Dundonald Links

Dundonald Links

Dundonald Golf Links

Dundonald Golf Links ¦ Top 100 Golf Courses in GB & Ireland

Dundonald Links is a modern links great. Situated in Ayrshire's glorious golfing region, it is not just a course, but a championship resort.

The world-renowned golf architect Kyle Phillips was the man to design the course at Dundonald, which has gone on to host several international tournaments.

Those have included the both the men's and women's Scottish Opens, the latter of which it remains the current host. Final Qualifying for the Open Championship is also being held at Dundonald Links from 2023 until 2026.

It is not just golf that Dundonald Links has to offer. With incredible facilities, including a hotel and small pods for you to stay in, it can provide a great weekend trip.

Visit Dundonald's website here.
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A Brief History of Dundonald Golf Links

The original layout had opened in 1911, with 18 holes designed by 1883 Open Champion Willie Fernie but the property was severely affected by the two World Wars. 

Loch Lomond Golf Club purchased Dundonald Links in 2003 to provide a traditional links challenge on the west coast. Kyle Phillips, who had recently designed Kingsbarns, was entrusted to bring the glory days back.

Just five years on, Dundonald Links was a venue for the First Stage of the European Tour Q School, an event it hosted through the next four years. Senior Open Qualifying and the Boys Amateur Championship also came to Dundonald within its first decade. Since then huge championships have followed. 

The final piece of the jigsaw came in 2019, when Darwin Escapes purchased Dundonald Links and embarked on a £25 million development plan. The new clubhouse and luxury accommodation opened in 2021.

Dundonald Golf Links Review ¦ NCG Top 100s

Dundonald Links kicks off with a tough opening hole at 460 yards from the tips. Out of bounds is all down the right, and the green is incredibly undulating, with errant shots sent away off the left side. 

Following a par 4  2nd which measures more than 400 yards, the 3rd is the opening par 5 on the course. A ditch runs along the fairway down the right before cutting across as the hole fades from left to right. Longer hitters can go for the green in two, but it has to be an accurate approach due to trouble down that side. The first par 3 sits at 215 yards from the back tees, and usually plays even longer into the prevailing wind. 

The second par 5 measures 550 yards, and bends to the left while, at 170 yards, the 6th is still fraught with danger. A ditch runs in front and then round to the left of the green, while two bunkers and gorse lurk on the opposite side. The front nine closes with three par-4s all similar in length. A ditch in front of the 9th green could change the momentum of your round.

The second nine also starts with a 460 plus yard par 4, this time bending slightly to the left. Two big hits will be needed to get home, to a 38-yard-long green, one of the biggest on the property. The 11th measures just 120 yards, but don’t be fooled. Three huge bunkers sit in front of the green, and leave an incredibly difficult shot - about 10 feet vertically - to find the surface. Don't go long, as balls run off into Cauldron - one of the most treacherous little pot bunkers on any links. Hitting the green is essential on 11.

After a couple of par 4s, including the 13th which runs along the railway line, the long par 5 14th, at 540 yards, will probably require three shots. 15 is the longest par-3 on the course at 215 yards from the tips and two large bunkers protect the front left of the green. 

The closing stretch at Dundonald starts with 16, the longest par-4 on the course. The card says 470 yards, but it usually plays into the prevailing wind to make it feel more like 500. Five fairway bunkers lie in wait for the tee shot on 17, three to the left and two to the right, all in a short distance of each other. 

Longer hitters can cut the corner but that option is fraught with danger. Dundonald finishes with a par 5. The 18th is the longest hole on the course, and has a total of 11 bunkers lying in wait. Birdie is a possibility, but the stream running in front and right of the green can lead to big scores too.

Where is Dundonald Golf Links located?

Dundonald Links is located within half an hour's drive of both Ayr and Kilmarnock on the west coast of Scotland. It is in a golfing paradise, with the likes of Royal Troon, Prestwick, Western Gailes all nearby.

Glasgow Airport provides the link for international visitors, less than 45 minutes from Dundonald. Glasgow also provides nightlife, cultural heritage and much more to go and enjoy during your visit to the area.

What are the green fees at Dundonald Golf Links?

Dundonald Links has a range of green fees depending on time of year and whether you are staying or not. If you are staying at the Dundonald Links hotel, then golf is cheaper as part of a package deal.

For non-residents, the most expensive green fee is a summer weekend, where an 18-hole round will cost £225. The same round throughout the week will set you back £210. From mid-October through to the end of March, it will cost £98 with a six-week spell from the start of April to mid-May taking £128 from your account. 

What other facilities does Dundonald Golf Links have?

Along with the stunning 18-hole course, Dundonald has luxury lodges, which have custom designed for golfers. The hotel also offers rooms to suit both personal and corporate stays. 

The pro shop at Dundonald is kitted out with everything you could want and need, from branded clothing to course planners. The driving range and chipping area has balls provided for you to warm up before your round.

Visit Dundonald's website here.
Go back to the NCG Top 100 Great Britain & Ireland list.