Machrihanish Golf Club Championship Course Review

This beguiling links with a magical allure and captivating front nine is blessed with stunning views out to the islands of Jura, Islay and Gigha

Machrihanish Golf Club
Photo: Kevin Murray
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

This beguiling links with a magical allure and captivating front nine is blessed with stunning views out to the islands of Jura, Islay and Gigha

Machrihanish Golf Club Championship Course Review

Top 100 Ranking 2021/22 - 64

Previous Rankings 2019/20 - 56 2017/18 - 53 2015/16 - 50 2013/14 - 50 2011/12 - 37 2009/10 - 32

Summer Green Fees

Round: £45-£75

Visitor Times: 9am to noon and then 13.22 onwards – tee times available online

Medal Tee: Par 70 – 6,226 Yards

Website: www.machgolf.com (opens in new tab)

Changes since previous ranking

No significant changes advised.

Machrihanish Golf Club Championship Course Review

For many, the Old Tom Morris course at Machrihanish, away from it all on the Kintyre Peninsula, is a ‘must visit’ links in the same bracket as Royal Dornoch 240 miles north-east.

Machrihanish Golf Club

This Old Tom Morris links is as natural as they come (Photo: Kevin Murray)
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Anyone who has made the journey will testify that it is one well worth making for way more than the chance to finally stand on the famous 1st tee and gaze across the beach to the curving fairway beyond.

Related: Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland

Machrihanish is far from a ‘best 1st hole in golf’ one-trick pony, though. The links terrain is among the most natural you will encounter anywhere.

There's a stretch of truly memorable and hugely enjoyable holes through the tumbling dunes from the 3rd all the way to the turn, all the while accompanied by stirring views out to the Inner Hebrides.

That 3rd hole is a particularly splendid par 4 played to a well-bunkered green with those distant islands on the horizon.

Machrihanish Golf Club

The 3rd starts a run of incredible holes through the dunes (Photo: Kevin Murray)
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Perfect terrain for golf

After the turn, there are still great holes aplenty a little further from the shore, with the 232-yard par-3 16th a bit of a shock to the system late on, especially if you encounter it in to the wind and are standing there with driver in hand, doubting even that is enough!

Yes, the short par-4 finale may not be the strongest finishing hole around, but golf is a game of give and take, so the chance of a closing birdie will be very welcome if you have succumbed to the 16th. Not every course has to finish with a severe test, with Machrihanish very much in the Prestwick mould on this front.

Machrihanish Golf Club

There are views out to the Inner Hebrides for much of the front nine (Photo: Kevin Murray)

Indeed, Prestwick is a good comparison, and not just for that and the Old Tom Morris connection. Machrihanish is very much a reminder of the early art of laying out a course to fit the existing terrain rather than adjusting the terrain to suit the designer’s desires – a layout as natural as they come.

In 2018 a devastating clubhouse fire, which razed the building to the ground, sent the club reeling. But the silver cloud will be a new purpose-built 21st-century clubhouse due to open in 2021.

Yet more good reason to visit this magical links that, in some ways, provides a living link to the game’s past. Machrihanish is good for the soul, no matter how you play.

Assessor Feedback

It’s something of a pilgrimage to reach the Kintyre peninsula and connoisseurs who make it are well-rewarded.

A stunning location, which the front nine takes full advantage of.

Excellent use of the land for the vast majority of the course, with vast swathes of marram grass set on bank upon bank of windswept dunes.

GM Verdict

This beguiling links with a magical allure and captivating front nine is blessed with stunning views out to the islands of Jura, Islay and Gigha.

 

 

Jeremy Ellwood
Jeremy Ellwood

Jeremy Ellwood has worked in the golf industry since 1993 and for Golf Monthly since 2002 when he started out as equipment editor. He is now a freelance journalist writing mainly for Golf Monthly across the whole spectrum from courses and Rules to equipment and even instruction despite his own somewhat iffy swing (he knows how to do it, but just can't do it himself). He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, has authored or co-authored three books and written for a number of national papers including The Telegraph and The Independent. He is a senior panelist for Golf Monthly's Top 100 UK & Ireland Course Rankings and has played all of the Top 100 plus 89 of the Next 100. He has played well over 900 courses worldwide in 35 countries, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content. On his first trip to Abu Dhabi a decade ago he foolishly asked Paul Casey what sort of a record he had around the course there. "Well, I've won it twice if that's what you mean!" came the reply...

Jezz can be contacted via Twitter - @JezzEllwoodGolf


Jeremy is currently playing...

Driver: Ping G425 LST 10.5˚ (draw setting), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 55 S shaft

3 wood: Ping G425 Max 15˚ (set to flat +1), Mitsubishi Tensei AV Orange 65 S shaft

Hybrid: Ping G425 17˚, Mitsubishi Tensei CK Pro Orange 80 S shaft

Irons 3-PW: Ping i525, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Wedges: Ping Glide 4.0 50˚ and 54˚, 12˚ bounce, True Temper Dynamic Gold 105 R300 shafts

Putter: Ping Fetch 2021 model, 33in shaft (set flat 2)

Ball: Varies but mostly now TaylorMade Tour Response