Machrihanish Golf Club: Championship Course Review, Green Fees, Tee Times and Key Info

Machrihanish Golf Club's beguiling Championship course boasts a magical allure, a captivating front nine and stunning views out to the Inner Hebrides

Machrihanish Golf Club
The well-bunkered 3rd hole forms part of a captivating front nine at Machrihanish Golf Club
(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

Top 100 Courses UK & Ireland 2023/24

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Machrihanish Golf Club Championship Course Key Information

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AddressMachrihanish, Campbeltown, PA28 6PT.
Phone Number+44 (0)1586 810213
Green Fees£90-£120 per round high-season; £75-£95 at other times of year
Visitor TimesNo stated restrictions
Par70 blue, white & yellow, 72 red
Slope Rating132 blue, 130 white, 128 yellow, 127 red
Designed byCharles Hunter, Old Tom Morris
Golf Monthly Verdict


(Image credit: Getty Images)

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

There's a stretch of truly memorable and hugely enjoyable holes through the tumbling dunes from the 3rd all the way to the turn, accompanied by stirring views out to the Inner Hebrides. The 3rd is a particularly splendid par 4 played to a well-bunkered green with those distant islands on the horizon.


- A superb example of Old Tom Morris fitting a golf course to the natural terrain

- A 1st hole that some regard as the best opener in golf as it curves around the beach (which is in play!)

- A great opportunity to play two starkly contrasting links in one trip with 21st-century Machrihanish Dunes close by


UK & Ireland Top 100 Golf Courses 2023/24 - 67

For many, the Old Tom Morris Championship 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 has rightly been a mainstay of our Top 100 Courses UK and Ireland from the outset.

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.

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.

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. Good reason why it continues to rank among the best courses in Scotland.

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

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 lining to that particular cloud was a new purpose-built 21st-century clubhouse that opened 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.

Machrihanish Golf Club

This Old Tom Morris links is as natural as they come

(Image credit: Kevin Murray)

What The Top 100 Panel Said

Sheila Diamond UK&I Top 100 panel
Sheila Diamond

You cannot be anything other than thrilled to tee off over the beach on the 1st, although with increasing numbers of walkers, it’s a worry about hitting someone! It's difficult to match the views anywhere in UK, especially the front-nine dunes and beach. If you climb up onto the high dunes at the back of the men’s 10th tee, the view of the beach and sea is really spectacular. 

Sue Mawhinney UK&I Top 100 panel
Sue Mawhinney

Understated and traditional and full of charm and beauty. Despite the conditioning not being at its best for my visit, this was a special and interesting course to play and it has some spectacular holes, particularly the 1st! I feel sad that I played the course when it wasn’t at its best, but would love to return when it is.

Machrihanish Golf Club Location

Machrihanish Golf Club Championship Course Green Fees

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April to September 2023 - 18 holes£120Scottish Golf member - £90
April to September 2023 - 18 holes after 4pm£90 Scottish Golf member - £75
April to September 2023 - day rate£200 Scottish Golf member - £150
March & October 2023 - 18 holes£95Scottish Golf member - £70
March & October 2023 - 18 holes after 3pm£75Scottish Golf member - £50
March & October 2023 - day rate£150Scottish Golf member - £110
November 2023 to February 2024 - 18 holes£75Scottish Golf member - £50

Contact the club to book

Best Courses Near Machrihanish


David McLay Kidd designs have a reputation for ‘interesting’ green complexes and there’s plenty of those from the off here, although some have been considerably softened, just as they have at the Castle Course in St Andrews, another McLay Kidd design. Like the Castle Course, the Dunes has a magical setting; unlike the Castle Course, very little earth was moved to create this mind-blowing links arena.


A short course at the southern tip of Kintyre, Dunaverty is famous for its unusual, square-shaped greens. This stunningly located course provides a delightful links experience, running along the shoreline with dreamy views out over the sea and up into the surrounding hills. The par-4 17th is about as tough a test as you’ll find on a course of this length thanks to its long approach over a wide burn.

Best Places To Stay Near Machrihanish

The Ugadale Hotel and Cottages - Book now at
This elegant beachfront hotel and cottage complex in Machrihanish lies right next to the Machrihanish Golf Club but is part of the Machrihanish Dunes set-up. The Ugadale Hotel has been restored to its former glory in recent years and offers 22 stunning guest rooms and suites, finished to the highest standard. A mix of casual elegance combined with modern amenities, historic charm, and unmatched natural beauty.

The Royal Hotel Campbeltown - Book now at
Boasting a beautiful location next to the harbour, with rolling hills in the distance, this hotel is five miles from Machrihanish in the heart of Campbeltown. There is free Wi-Fi throughout, and a free shuttle service to the dunes and Campbeltown Airport. The Royal Hotel is also home to The Black Sheep Pub and the elegant Harbourview Grille.

Machrihanish Golf Club Championship Course scorecard

Machrihanish Golf Club Championship Course scorecard

(Image credit: Machrihanish Golf Club)

Machrihanish Championship Course Gallery


  • 2023/24 - 67
  • 2021/22 - 64
  • 2019/20 - 56
  • 2017/18 - 53
  • 2015/16 - 50
  • 2013/14 - 50
  • 2011/12 - 37
  • 2009/10 - 32

Frequently Asked Questions

How easy is it to get to Machrihanish?

Machrihanish lies near the southern tip of the Kintyre peninsula in western Scotland. You can take a very scenic drive (three hours from Glasgow) on the A82, followed by the A83. Loganair operates daily flights from Glasgow to Campeltown Airport, a ten-minute drive from the golf club, with a flight time of 40 minutes. Or there are various ferry options including a three-hour crossing from Ardrossan near Troon from Thursday to Sunday.

Who designed the course at Machrihanish?

Originally known as The Kintyre Club, the initial layout at Machrihanish, which dates back to 1876, comprised just ten holes before it was extended to 12 by Charles Hunter. In 1879, Old Tom Morris further extended the course to a full 18 holes, creating the iconic first tee-shot around the beach in the process. Further minor changes were made by J.H. Taylor in 1914 and Sir Guy Campbell shortly after WWII.

Jeremy Ellwood
Contributing Editor

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 instruction. He also edits The Golf Club Secretary Newsletter, a highly regarded trade publication for golf club secretaries and managers, and 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 91 of the Next 100, making him well-qualified when it comes to assessing and comparing our premier golf courses. He has now played well over 950 golf courses worldwide in 35 countries, right across the spectrum from the humblest of nine-holers in the Scottish Highlands to the very grandest of international golf resorts, but put him on a links course anywhere and he will be blissfully content.

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