Nearby Courses

9 miles away

Machrihanish Dunes

27 miles away

Machrihanish Dunes

15 miles away


Machrihanish Golf Club

Machrihanish Golf Club | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

A unique location for a quintessential Scottish links course. That pretty much describes Machrihanish Golf Club, which is located on the Kintyre Peninsula of Scotland.

As the crow flies, Machrihanish Golf Club is not that far from Royal Troon. It is around 40 miles away. However, to get between the two by car would take almost four hours. That makes Machrihanish one of the more remote golf courses on the NCG Top 100 Great Britain & Ireland list.

Old Tom Morris designed the original ten holes in 1876, with JH Taylor and Sir Guy Campbell both then having a hand in renovations and extensions since. Away from the fairways and greens, the course is relatively untouched, with a wild quality to its beauty. 

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A Brief History of Machrihanish Golf Club

1876 saw the founding of the club, which was originally named the Kintyre Golf Club. The initial lay-out of the golf course was only ten holes, with Charles Hunter, the professional at Prestwick, coming in and redesigning the course with 12 holes.

Three years after its founding, Open Champion Old Tom Morris extended the course further, taking it to 18 holes. At this point, the first tee was moved to the point where is still stands today.

During World War I, the course was used as an airfield, following some slight changes from James Braid prior to the start of the war. In World War II, it was taken over by the Royal Air Force for training purposes. After the end of World War II, the golf course was restored to its original purpose, with help from Sir Guy Campbell.

In 2009, a new course, Machrihanish Dunes, was opened adjacent to the original Machrihanish Golf Course. Designed by David McLay Kidd, this course was designed to blend seamlessly with the natural landscape and has been widely praised for its sustainability and environmental considerations.

At the end of 2018, the old clubhouse at Machrihanish was destroyed in a fire, but fortunately for the club, the majority of records and memorabilia were saved. Three years later, the new clubhouse opened for use.

Machrihanish Golf Club Review | NCG Top 100s: GB&I Golf Courses

The Championship Course at Machrihanish is the typical out-and-back links design. The first eight holes make their way along the coastline, with the 9th being the point where you turn for home. The back nine holes are all slightly inland from the coast.

Machrihanish is a Par 70, and is only 6,226 yards. In today's golf, that is not the longest of golf courses, but with a stiff breeze from the coast, that makes playing the course even tougher. 

The opening tee shot is one of the most iconic in golf, with players forced to hit over the beach, against the angle of the fairway. There are four small fairway bunkers which separate the 1st and 18th fairways that come into play for drives that are pushed for safety away from the sea.

The 2nd features a burn which runs across the fairway, while the 3rd is a straight away par-4, but it has the first blind tee shot of the round. 'Jura' is the shortest hole on the course, with the 4th just 130 yards long. From there, the course hits its toughest stretch.

5 is a dog-leg left par-4, while the 6th is actually driveable for the longer hitters at just 310 yards. However, any errant drive could well see you reaching into your bag for a second ball. The approach to 7 is blind, with 8 and 9 both being short par-4s. However, they are both still fraught with danger.

The first par-5 on the course comes at the 10th, and at just over 500 yards, it is reachable in two for the longer hitters. The par-3 11th is almost 200 yards, before the 12th is the second and last par-5. 12 is more of a three-shotter because approaches must carry onto the green, with two pot bunkers in front.

A plateau in the middle of the 13th fairway is the ideal spot to play your second from, with anything not reaching that flat lie being blind. It doesn't get easier, as 14 is the hardest hole on the course, while 15 and 16 are both tough par-3s. The 13th - 'Rorke's Drift', measures more than 230 yards from the back tees. Machrihanish finishes with scoring opportunities on its last two holes, especially at 18 which is only a 310 yard par-4. 

Where is Machrihanish Golf Club located?

Machrihanish Golf Club is located in Machrihanish, situated on the Kintyre Peninsula in Argyll and Bute, Scotland.

The golf club is known for its stunning coastal location and is famous for its championship golf course, Machrihanish Golf Course, which is considered one of the finest links courses in Scotland.

The nearest train station to Machrihanish Golf Club is Campbeltown Railway Station. Campbeltown is the largest town in the Kintyre Peninsula and is relatively close to Machrihanish. However, Campbeltown Railway Station does not have direct connections to major cities like Glasgow or Edinburgh.

Travelers often take a train to a larger nearby town like Glasgow or Oban and then use other modes of transportation, such as buses or taxis, to reach Machrihanish. The golf club itself is a short drive from Campbeltown.

Visit Machrihanish's website here.
Go back to the NCG Top 100s Homepage.