Road Trip: Scotland’s Machrihanish Dunes Golf Links
I hit the road this week, flapping my wings from DFW to the southwest coast of Scotland and the Mull of Kintyre.
The usual blustery weather must be vacationing in the south of Spain this week, because we’ve seen nothing by blue skies and breezes here.
Prestwick, Dundonald, Royal Troon, Loch Lomond, Machrihanish and Western Gailes are all on the play list this week, but it’s four-year-old Machrihanish Dunes that most excited me. I’ve been to this corner of Scotland three times recently: Once to tour Mach Dunes under construction, the following year to play the course but a winter story cancelled my ferry and washed out the railroad tracks, and, finally, this week. It was worth the wait.
I’d rank Mach Dunes among the top courses in Scotland. The course plays across a setting as unspoiled and untouched as anything you’d see in a story book. Architect David Kidd created a golf course that feels impossibly connected to the pasture land that it occupies. The bunkers really were dug out by sheep. Rain, sea spray and relentlless wind scultped the jagged edges of the dunes. And since the course rolls across environmentally sensitive land, Kidd was prohibited from using even a single piece of heavy equipment to shape the land. Thankfully, the sheep who grazed here for a hundred years did the bulk of the work for him.
Take a look. If you’ve played it, let us know what you think.