandridge in Surrey for 30 years where his handicap hovers around 16. You can contact him at r.smith896@btinternet.com.